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Stretch for strength

A healthy, low-cal diet coupled with an exercise regimen to improve ligament flexibility will make you stronger.

health and fitness Updated: Apr 22, 2010 14:47 IST

I am 48 years old, my height is 161 cm and I weigh 76 kg. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with Koch’s adenitis for which I got treated but suffered complications and multiple joint pain. I also suffer from hypothyroidism and take 50 mg of Altroxin. Kindly guide me with my diet and exercise.
Meena Pawar
Tuberculosis arthritis involves the inflammation of such joints as the spine, hips, knees, wrist and ankle. Since it is characterised by a loss of appetite and weight, you may not have put on weight even though you suffer from hypothyroidism. Heavy menses, too, is a symptom of the same disorder, so check your haemoglobin levels. Increase the iron content of your diet by eating whole cereals, pulses, millets, leafy vegetables and garden cress seeds.
Increase your intake of vitamin C and vitamin A, and start taking 250 grams worth of calcium supplements. Adhere to a low calorie diet which has an adequate amount of protein, fats and minerals. Daily fat consumption should not exceed 15-20 gm, and should consist of vegetable oil which is rich in essential fatty acids. Common salt, too, should be had in small quantities. Use skimmed milk and keep away from sweet and fried foods. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day.

You can follow this diet:
Morning:
Tulsi and pudina shots, and 3-4 almonds.
Breakfast: One cup of skimmed milk + 2 slices of whole wheat toast/ dalia + papaya slices/ pear/ guava.
Midmorning: One glass of lemon juice Lunch: 2-3 phulkas + sprouts such as rajma/ lentil/ moth + 1 cup of vegetables + buttermilk + salad.
Evening: One fruit + 2 multigrain crackers/ jowar puffs.
Dinner: Vegetable soup + 1 ragi roti + 1 cup of mixed dal + raita.

Exercises: You need to strengthen your muscles and body parts, and improve ligament flexibility through stretching. Include yoga in your workout regimen and follow this routine to warm up the major muscles:
*Unilateral leg extension with light weights to strengthen your quadriceps;
*Back extension on the floor to strengthen back muscles;
*Shoulder exercise with dumbbells.
For the first two weeks, work out the upper and lower body with compound movements; do circuit training in the third and fourth weeks; start with the chest, shoulder and triceps, and back, biceps and legs in the fifth and sixth weeks. Also do cardio for 45 minutes on alternate days.

I am a 26-year-old girl, my height is 5’4”. Seven months ago, my weight was 79 kg. With a regular gym routine and diet, it is now 67 kg. But I feel like I have hit a plateau as my rate of weight loss has reduced. What is my maximum heart rate and what heart rate must I exercise at to ensure maximum fat burn?
Prajakta Pradhan
For your age and height, your ideal body weight should be 55-58 kg. Initial weight loss is always faster as up to 50 per cent of the bulk lost isn’t fat but lean tissue and water.
In simple terms, the body burns up its own muscles as fat tissues require fewer calories to maintain than muscle tissues. Avoid starvation, eat small, frequent, balanced meals. Your maximum heart rate is 195 and to lose weight you must work out within the targeted zone, which for you is 117-156.

I am a 33-year-old man, weigh 66 kg and am 5’3” tall. I exhaust even after small physical tasks and need a nap. Most of my weight is concentrated around the tummy. My hands, too, are weak and unable to perform strenuous physical work, and my immunity is poor.
Abhinav
Weakness after performing physical activities occurs after any prolonged illness / disease that has reduced your haemoglobin level. To increase immunity, you can have a well-balanced meal containing green, leafy vegetables, sprouts and fruits. You can also go in for multivitamin supplements and protein rich foods such as skimmed milk, curd, dal, pulses, soya chunks, tofu, etc.

Morning: 1 glass of carrot + beet juice.
Breakfast: 1 glass of skimmed milk + 2-3 tsp of a protein supplement + 2-3 dal dosas with green chutney.
Midmorning: A plate of fruits.
Lunch: 2 dry chapatis + chana doodhi/ palak dal + 1 cup of curd (skimmed milk) + salad.
Evening: 1 glass of fresh fruit juice + 1 whole wheat sandwich/ sprouted bhel.
Dinner: 2 cups of brown rice + 2 cups of sambar/ dal + 1 cup of vegetable + salad.
Bed time: 1 fruit.

Exercises: You need to lose about 8 to 10 kg, and tone up with a good workout and cardio regime. A good diet with less fats will help you obtain a lean body.
Try to increase your resistance with a heavy weight training schedule and gradually increase your cardio capacity to achieve optimum cardio levels. Include isometric training in your workout with functional and circuit training, keeping a range of 15-20 repetitions for each set in your daily workout.