Work(out) From Home: Resistance Training

Resistance training is a mode of exercise which helps improve muscle strength and endurance. One of the ways to do this is by the use of weights. Now, obviously, you might be wondering, “How do I manage this unless I go to the gym?” For someone who has to travel a lot for work, a gym membership is something which is not a viable option. Also, in this time of crisis, staying indoors is the best way to flatten the curve. That means working out at home for the next 21 days at minimum. So, here’s a quick workout which can make this period of home quarantine a bit more palatable. All you need is a set of dumbbells and you’re good to go. No dumbbells? No problem! You can make use of filled 1 litre water bottles instead.

The Routine…Ready, set, go!

1. Body-weight squats

2. Body-weight push-ups: 5 sets x 10

3. Sit Ups: 5 sets x 10

4. Goblet Squats: 3 sets x 15

5. Bent over row: 3 sets x 15

6. Combined shoulder press: 3 sets x 15

7. Floor dumbbell press (chest): 3 sets x 20

8. Bicep curl: 3 sets x 15

9. Single hand triceps extension: 3 sets x 15 each arm.

Go boredom, boredom go!

As we prepare to buckle down and do our bit to fight Covid-19, working out at home can be a great stress buster, and help us keep a positive outlook. So let’s beat the boredom and the virus, from the safety of our homes.

Stay safe, stay healthy!

Verdant Visage

Blotted with specks of yellow,
a verdant visage.
Smiling, it greets the weary eye.
Awakening a dormant frenzy.
Refreshing the tired spirits,
of many a travel worn fellow.

The train trudges on,
tooting its blaring horn.
Cutting through many a sleepy hollow,
through paths serpentine.
Witness to these astounding environs.
And in their midst,
a sprawling sea of green and yellow.

Fitness on the go

Having a job that requires frequent trips in India and abroad may sound interesting to many. I mean who wouldn’t want to explore different regions of the country and the globe. The downside, of course, is that many times, you have to compromise on time spent with loved ones. Another highly pertinent area of concern is, “will this result in a break in the fitness regimen?” I for one have often faced the issue of getting back on track after hectic work trips.

So then what’s to be done? Here are some things to keep in mind so that fitness on the go becomes a regular and enjoyable affair.

Search for hotels with gyms

Many hotels offer gym facilities as a standard service. Now they may not exactly be as well equipped as your local gym, but they are sure to offer at least the basic requirements like free weights, treadmill(s), etc. So whenever I find accommodation which also has a gym, I make sure to try and get at least one session in for the duration of my stay. The more the merrier of course.

The great outdoors

Some of us may not have a choice in selecting the hotels that we stay in. For those of us who need to opt for budget hotels, selecting hotels with gym facilities may not be an option. Well, nothing to worry about, there will always be the option of running outdoors or working out in public parks. The first thing that I always do when I check-in is a google search for parks or any other places like lakefronts/ waterfronts which allow space for working out. Depending on how safe it is for pedestrians, you could also consider road-running. Body-weight exercises, HIIT are among the other options to consider. Outdoor training has the advantage of getting to see the beauty of nature, not to mention the chance to take Instagram worthy pictures!

Pack smart

I always make it a point to pack my running shoes, especially if I’m visiting a city like Ahmedabad which has a lovely promenade by the Sabarmati River. Yes, this tends to make packing tricky, especially if work-related items need to be carried as well. So it becomes prudent to pack smart and pack as light as possible. I know it isn’t the easiest thing to do sometimes, especially if it’s a long trip, but it always helps to think about how to fit in those extra pairs of shoes. In the absolute worst-case scenario, you may just have to carry an additional handbag.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

I can tell from personal experience, that there are days when you just don’t feel motivated enough to work out. Work stress and travel fatigue can at times lead to a state where you just want to hit the bed asap. Relax; it’s not the end of the world. Fitness is important but not at the cost of general health and well being. The idea is to try and get in as much physical activity as possible through the duration of the trip within the limits of our energy levels.  It isn’t at times possible to get in a workout every day given the hectic nature of some work trips. Don’t fret and just try and get back on track when you feel you’re sufficiently rested.    

As time goes by, working out while traveling will become second nature. Slowly, but surely, you will find that the boost in energy that comes with it is a bonus which elevates the quality of the trip in general.  

Building a Lasting Fitness Habit

Funny old thing, habits are. Picking up bad habits is easy as pie, but inculcating good habits is an oft laborious process. We know what’s good for us, but being masters of procrastination comes easy to the most of us. It’s true what they say, “Old habits die hard.” We just wish it would apply to the good ones and not just the bad ones.

The same thing applies to fitness. We all know physical activity is good for us, but can’t make time for it in the midst of our busy schedules. Our more or less sedentary lifestyles further complicate the issue.

Spoilt for choice.

The problem lies in the fact that we live in an era of information overload. The shiniest new workout trend is easily available on YouTube with workouts promising quick fat-loss, weight-loss etc. In this quest for quick results, we try too many things too soon and the end result? We give up thinking “Nah this is impossible!”

Keep it simple silly!

So start small. We don’t have to be kicking ass with a cross-fit workout or bench pressing 100 pounds right off the bat. It could be something as simple as walking for half an hour everyday, or doing 10 push-ups/ pull-ups/ surya namaskars. Or you could do Yoga. The point is, pick an activity which you feel like doing, and which fits best within your daily schedule.

Consistency over intensity.

The idea is to start slow and make sure that we are taking time to fit in the workout somewhere in the entire day. It may not have to be early in the morning, necessarily. Just have 10 minutes in the day to workout? No problemo! But make sure you keep at it every day at least for a month while of course not fretting over short-term gains. You will realise, that as time passes, you will start enjoying the process and in the bargain feel different i.e. better about yourself.

Long term v/s short term

Everything is, of course, relevant only if there is an end objective to it. The goal here is getting fitter, and as a bonus, losing weight. But nothing worth having comes easy.  We must consider that fitness is a journey with lots of twists and turns along the way, and anything which promises ultra quick results needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. 

The key to a happy life.

At the end of the day, if we are live well, we need to be fit to partake of all the wonders that life has to offer. Keeping up a daily fitness habit, no matter what activity you do, is one of the basic and simple, yet paradoxically, most dreaded exercise. Nevertheless, a healthy body is one of the main ingredients to living a full and happy life.