Whether you’re a beginner or a total gym freak, there’s always more to learn when it comes to fitness. Who better than certified fitness trainer Jeannette Faruque to answer all your queries? So we did just that – we headed to Studio X, one of Karachi’s most popular fitness studios, to have a sit down with the owner and head trainer. In case you missed the session, don’t sweat it. We’re revealing all the coolest things we learnt right here!
Kick Start Your Day With Meditation
Modern science suggests there are numerous benefits of meditation for your body, brain and spirit. Meditation can cause our testosterone levels to increase which results in stronger muscles and more energy throughout the day (you might not even need coffee)! It’s all about starting your day off on the right note. Jeannette suggests meditating along with some breathing exercises. And this doesn’t even take very long – she says even 10 minutes can do wonders for you.
The Empty Stomach Myth
With intermittent fasting being the new thing to do in the fitness world – exercising on an empty stomach is something we would all benefit from learning more about. The idea stems from the fact that glycogen, a stored carbohydrate, is often depleted in the morning. So after a night without eating, your body could potentially burn a greater percentage of fat working out on an empty stomach, as your store of carbohydrates is not easily available. However, Jeannette warns, if you’re working out in the evening, don’t go the whole day without food – eat a meal two hours prior.
The Mystery Of Face Weight
We’re sorry to break it to you, but exercise does not help you lose or gain weight on your face. The structure of your face is a by-product of your genetics, so, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to change your bone structure (certainly, not exercise). Jeannette tip: Why not try a flattering new hairstyle!
Eat To Fuel Your Workouts
It’s not just what you eat but when you eat that affects your physical progress in any workout regime. Another factor can be the type of exercise. Jeannette says: “If it’s a light yoga class you can eat mostly anything afterwards (try to include some protein though), but if you’ve completed a high-intensity workout, wait for 30 minutes before you start eating, and treat yourself to a protein-packed meal.
Keep Your Fitness Goals In Mind
Something we should all be more mindful about is not comparing our goals to someone else’s. Our body is different from the person sitting next to us, and so are our fitness goals. So before you start any workout regime, keep your fitness goals in mind, and workout accordingly. If your goal is to lose some pounds Jeannette suggests exercising at least five times a week for an hour, but dedicating 30 minutes, three to four times a week is all you need to maintain your current weight.
Balanced Diet Is The Key
A balanced diet is one that gives your body the nutrients it needs to function correctly. To get the proper nutrition from your diet, you should consume healthy carbs and fats, whole grain fibres, protein, as well as fresh fruit and vegetable. Jeannette recommends a nutrient-rich diet at every age – it is the key to not only a strong, lean body but also to a happier mental state. Skipping your meal is never an option, In fact, Jeannette recommends having five to six meals a day. Your day could start off with some porridge, snack on an apple a few hours later, have chicken with roti and vegetables for lunch, some nuts for your next snack and chicken tikka or a grilled fillet with rice and veggies for dinner.
Mistakes To Avoid
If you don’t exercise correctly you can cause more harm than good to your body. Jeannette says the biggest mistake one could make while working out is not engaging the core. It not only diminishes the quality of your workout but it can also lead to one straining their back. Another one to avoid is lifting weights that are too heavy for you – always be true to yourself while exercising, it is not a competition. A serious injury can cause more harm than good.
Right Way For Planks
The plank is one of the best exercises for core conditioning but it also works your glutes and hamstrings, supports proper posture and improves balance. While getting into proper form is straightforward, holding the position takes strength and endurance in your abs, back and core. Wondering what’s the right way to do it? Jeannette instructs: engage your core, keep your body parallel, knee caps lifted, thighs engaged, shoulders retracted and gaze forward. Be sure not to drop your hips down!
While You’re Pregnant
The one thing to remember if you’re pregnant but wish to workout: if you have been a regular exerciser you may continue your workouts as usual but at a lower intensity. If you are not then it is best to avoid it completely during your pregnancy. What you can opt to do (and probably should do) is take walks – it helps with delivery. Another good option is prenatal yoga! Post pregnancy if you’ve had a C-section, wait for approximately six weeks and start with gentle exercises, such as yoga and pilates as well as exercises that strengthen your core like planks.
Try, Try, Try And Repeat
They say if you never try you’ll never know. Jeannette believes if you lead an inactive lifestyle, you will feel even more inactive. So if you’re not fond of working out, all you have to do is try it once. Something as simple as a walk will also release endorphins (your happy hormones) and you will eventually get hooked! Start small, but keep at it – the benefits of exercise are endless.