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Talking point

Work with your body and find a balance between exercise periods, rest periods and healthy balanced nutrition.

health and fitness Updated: Apr 12, 2010 18:35 IST
Rochelle Pinto

Work with your body and find a balance between exercise periods, rest periods and healthy balanced nutrition.

How does a boy from Goa move on to become one of the most respected names in the fitness industry?
I started out as a professional dancer so movement and exercise have always been part of my life.Over the years I studied a wide variety of fitness techniques with many exceptional teachers. Dedication has allowed me to find my own method in the fitness industry.

You’ve been worked with fitness freaks like Madonna and As far as I know, Madonna does not indulge in weight training.When you start your days with a two hour class, spend your afternoon rehearsing and then perform at night, you are bound to lose a bit of weight and look muscular. I have known Madonna for quite some time and have yet to find a woman as toned and yet as feminine as her.She set a new look for modern women. You either like it or you don't, but it doesn't take away from her femininity.

What are the three biggest mistakes people make in their initial approach to fitness?
Very often, people expect results too soon with a new exercise programme, even without enough effort and dedication. They tend to concentrate on either toning or cardiovascular exercises alone. Only a combination of both can guarantee a strong, toned body shape.

What modern fitness routines do you recommend, given the number of fad routines in the market right now?
Work with your body and find a balance between exercise periods, rest periods and healthy balanced nutrition. An effective exercise routine needs to include cardiovascular exercise, toning, resistance training and strengthening techniques.This is easier to achieve with a qualified instructor, but for people unable to afford a trainer or gym membership, a brisk 40-minute walk every day can help improve health and fitness.There are many good fitness DVDs around to motivate exercisers and to give instructions for new exercise routines.

Your training technique focuses on the mental aspect of fitness...
All exercise techniques require motivation and dedication but can be fun too.It is important to find a challenging and enjoyable exercise regimen. After spotting progress, it is easy to feel motivated to push further. If you enjoy dancing, choose a regimen that includes dance moves.

If stretching is your thing, then there try pilates or yoga.My Garuda method includes elements from pilates, yoga, stretching and cardio. Our classes are varied and fun and are popular and effective.

How important is balancing exercise with a proper diet?
Balancing exercise with a healthy, varied and nutritious diet is essential to achieve results. We need to treat our bodies well, but don't deny yourself the occasional treat.

What should Mumbai residents do to get healthy?
People really need to look at their diet and start walking. Mumbai needs to start exercising. Every time I come down, I see more people out of shape. We should become a walking and running culture.As a nation, we love dancing, so look at joining a dance class.If you are the gym type, commit yourself to the gym at least three times a week and include cardio in your workout. Our diet is getting consistently worse and we need to look seriously at the many unhealthy things we can cut out from it.

How can older men and women get as fit as Sting and Madonna?
It doesn't matter what age you are, you have to start somewhere.Find something that excites you physically like a sport. We have a great culture of yoga in our country, we only need to look at the different practises and take what works for us individually.Most importantly we need to give ourselves time every day, which we devote fully to our physical wellbeing.We only have one body, one lifetime and we have to cherish it.

Diet duty
Discounting conditions such as an overactive thyroid and incorporating the correct exercise regime, it is important to realise the restrictions of one's genetics. But with the correct eating plan one can improve any body shape.

If you have a high metabolism and want to gain weight:
Eat regularly (for some could be every 2 hours). Don't go for long periods without food to ensure the body doesn't have to breakdown its fuel stores.

Choose complex carbohydrates (think brown grains - brown rice, pasta, wholemeal bread) pulses with protein and essential fats at every meal.

Avoid high calorie, low-nutrient foods (fast food) to 'fatten up' because it promotes unhealthy weight gain.

If you have a high fat to muscle ratio and can't seem to get rid of it:
Eat small meals frequently, choosing complex carbs instead of refined.
Eat a little protein at each meal and avoid sugar-rich foods. This minimises cravings and helps the body burn fat. Good fat is found in fresh nuts, coconut oil, avocado and oily fish.
Keep away from processed foods that contain hydrogenated fats.
If you indulge in intensive weight and resistance training
Any time we put the body under stress, we increase the production of free radicals that cause oxidation, cell damage and inflammation.
Eat antioxidant rich foods like brightly coloured fruits and vegetables. Aim for seasonal foods.
Carbohydrates replenish fuel stores and prevent fatigue. Protein helps repair muscles tearing. Sting.

What is the secret behind Madonna’s super-svelte body?
As busy as both Sting and Madonna are, they always find the time to work out. Their consistency and hard work allows them to challenge themselves physically and mentally. Their workouts are geared around strengthening, toning and stretching. They also pay attention to their diets, hence the results.

What does Madonna’s fitness regimen look like?
Madonna would do a two hour class, which included pilates, jumping on the jumping board for cardiovascular workout, abdominal work and yoga stretches.She also spent 40 minutes on the treadmill.She likens herself to an Olympic athlete; her shows tend to be at least two hours long and she needs to be in top form while performing.

You had apparently used some strange torture device to help her sculpt her body. Could you elaborate?
I am sure this has been a misguided media fabrication.I have never used anything torturous but I have been known to work her very hard and hence the results.Madonna’s look has been criticized for being too muscular. Was this a result of excessive weight training?