5 tips to improve your fitness routine
Overcoming workout blues is easier said than done, especially if you’ve spent the last few months cooped up indoors, on your couch, watching Netflix and giving into banana bread. But having a workout routine is important, especially since exercising keeps pesky seasonal flu at bay and boosts your mood. If you’re stuck in a rut and looking for some motivation to get moving, meet Sonali Swami. The 45-year-old athlete and Zumba instructor started weight training just eight years ago at the age of 37, and in 2016, won a bronze medal at the World Fitness Federation Asian Championship.
In the virtual edition of ELLE’s Masterclass on Instagram, Sonali chatted with ELLE’s Beauty and Health Director, Mamta Mody about how to stay motivated to workout. Here are her top 5 tips…
Believe in yourself
The first thing to do is to stop thinking of fitness as far off, unachievable miracle. “You have to begin by changing your mindset. Focus solely on yourself, ignore other people’s progress. Take it one day at a time and believe that you have the power to change your body,” explains Sonali.
Just show up
Don’t give in to laziness, “People think that workouts are effective only when they are an hour long. That’s a lie! Even 10 or 20 minutes of exercise is better than nothing,” she says. For fitness novices, Sonali recommends walking. “If you want to challenge yourself, just sit on your couch and get up [like you’d do squats]. This way, you will be working your legs which are a large muscle group,” she explains. Take up this exercise a notch higher by using water bottles as weights and increasing repetitions. Or, start by doing jumping jacks and if you have knee or ankle injuries, she suggests leg lifts.
Keep your mental health on track
This may be harder for some people explains Sonali, “We have to work towards identifying the signs of mental distress.” Irritation, anger and disturbed sleep are a few common symptoms of anxiety. “When I am feeling low, talking to a loved one and just sharing a cup of coffee with them helps me. Often in the everyday hustle, we miss out on the simple joys of life,” she adds. Take up a hobby that you like–even if you’re bad at it–as long as it makes you happy.
Understand that fitness is a lifestyle
Being healthy has to be a holistic process and little changes like getting enough sleep can have a major impact on your life. “Ideally, you should be getting all your macro and micronutrients as well as vitamins and minerals. The body needs to burn more calories to digest protein and carbs so make sure you get enough of those,” advises Sonali. She recommends working out three to five times a week.
Maintain gut health
If you are on a mission to be your fittest self, gut health is something you cannot afford to overlook. Good bacteria affects how our body absorbs nutrients from food, that’s why curd, Greek yoghurt, kimchi or fermented foods are often recommended as an essential part of our diet. Try Pure Nurtition’s Apple Cider Vinegar Plus to maintain gut health or even it’s Progut Plus. “It is rich in pre and probiotics that promote digestive health,” explains Sonali. She also recommends adding Pure Nutrition’s Noni Juice to your daily diet to detoxify your digestive system.