All it takes is 21 days to form a habit. Your time starts now | india | Hindustan Times
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All it takes is 21 days to form a habit. Your time starts now

india Updated: Sep 08, 2011 12:53 IST

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Thank you for helping me

I would like to thank Hindustan Times for its Fitter Mumbai campaign, which has pushed me to change my eating habits. Every morning I wait for the news articles, and follow the tips. My daughter’s diet has been completely altered thanks to the expert suggestions.

On Saturday, I prepared hot jawar rotis for lunch as advised in one of your columns. Being a working woman, I have struggled for years to make fitness a part of our family routine, but barely found the time. Advice flew in from all directions but I never knew whom to trust.

Now, I am getting good ideas in every edition — like the idea of eating small meals at short intervals and not snacking, and of exercising even after sundown if that is all you can manage.

The best part is that HT’s campaign is giving me advice from top experts that I would not otherwise have access to. Also reading how real people find time to incorporate exercise in their busy schedules encourages me to do so too.

— Amita R

We know how important it is to eat right and exercise regularly, yet our excuse remains that we are too busy.

Now is a good time for everyone to allot 40 minutes a day for a workout and 10 minutes for pranayam. That’s just a fraction of your day, and it takes only 21 days to form a habit.

In return you end up fitter, rejuvenated and ready to face a new day. Today’s youngsters should even inculcate the habit of meditation every morning. This creates a positive mind frame. For the age group above 50, walking and yoga are the best routine.

— Karthik Subramaniam

The key to eating healthy? Eat at home

The lure of restaurants and street food is the biggest challenge that people in Mumbai face. If they could only carry some home food to work, they would be doing a big favour to their bodies.

In offices, colleges and schools, Mumbaiites order from canteens or a junk-food eatery nearby. It is a bad habit that contributes to lifestyle diseases such as obesity and high blood pressure.

Everyone should make it a point to avoid fast food, smoking and consuming alcohol. These simple steps will help a person lead a healthier life.

— Ketan Meher

Eat well, sleep well, take a brisk walk

You cannot be fit for a day. Fitness has to be practised daily.
With age, it is important control your food habits. But just controlling food habits is not enough.

We also need to follow good exercise routines and sleep well, avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol. We need to eat fresh fruit, more sprouts and raw vegetables. Take a brisk walk.
Avoid the lift if you can take the stairs. Preserve nature wherever possible and avoid junk food.

— Ajit Pillai

A 45-year routine keeps me fit

In 1960, I came across a physical fitness chart called 5BX programme designed by Dr Bill Orban for the Royal Canadian Air Force personnel. It spoke of people who would take the lift to the first floor, drive two blocks, and never had time for gym. It offered two programmes: SBX 11-minute-a day plan for men, and XBX 12-minute-a-day plan for women.

For a factory-employed person like me, who took a 6.15 am train in the morning, this plan came in very handy. The programme involved spot jogging and other exercises. I followed it till 2005, after which I discontinued stationary run because of my knee replacement surgery.

Following the routine for 45 years has given me a fairly good standard of health. I don’t have any medical bills. I don’t remember when I last fell ill. At 82, I am fairly fit. I’m glad I found the book.

— Babubhai Karani

Crunches, push-ups are my best friends

Every day I plan to go for a walk on the roads but the very idea or dodging traffic and potholes gives me a headache. Joining a dance class or gym isn’t my idea of keeping fit, as you tend to put on weight once you stop.

I prefer inculcating a fitness regime of stretches, push-ups and abs and stretches at home. They help me strengthen my core muscles. I like to exercise at home to reduce my stomach and strengthen my weaker muscles.

— Aahna Gandhi

Rowing keeps me healthy and happy

Being a working professional and a married man in Mumbai means no time left for a thorough fitness regime. I am 28, and I do not get any time for walks. Hitting the gym means spending at least 45 minutes on a workout.

My only option was to buy a treadmill, but I found it too monotonous. Thus, I have invested in a rowing machine which gives me an entire body workout. In three months, I have lost 16 kgs. And I workout only for 15 minutes a day.

— Krishna Kukreja