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Tips to build a healthy body at home

Contributed by Pavithra N Raj, Chief Dietician, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur

While it’s been almost more than a month of lethargic days of lockdown in India. Staying at home all day with lack of physical activity and exercise, too much of snacking and enjoying variety of special dishes cooked at home. Finally unwinding the day watching TV late night.

So, time is up to get back to normal routine burning some calories consumed, shaping up the body making it fit and healthy. Exercising regularly is important to prevent body stiffness, back pain and neck pain. So, taking out 30 min of time for exercise is as important as healthy eating.

There are exercises which can be done at home to tone the muscles, burn some calories and reduce weight. The exercise can be split into four major categories:

  • Warm up: simple stretching exercise will do. Stretching is important to prevent cramping, muscle aches and muscle pain. Stretching reduces the possibility of muscle soreness.
  • Cardio: walking or running around the house or in the terrace, rope jumping, stand jogging, straits up and down.
  • Resistance training: these can be divided into
  • Squats and lunches: these are the exercise which can be done to tone the legs (front and back muscles)
  • Crunches, abs and planks: these exercises are done for midsection to tone the abdominal muscles.
  • Push ups: this is complete upper body exercise for muscle building of chest, shoulder, triceps.
  • Finally, if one is interested, they can do triceps for back arms keeping a chair or sofa support
  • Cooling down or flexible exercise: like warmup stretching at the end of workout is important to cool down the muscles and to avoid body pain. Where in yoga (surya namaskar) can also be included.

So, what are the changes to be done in the eating habits:

  • Start restricting the carbohydrates which is adding on empty calories. Avoid simple sugar, maida, corn-starch, polished rice, sweets, alcohol etc.

Include carbs like banana, sweet potato before work out to give instant energy and induce good sources of carbs like avocado, corns, paneer, yogurt, dates, raisins, oats etc

  • Gradually start increasing the protein intake in each meal. And some studies have shown that for more than 15 hours if a person doesn’t consume enough protein body starts losing muscles.

Include egg whites, chicken (in the form of steamed, boiled, grilled or soups), lentils and dal, nuts (almond and walnuts), milk and milk products (paneer and a slice of cheese occasionally)

  • Take only sufficient amount of fat – include good sources of fat like fish, nuts (almond and walnut) oil seeds (pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds)
  • Salad and vegetables: include as much and vegetables possible in the diet both in raw and cooked form. Try avoiding starch vegetables on regular basis.
  • Fruits: fruits are rich in vitamin, minerals, fibre and water content. Try and include antioxidant and seasonal fruits.
  • Hydration: drinking sufficient amount of liquids includes water, buttermilk, soups, tender coconut water, lemonade freshly prepared, cucumber mint juice, infused water (cucumber, mint, lemon)
  • Salt: lot of people tend to avoid salt during workout thinking that body starts retaining water. But while doing workout we tend to lose salt through sweat. So minimum amount of salt 6gm should be included to avoid cramp, tiredness and for electrolyte balance.
  • Fiber is one of the major foods which needs to be included to reduce the bad fats and helps loose weight. Try and include fiber rich cereals, pulses, vegetables and fruits which will add bulk to the diet and keeps you full for long too.

A healthy lifestyle keeps your body fit.

Basic meal plan where one can follow with good workout.

SUNRISE: 6:00am start your day with warm water 1 glass

+ 4 almond (presoaked and de skinned) and 10 raisins

6:30 am A banana before work out for instant energy

Work out from 7 am to 8 am

BREAKFAST: 8:30 am

Healthy breakfast – Egg whites 2 number (In any form boiled, omelet, scrambles, poached) – with any home cooked high protein breakfast like

Pesaratu or moong ka chilla Dosa or Dhokla

Or Porridge (Oats / Dalia) 1cup

With a glass of smoothie or milkshake like Avocado, Banana, muskmelon, mango no added sugar.

MIDMORNING: 11:00-11:30 am Buttermilk / Vegetable juice (Cucumber mint) / tender coconut water/ lemonade freshly prepared + 2 walnuts.

LUNCH: 1:00 – 1:30 pm

Chapathi 2 medium

Or Broken wheat (Dahlia) 1cup Or Millet Rice 1cup (Kichidi / Pulao / Besibela bath)

With dal 1cup (whole dal/soyabean/rajma/chole/soya-paneer)/ vegetables 2 cup (one green leafy vegetable), salad ½ cup, curds ½ cup

MID AFTERNOON: 3:00 – 3:30 pm 

To avoid sweet tooth post lunch, include – Cut Fruit- 100gm / A glass of smoothie or milkshake like Avocado, Banana, muskmelon, mango no added sugar.

SUNSET: 5:30-6:30 pm Vegetable Soup 1 cup / Boiled Sprouts ½ cup / Boiled egg white 2 in no./ Chicken soup

DINNER: 8:00-8:30 pm Chapathi Or Multigrain (wheat, ragi,jowar,Millets) dosa 2 medium+ Dhal ½  cup + Vegetable 1 cup + Salad ½  cup.

Or Porridge (Oats / Dalia) 1cup

Or Soups 1 cup