Last year, fitness became affordable, accessible and definitely more fun. High on the list were low-cost gyms, unique workout tools like sandbags, battle ropes and carpet sliders, healthy ready-made meals, strength training, spin class for 60+ and lot more. This year, sees more variety and yes, technology helps save time. Bollywood fitness trainer Paul Britaas, on the speed dial of top models and actors (Bipasha Basu, Hrithik Roshan),tells us what really works and how:
COMBINATION CLASSES: The new blend of yoga and cycling, cycle yoga, is a far cry from fat-blasting aerobics and strength training. Yoga helps sculpt the abs, balance upper and lower body muscles and helps achieve overall flexibility.
PAUL: To do yoga or spinning by itself can be tiring. It’s an interesting cardio workout that helps you cool down with yoga’s breathing exercises that in turn relaxes the muscles.
HOT YOGA: For the uninitiated, Hot yoga or Bikram yoga is performed in a studio that is heated to 105 F (40 C) and has a humidity of 40 percent. It’s a 90-minute programme that consists of a series of 26 postures. The postures require lengthy, forceful and well-controlled contractions of all major muscle groups. The demanding nature of the poses and the heat are designed to raise your heart rate and tire your muscles.
PAUL: It really doesn’t work in the Indian summer as it’s akin to torturing yourself with no feel-good factor. It causes dehydration. Recommended only for those who want to challenge themselves.
SMALL GROUP TRAINING: There will be an average of six people in a class with more focus on their individual strengths and goals.
PAUL: It is cheaper, friendlier and good on your self esteem. When you do yoga, zumba and aerobics, spinning etc in groups along with calorie burning it also helps your social skills.
EXPRESS WORKOUTS: In this age of instant gratification, these workouts are meant to cover as much as possible in a minimal amount of time.
PAUL: It’s definitely not a healthy way to lose weight and you are in danger of collapsing. Harmful for your back and knee.
BACK TO BASICS: More peo-ple are going back to sit-ups, push-ups and jumping jacks. You can forget your fancy workout gear and can use your body weight to your advantage.
PAUL: It’s the old school of fitness, the most natural way of being in shape. For beginners, free-hand exer-cises have to be modified as their muscles are not strong enough.
SKIPPING DIETS: Instead of the Atkins and the Dukan diets, people will stick to healthy eating habits as they will soon realise that fads don’t work in the long run.
PAUL: I would recom-mend balanced food, nutri-tion and proper workout as the most recommended fitness mantra.
TECHNOLOGY AND WELLNESS: There are too many apps, computer programmes and websites for beginners and fitness experts to track their programmes regularly.
PAUL: It’s the best possible motivational factor in fitness, besides enhancing your performance.
ONLINE FITNESS CLASSES: There is no dearth of fitness videos and how-to’s online. Websites likeYogaGlo, StreamFIT and SpiroFit offer live or streaming online workouts, classes, and training sessions.
PAUL: Though it is a thriving trend, I wouldn’t recommend it as it comes with issues. Injuries, muscle loss, back problems are the minor ones.