It's hard to find time for fitness when you're spending 14 hours a day treating critically ill patients in the ICU of a private hospital. But it was the hours spent with unhealthy, unfit people that pushed Dr Rajesh Bijoor to make time for a gym routine.
"who would not have been sick if they had taken better care of themselves,"says the 40-year-old intensivist at Saifee Hospital, Charni Road. "With just a little commitment and hard work, you can ward off respiratory illnesses, hypertension, diabetes and,
particularly in professions like mine, mounting stress."
So, for the past two years Bijoor has been going to the gym religiously, five times a week.
He leaves the hospital at 5 pm and heads to a nearby gym, does some cardiovascular exercises, weight-training and strength-training, then leaves for his private clinic at 6.15. "Weight training is the greatest advantage of a gym routine," he says. "No other workout allows you to train your muscles in such a disciplined manner."
Fitness expert Leena Mogre agrees. "Weight-training should be the base of every workout," she says. "It strengthens your resistance, your muscle tissues and your joints and equips your muscles to handle the strain of increasingly strenuous workouts."
There is one pitfall to falling in love with your gym workout, however . the danger of overdoing it.
"Always insist on a fitness assessment first," says Mogre. "Figure out what exercises are ideal for your body and how to progressively stretch the limit your muscles over time, without overdoing it. You need to make long-term fitness plans and stay committed if you want to making gymming a lifestyle choice."
Once you have your routine in place, experts say it is important to use weights correctly to avoid injuries and excessive wear and tear of muscles.
If you don't want to fork out thousands for a personal instructor, consult a floor trainer before drafting your weight-training routine.
Signing up with a personal trainer, on the other hand, is a good option for those prone to making excuses and dropping out of their gym routines.
Teacher Soni Chawla, 36, used to be one such person.
"After a long dayfs work, I would always give in to my laziness and convince myself I would go the next day, and then the next, and so on," she says.
"Five weeks ago, I finally signed on a personal trainer. Now that I know he's waiting, I don't bunk gym and I do my workout sincerely."
For those who do not like to be prodded or pressured, a good way to keep yourself motivated is to get a gym buddy, compile an inspiring playlist to accompany and distract you, set shortterm goals, or just mix up your gym routine to keep it interesting.
Most large gyms offer group exercise classes such as spinning, aerobics, Bollywood aerobics, pilates, martial arts, power yoga and dance, which introduce variety to your workout and ensure that you have certified trainers monitoring your progress.
Walkeshwar resident Mitul Patel, 51, decided to invest in a spinning class instead of a workout at his local
gym and this has kept him regular for eight years.
“I love the ambience, with the pumping music and all the energy in the room,” he says. “I take these classes three times a week and reach my cardio goals faster.”
Taking such classes does help, especially because a lot of people tend to work out the same muscles at the gym over and over, causing damage and failing to get an overall workout, says fitness and Krav Maga instructor Sadashiv Mogaveera.
“However, if you do take a class at the gym, you must remember that it ceases to be a personal workout. You have to be committed. You can't be irregular, you can't stop in the middle to take a call. It requires a different mindset than a regular gym workout, which can be tailored to your routine.