Big B's personal trainer gives tips

Hindustan Times | ByPriyanka Jain, Mumbai
Sep 11, 2011 03:03 PM IST

Vrinda Mehta, Amitabh Bachchan’s trainer says after 60, one needs resistance training to strengthen bones and muscles

Vrinda Mehta has been Amitabh Bachchan’s personal trainer for 11 years. She says, “Amitabhji works out everyday regularly, without fail.”

The fitness expert, who’s made sure that the 68-year-old actor works out regularly, has a few simple rules for maintaining the body, no matter what age group you fall in. Her mantra includes a combination of cardiovascular exercise, resistance training, core strengthening and flexibility exercises with pranayams and yoga for de-stressing the body and mind.

The celebrity wellness trainer, who also released a DVD video three months ago called I Can Make You Fit, says, “After the age of 60, you especially need resistance training to strengthen your bones and muscles.” Acco-rding to her, this helps to prevent untimely degeneration of muscles and bones, keeping problems like osteoporosis at bay. She advises those in that age bracket to do moderate intensity cardio exercises like brisk walking, or a combination of a slow jog and a walk, depending on the fitness level of the individual. She adds, “This helps to check undue weight gain, which normally increases at this age due to a sedentary lifestyle and low metabolic rate.”

She identifies the key areas to focus on, saying, “Besides this, developing strong core muscles (abs and back) are most essential to prevent falling due to lack of balance in the body. For core strengthening and improving the flexibility of the joints, I would recommend pilates and yoga. Besides this, everyone must include simple yoga asanas and pranayams in their daily fitness routine, as it helps to de-stress and rejuvenate the body and mind.”

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What it takes to be fit and fab at 60

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Key points
The current fitness level of the individual.
Health problems, if any, as some exercises are contraindicated in certain ailments.
Intensity of the workouts should be moderate.
The form and technique while executing the exercise is of prime importance.
Using light weights with more repetitions are better than employing heavy weights with fewer reps.

Workouts must be done under the proper supervision of trained professionals.
Resistance training can be done two-three times a week. On the other days, one can do moderate intensity cardio. Yoga and pranayams everyday.

Sample workout
(Weights should be light depending on the fitness).
All sets are 15 reps each and each rep must be executed slowly with full control. Always exhale when you lift the weight up or push it forward. If there is undue pain in executing any exercise, just stop and ask for help.

Warm up
Start with 10 minutes of warm-up with free hand exercises and stretches.
One set of seated chest press (take your elbows as far back as your shoulder and not behind them).
One set of lateral pull down for back (do not take the bar behind your head).
Repeat combo twice.
One set of bicep curls (keep your elbows tucked).
One set of overhead triceps extensions (keep the arms close to your head).
Repeat above combo twice.
One set of front raises (raise the arms till they are almost parallel to the floor).
One set of side bends (hold the abs tight).
Repeat above combo twice.
One set of lateral arm raises (elbows to be slightly bent. Raise the arms till they are almost parallel to the floor).
One set of squats (hold onto something and keep the abs tight. Make sure your knees do not go beyond your toes).
Repeat above combo twice.

Abs and back
Two sets of regular crunches (never pull your neck, just gently support it with your finger tips).
Two sets of oblique crunches.
Two sets of leg lifts (tuck your arms close to your body to prevent undue pressure on lower back).
End with back extensions (bhujang asana).
Stretch and relax in shav asana for five minutes.

Diet plan
Morning two glasses of hot water with aloe vera juice.
Breakfast: One cup of skimmed milk with 30 gm oats + four walnuts.
Mid morning: One fruit.
Lunch: One small bowl thin dal + one small bowl vegetables+ one multi grain chapati + one small bowl skimmed milk curd.
Evening: One fruit.
Dinner: One small bowl of dal or 100 gm fish or chicken or three egg whites + one small bowl of vegetables + one chapati (optional).
Must drink eight glasses of water every day.

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