• I took to running as a defence mechanism. A fiercely independent 20-something-year-old, I’d just moved back in with my parents. I’ve always led an active lifestyle, but this is when I discovered short bouts of exercise. Every time things got too heated, I’d put on my shoes and make a run for it. Quite literally! About 20 minutes and 3 km later, my parents would once again be the best parents in the world, all woes forgotten.


    Research backs what has been my lived experience. A 2017 study at the Center for Neural Science, New York University, which examined the haemodynamic response of the cerebral cortex to exercise, revealed a single bout of exercise decreases reaction time, improves motor learning, boosts memory, helps bust stress and improve mood. It also found, exercise leads to increased levels of an endocannabinoid called anandamide, literally the ‘bliss chemical’. Endocannabinoids are lipids produced by the body, known to have an opiate effect on the mind, the colloquial ‘runner’s high’, and are released when we exercise or indulge in something we love.


    All this, besides the most common reasons to get moving: Losing weight, getting stronger, increased energy levels, better sleep, healthier skin, improved bone density and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. If you’re looking for motivation, or wondering where to start or how to level up, we’ve got you covered. At Athlos, we believe in functionality, getting more out of less. So if you’re looking to get the most out of your regime, read on.

    How active is
    active

    An active lifestyle is about movement, and making little swaps. Take the stairs, for instance.


    Little secret: Climbing stairs works the same muscles as squats. Make sure you stand and take a few steps every hour. Uninterrupted sitting has been known to trigger insulin release and inammation. According to a January 2023 study, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, a 5-minute walk for every 30 minutes of uninterrupted sitting could regulate blood sugar and lower systolic blood pressure.


    There’s no one size fits all. Any amount of movement has its own set of benets. "Analyse your current lifestyle and then set your goal," recommends Deepak Oberoi, founder of Bombay Running

    How to start
    and stay
    consistent

    Set small goals, irrespective of your fitness levels:


    A dash around the park, five sets of Surya Namaskar first thing in the morning, 10 squats in your coffee break. An active lifestyle is about habit building, and not just the big workouts. Try the rule of 100: Hundred hours a year or 18 minutes a day, helps weave the habit into your everyday life and makes you better at it.


    Rest is fuel for consistency. The science is clear: Poor sleep is an impediment to an active lifestyle. "You can train all you like, but if your sleep schedule is not in place, you will not progress," Oberoi concurs. ‘Your body is not a machine.’

    Why and how to
    level up

    Why and
    how to
    level up

    There needs to be growth in your exercise,’ says Oberoi.


    Progression provides continued stimulus to your muscles. ‘You need to finnd balance and a gradual upwards graph,’ explains Oberoi. For basic activities, like climbing stairs, you can add a resistance band or ankle weights. Increasing reps or hold timing are great, but it helps to work with a coach. "An experienced coach can take you through the changes you need to make, guide you on when to train and when to rest, as well as how to work around your injuries," confirms Oberoi.

    How
    to improve your
    performance

    How
    to improve your
    performance

    For any form of exercise to give you maximum benefits, while staving off injuries, you need to focus on form and posture. A plank will only help you when you’ve engaged your core correctly. ‘At Bombay Running, we focus on injuries and form correction,’ stresses Oberoi. "You don’t have to run fast," adds his colleague Priyanca Walanju. "Many believe if you run fast, you’re fit. But that’s not true. It’s like Mathematics: Get your tables down, and you can solve any problem—get your form and gait correct, and you can take on any pace."

    How to train for a goal?


    Oberoi recommends dividing the year into three parts, of four months each.

    - The first is maintenance mode, when you work on your weaknesses and around your injuries.

    - The second is base training, when you’re building strength

    - And the final part is quality training, when you work towards an event or a goal. If you hit a plateau, take a break. ‘Alter your training,’ Oberoi clarifies



    How to
    select the
    right kit

    When you look the part, you’re halfway home. Great workout wear is critical to getting the most out of your workout, while comfortable athleisure helps you squeeze the most activity into your day. The right gear should be lightweight and breathable. If you’re aiming for heavy workouts, it should be quick drying and temperature regulating. For long wear, look for something that’s soft on the skin, tenacious, smooth and stretchy.



    How
    to select
    the right
    kit

    When you look the part, you’re halfway home. Great workout wear is critical to getting the most out of your workout, while comfortable athleisure helps you squeeze the most activity into your day. The right gear should be lightweight and breathable. If you’re aiming for heavy workouts, it should be quick drying and temperature regulating. For long wear, look for something that’s soft on the skin, tenacious, smooth and stretchy.



    GLO

    An online yoga programme, Glo has 14 different styles of yoga, including restorative, pre- and post-natal, Ashtanga and Yin yoga, with workouts of varying intensity and time.

    Connect

    FITTR

    With a 5 million-strong global community, Fittr offers fitness, nutrition and rehab programmes. The app also affords you a calorie counter, a step tracker, a workout tracker and water reminders.

    Connect

    BOMBAY RUNNING

    Online communities you can be part of Bombay Running. Bombay Running also has an online crew. ‘You don’t have to be a runner to be part of the community,’ says Oberoi. ‘Once you join us, you will become a runner, eventually.

    Connect

    SOHFIT

    A 20000+ strong community, SOHFIT aims to make fitness fun through a bunch of offline (Mumbai-based) and online training programmes and challenges.

    Connect

    FITNESS TO FLASH

    A body-positive and age-inclusive Facebook community, Fitness to Flash provides women with a safe space to share their achievements as well as start conversations about their unique challenges. They curate challenges (paid as well as free), besides offering personal training plans to meet your fitness goals.

    Connect

    STRAVA

    Our favourite fitness apps Strava Popular with cyclists and runners, this GPS-enabled app allows you to track your activity, connect with others and join challenges.

    Connect

    SWEAT

    With structured programmes and a variety of workout options with varying intensity, Sweat allows you to set fitness goals and work towards them.

    Connect
  • Comments on this post (2 comments)

    • Venkat fitness says...

      I am inspired with your post writing style & how continuously you describe this topic online fitness training

      On September 27, 2023

    • Venkat fitness says...

      I am inspired with your post writing style & how continuously you describe this topic online fitness training

      On September 27, 2023

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