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The many stages of women’s health

Updated on: 28 February,2024 05:32 AM IST  |  Mumbai
The Hitlist Team |

Trainers of fit celebs across age groups spill the beans on what it takes to stay in ship shape over the years

The many stages of women’s health

Kareena Kapoor’s former trainer Rupal Sidhpura Faria. Pics/Instagram

When it comes to post-natal fitness, take it easy!

I’ve worked with Kareena Kapoor Khan and Soha Ali Khan during their pregnancies. Evidently, training during pregnancy requires attention, and the first aspect of it deals with understanding if any complications exist. We understand the background of the woman, because, during pregnancy, one can develop thyroid or gestational diabetes. Whether or not the mother has been active before also determines our training protocol. Because Kareena was active, I could train with her differently.
People assume that the exercise routine changes in each trimester, but, at times, the routine may need to be modified every week. There are certain weeks when fetal development happens a lot faster, and appropriate exercises need to be done. We need to do pranayams and take to some mudras and kriyas to deal with acidity because the growing baby pushes all the organs in the body. Also, during pregnancy, your senses are heightened, and that plays a role in determining the diet. Some people’s bodies take to pregnancy easily; for instance, Serena Williams won the Grand Slam while pregnant. Others have more difficulty adjusting to it, even if they have been fit. Some people need to have their Surya namaskars modified early on, others can pull off [advanced movements] in their sixth month too. 

Post-pregnancy, I always say it’s important to think about getting fit instead of losing weight. You don’t want to end up with [complications]. During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles get separated, and you need to work on [developing the strength again]. Sometimes, you may need physiotherapy. 

After delivery, the body is never [going] to be the same. Even if it [looks] the same, you’ll find some difference in the energy levels. That’s not a bad thing. I think, it’s another process of accepting motherhood. It’s very important to give yourself at least six to eight months [before returning to routine]. 

A Gen-Z that loves both intensity, and breath work 

Ananya Panday with her trainer Anshuka ParwanAnanya Panday with her trainer Anshuka Parwan

[Ananya] enjoys doing a lot of challenging asanas, including inversions, and those that target her [ability to] balance. The best thing that I see [in the young generation] is that they are in tune with their bodies. It’s not like it was in the past. Just because they are young, they don’t ignore vital aspects like breath work and pranayama practice. In fact, the emphasis on breath work, pranayama and meditation is [dominant]. Evidently, they understand fitness holistically.

Since [the older population] has been training continuously, their bodies are malleable, and they have their consistency to thank for that. This gen doesn’t run behind the idea of sweating or executing a certain number of repetitions [to stay fit]. They focus on mindfulness as well. I think, the awareness that they have as far as fitness is concerned is 10 times more than it was in the past. They think about movements executed with intention instead of mindlessly [executing them]. It’s certainly a positive shift.

Consistency, discipline will keep you in good stead over the years

Consistency, discipline will keep you in good stead over the years

The important thing to remember, when it comes to Malaika’s fitness is that, irrespective of [her] age, she has been extremely consistent and disciplined. She fundamentally addresses four pillars of physical fitness—strength, flexibility, mobility, and endurance. Based on these, we plan her routine. Also, she doesn’t miss mindfulness [practices], like meditation and pranayama. She does that religiously, every day, because she believes what’s happening above the shoulders is also important. Also, she’s disciplined when it comes to her meals. Of course, she has her cheat days too. You will never see her without a water bottle because she knows staying hydrated is vital. 

She eats an early dinner and doesn’t eat after a certain time. She also fills her plate with eight different [meals], which include protein, carbs, fats, fibre, and other [essentials]. 

Also, I believe yoga should be a part of everyone’s routine. Yoga gives you an aesthetically beautiful body. If you see anybody who’s a practitioner of yoga, man or woman, you’ll notice that their spine is elongated, and they walk perfectly straight. [Let’s take the example of] Hrithik Roshan and John Abraham—both have great physiques, but Hrithik, perhaps because he dances, is more elongated, and is aesthetically different. That’s what yoga, and flexibility work can do. 

Also, another thing that people don’t realise is that flexibility and mobility also help you prevent injuries. Unless someone is training for competition, I don’t see the point in pushing yourself to such an extent that you end up with fatigue. [Yoga] is what I do every day, and this is [all] I need to remain physically fit. Malaika knows very well too. If she must head for a 9 am shoot, she will call her coach home at 7.15 am. 

For [women beyond the age of 40], consistency is extremely important. Yoga should be as important to people as eating, brushing, or taking a shower; hopefully people do that seven days a week.


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