Here's how to get your fitness fundamentals right

Apr 21, 2015, 08:02 IST | Dhara Vora

Total Fitness: The Leena Mogre Way, is a new book by fitness expert Leena Mogre that talks about making simple changes to your routine for a healthier life

Leena Mogre fitness expert

Q. After so many years in the industry, how did you narrow down on which aspect of fitness would be the driving theme for this book?
A. Since the time I started in the industry, a lot has changed. There weren't even any female instructors then. Today, there are so many different forms of workouts, new diets, fitness techniques, etc. Though, according to my observation, each person's body is different and what might work for one person, might not work for the other. So one needs to work at the base level and make simple changes in their lifestyle, such as improve your posture.

Leena Mogre
Leena Mogre 

Q. In what way do these go a long way?
A. Exercise is a preventive medicine. I am urging people to change their lifestyle. Today, all people do is pick up a new exercise routine, be it power yoga, kickboxing, capoeira, or if a celebrity or a magazine propagates outdoor workout people head out. By blindly following these routines, you can hurt yourself, and then the doctor will ask you not to exercise. Working on your core and weight training will help you stay fit through everything and stay
motivated too.

Q. What are the most common fitness mistakes that people make nowadays?
A. Burn themselves at both ends. Today, people work hard and party hard or workout too much. If you work late in office and go for a jog at 5 in the morning, you are not doing yourself any good, as your body needs to rest.

Representative pic
Representative pic 

Self-diagnosis. Internet is a boon, and a problem too. People read up about international health fads, diets, food items and start following them without assessing their body. This can cause much harm.

Obsession with body image. When you look at the image of a fit person, it isn't necessary that your body can look the same. Work out and not over-workout to stay fit, not just to look like someone.


Total Fitness: The Leena Mogre Way, Leena Mogre, Random House India, Penguin Random House Company, Rs 250, releasing this week.

Tips from the book
> The other parameters people usually ignore while doing a fitness assessment are muscle-and-joint fitness, abdominal strength and flexibility. Knowing your muscle-and-joint strength is important because it will tell you what weight you should start with when you join the gym.


> Ectomorphs are often below the average weight for their height and have a skinny appearance. Train heavier with repetitions in the 5-10 range. Eat at least 50-60% carbohydrates.

> Endomorphs will usually be larger in appearance with heavier fat accumulation and little muscle definition. Do as much cardio as possible. Portion your meals appropriately — one fist-size equals one serving.

> Mesomorphs are somewhere between ectomorphs and endomorphs and display characteristics of both. Do enough cardio to stay lean, but not a lot. Keep carbohydrate intake moderately high — about 60% of total calories.

> Weight training actually helps women slim down instead of bulk up, since women have much lower testosterone levels than men.

> At the height of your workout you should be sweating and breathing hard. You should not be so out of breath that you cannot answer a question.

> Don't wear clothes that are loose or have dull colours. Colourful, cheerful, right gear for your workout means you look forward to wearing that to the gym. 

> Don't work out next to the fittest person at the gym.

> Eat before your workout: oatmeal, protein shakes, yoghurt or smoothies.

> Eat after your workout: eggs, soya or tofu, bananas, dried fruits and nuts or pineapples.

> Some of the bad posture problems are forward head, kyphosis (upper back looks like it is rounding out), rounded shoulders, scoliosis (causes one hip to be pushed forward or one shoulder to sit higher than the other), lordosis, flat back or sunken chest.

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