On the Below are the essential non-negotiable components of any fitness regime. Any fitness schedule that misses out for any one of these six components would be incomplete. Overemphasizing is one over the other is also wrong as a balanced approach has to be taken. “Moderation” and “Consistency” are the keys.
All one needs is max 1 hour/day which you should have definitely been able to find. Based on my own experience and some literature and books that I read I have tried to sum up the basics of these components below.
1. Strength Training
What is it and Why it matters:- First let us understand what it is not about that. It is often to misunderstood as bulking up and building 6-packs abs. So most people feel like that they don’t really need it. WRONG!
It is actually defined as a type of anaerobic physical exercises that by the use of resistance specializes in
>Increasing the Muscular Fitness (Increases muscle strength, muscle mass, and size)
>Increasing Bone Strength and bone density
>Increasing Tendon and Ligament Strength
>Improving Joint Function
Apart from these benefits in aids in health improvement, increases metabolism, aids in fat loss, overall fitness levels, improved lipid profile (improves the good cholesterol) etc.
Hence it is an absolutely critical component.
How you can do It:- One has the following options to do it.
• At Gym using various types of equipment:- You can perform it at a GYM. All you need to make sure is that you should need to have a good sensible trainer.
You may do it for 2-3 times/week for an hour each.
• At Home using Resistance band:- This is another option which that you may perform at your home. You can order the band online (Cosco is a good brand), some good videos (10 min-30 min) are available online to learn and do the exercises along with the video. Convenience is better in this option but the drawback is that you won’t have good control of the exact amount of resistance. But it can be done on a day when you look for some light strength sessions.
• At Home using dumbbells:- If you know the basics right you may perform the entire exercises that you do on equipment in a Gym at your home only. You can do good variations with just a set of 2 and 5 kgs of dumbbells using a proper form and by doing the moves slowly. This can be started at any age by using a proper set of 2 Kg dumbbells and is often a most neglected part.
• At Home using Body weight:- There are 5 basic strength exercises – Push Up, Pull Up, Dips, Sit-ups, and Squats are key to overall strength. Rather than working on isolated muscles they work on large muscle groups on our body. You can do these in conjunction with band/dumbbells or standalone also. You can also do this exercises like Lunges, Mountain Climbers, bridges etc.
Do not forget to warm up before you start the strength training sessions. You may like to be wind up with a 5 min stretching session.
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2. Cardio Exercises
What is it and Why it matters:- Cardio is any form of exercise/activities that are designed to work the cardiovascular system that raises your heart rate and breathing and consequently an increase in the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the body for an extended period of times.
Getting your body to sweat also helps you to release toxins that would otherwise it can build up in your tissues. The benefits from is weight loss, improved Heart health, improved Lung health, improved stamina, improved immunity, stabilized blood pressure, increased energy levels, more active and dynamic lifestyle, reduced mood swings and many other things.
How you can do it:- You may be enjoyed any of the below/club them/etc. to get the benefits. Go for a variety rather than repeating the same all the times.
• Fast Walking/Light Jogging:- Just go to a park nearby and enjoy a fresh unpolluted morning air, get some sunlight and do fast walk/light jog to start the day.
• Treadmill /Elliptical machine/stationary cycling:- Good for that rainy season
• Cycling:- You may incorporate the use of a bicycle to go to nearby places etc.
• Swimming:- One of the best cardio exercises. Just use google and caps to avoid the chlorine side effects.
• Aerobic Dance Workouts:- On Youtube, you have some good videos that you may see and go along.
• P-T exercises:- Remember the school days. Those exercises can still be incorporated.
• Stair climbing:- Avoid lifts and take stairs.
• Rope Jumping:- Good if you enjoy it.
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3. Flexibility Exercises
What is it and Why it matters:- Flexibility can be defined as the ability of our joints and body parts to execute their full range of motion. Flexibility deteriorates rapidly with a sedentary lifestyle and without the adequate flexibility, you are more prone to injuries and with tight muscles, daily activities become difficult to perform.
We create body movements and posture habits which is tend to reduce joint mobility. The benefits of flexibility exercises which are less back pain, increased the range of motion, injury prevention, improved circulation, less stress, better posture, and confidence.
A flexible body is a flexible spine ultimately which leads to a flexible mind which is more adaptive. Practicing Yoga Asana daily is the most perfect and easiest way to obtain a flexible body and a clear mind It would help one to tone the muscles, skeletal system, nourish the body tissues and burn fat.
It is excellent for all the internal organs and various yoga asanas target specific parts and organs of the body like vertebra, Joints, neck, shoulder, heart, lungs, kidney etc. It also improves your balance both physical and emotional.
How you can do it:- As I have already written above that YOGA ASANAS are the most perfect way to flexibility. You don’t have a need to do complicated postures at all, just simple basic stretching asanas have to be done with awareness of breath.
You really have to be at ease during each of posture and you shouldn’t feel any pain. One very good 22-minute video is that of a sequence called “Padma Sadhana” which consists of 12 yoga asanas, it is taught in Art of living advance course but can be easily practiced by anyone.
You can also learn asanas from any yoga instructor near your place, but you can learn simple asanas yourselves by watching videos. Below are some common asanas which you can simply google it will help you during asanas:-
Asana dailynas:– Ardha Halasana, Sethu Bandhasana, Naukasana, Makarasana, Salabhasana, Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Kativakrasana and shavasana
• Sitting Asanas:- Vrajrasana, Parvatasana, Shashankasana, Marjariasana, Vyaghrasana, Janu Shirshasana, Gomukhasana, Padmasana, Budhkonasana and Adho Mukh Shvanasana.
• Standing Asanas:- Tadasana, Pristhasana, Padahastasana, Vriksasana, Natarajasana, Utkatasana, Trikonasana, Veer Bhadrasana, Konasana and Kati chakrasana.
4. Breathing Exercises
What is it and Why it matters:- Breathing is an exercise which basically an activity that would involve taking breaths consciously. Every emotion has an impact on our breath for example when we are happy and relaxed we breathe deeply when we are in anger we automatically take short breaths etc.
Now our motive is that to control these emotions/feelings but we often find ourselves not able to keep them under control.
The best way to achieve this is through a control of breath, when we do breathing exercises and learn conscious breathing we are able to control our emotions as well, it is like a remote control to our emotions. If we observe ourselves there are two types of actions are
Voluntary actions are the ones which that we do consciously like talking, walking, moving our hands, eating drinking etc.
Involuntary actions are the actions that are taken care of by the conscious energy that resides within us like a conversion of oxygen to carbon dioxide by our cells, digestion of food, pumping of blood to our heart, all cellular actions etc.
The thing with the breath is that when we are not aware of it, it is involuntary but when we become aware of it and start breathing with awareness it becomes voluntary and we can control it.
Hence it was a transit between Voluntary to Involuntary, Known to Unknowable, manifested to Unmanifested it is a jump into the divine. Hence breathing exercises or pranayama have found a unique place in our Vedas, yoga sutras and more recently in Medical Science as well.
Our lung function is an obviously improved and more quantity of oxygen reaches and nourishes every single cell that restores health, youthfulness, and cheerfulness.
How you can do it:- It’s may be classified as the nature of breaths we take.
• Slow/deep/long breaths eg Anulom Vilom & Nadi Shodhan (Alternate Nostril Breathing), Deep Ujjayi Breaths,3- Stage Pranayama, Simple Deep Breathing, Abdominal Breathing
• Short/rapid/quick blasts of breaths.
• Cyclic rhythm including a blend of both.
What is it and Why it matters:- Meditation is actually “Doing Nothing” and practice where an individual uses a technique. You just sit with eyes closed and just as a witness observe your own thoughts without judging anyone without comparing without imagining, and without labeling.
It gives us a deep rest, far deeper than what sleep offers you. Meditation makes you more Dynamic through your ideas, more lively, more focused, improves your concentration, improves your happiness quotient, highly raises your healing power. Other benefits are
• Keeps you stress free
• Reduces aging
• Helps you to appreciate life more
• Helps you feel more connected
• Improves Brain Function
• Helps you give good sleep
• Increases Immunity
• Increases your awareness and attention
• You gain control over your mind
In this 10 minutes, you would realize that how our mind exaggerates and magnifies small problems in life and that you have immense potential to face all challenges of life. The most important realization is that occurs the actually no incidence or no person or no situation is joyous or sorrowful, it is actually the “SELF-TALK” that we do with ourselves is the source of joy/misery.
After that even when the situations come which tend to make you tensed/stressed by positive self-talk you increase the power of the self and don’t let the negative talks of mind overpower you.
We develop love and compassion with others and let go with our habit of Criticizing, complaining and comparing.
How you can do it:- Meditation should be practiced daily for around 10 minutes with the aim of reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and pain, and increasing peace, perception, self-concept, and well-being. Some guided meditations are available online. You just need to listen to and let go.
You don’t have to do anything, you just listen and relax. Initially guided for meditations are beneficial, slowly once you get the basics you may not actually need them. You can simply sit and meditate. Just remember that it is not a concentration, it is de-concentration.
We just have to make a schedule for yourself and then stick to it remembering that “ Self Discipline” is the only thing that makes someone miserable/blissful, healthy/unhealthy, a strong/week.
6. A Balanced Diet
What is it and Why it matters:- Just remember that the basic fact that “You are what you eat”. You should need to get all your macronutrients (carbohydrate, Protein ,fat and water) and all your micronutrients (Vit A, Vit B Complex (B1,B2,B3,B5,B6,B7,B9 and B12),Vit C, Vit D, Vit E,Vit K,calcium,magnesium,iron,zinc,selenium,phosphorus etc ) in order to allow your body to function optimally. I would advise just spend an hour on the internet and surf about these nutrients.
How you can do it:- First let us discuss some basic points related to diet:-
• Mindful eating and chewing each bite till it turns liquid: – Eat mindfully with thankfulness and chew each bite at least 64 times that enhances digestion and nutrient absorption.
• Avoid all Fried Products like (Samosa, Vada, Pakoda, Papad etc.), All Maida products-Bread , Paw , Naan , Tandoori Roti made of Maida , Bakery Products , Maggi ,Noodles etc., All Packet Food- Farsana , Mixtures , Chips , Kurkure, Ready to eat products , etc., All Fast Food- Pizza , Burger ,sauces, Junk Food , Hotel Food ,KFC, Mcdonald’s, Chinese Food etc. All the Fatty Food-Butter, Cream, Peanut Butter, Nutrilite, Mayonnaise etc
And especially for phenytoin, you should have to stay away from all sodas and cold drinks also.
• Refined White Sugar:- This is the most dangerous food item for our shelves. It is rightly termed as a “White Poison” by nutrition experts. Completely eliminate the use of refined white sugar.
Date Syrup, Honey and Jaggery are better alternatives for containing important nutrients, although they should also be consumed within limits as they have high Glycemic Index.
Avoid All sugar Products Like – Sweets, Cold Drinks, Chocolates, Biscuits, Ice-creams, Pastries, Cakes, Tea, Coffee etc.
• Fruits:- Include seasonal fruits as a part of your daily food list. Definitely includes Guava or Peru (for highest Vitamin C), Awla (for highest antioxidants), Carrot ( for highest vitamin A) daily. Additionally have fruits like pomegranate ,oranges,papaya,banana,apple etc. You should aim for 2-3 servings/day
• Grains:- Go for variety, that doesn’t restrict you to just one. Ideally, try to have at least one grain only once per day. Have wheat, brown rice, white rice, wheat, ragi, Makai.
• Pulses and Legumes:- Select from wide variety of Moong, masoor etc and beans like kidney beans soya beans, chickpeas etc as they are high in protein content.
• Omega 3 Fatty Acids:- It Extremely critical to be included in the diet on daily basis. Flaxseeds, Walnuts, Fish, and cod liver oil are good sources. You may occasionally use a cod liver oil supplement
• Acid-Alkaline balance:- It Almost all cooked food tend to have an acidic effect on the body. Try to include raw fruits and vegetables for daily to restore the balance.
• Seeds and Nuts:- It Include them daily in your diet plan. Remember to soak the nuts (including peanut ) as unsoaked nuts have a very high amount of phytates that interfere in Iron absorption.
Nuts – Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts, Dates, Raisins,
Seeds – Flax Seeds, Sesame seeds(in winter), Sunflower seeds, Chia seeds, Basil seeds, Pumpkin seeds.
Include some roasted gram (Chana), Sattu drink and a handful of Sprouts in your daily diet plan.
• Cooking Oil:- You should Never use a single cooking oil all the time. Use a blend of cooking oils, have only one for breakfast, another for lunch and another for dinner. You should Aim for varieties of which one is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, one high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and one which has both in balance. Just see the labels of the cooking oil. Use an olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, mustard oil, groundnut oil, safflower oil, rice bran oil, coconut oil etc and keep shuffling between them. The daily intake should be restricted. Ghee can be also used wisely in some quantity. The important thing is that to remember never eat FRIED foods and cook vegetables in less quantity of oil.
• Ayurvedic Herbs:- It is used for herbs in medicinal form occasionally to boost immunity. Eg Tulsi, Neem, Triphala, Ashwagandha, Guduchi etc.
• Veg Vs Non-Veg:- It’s totally a personal choice. Whilst Non-Veg food is rich sources of nutrients like protein and iron they do have an array of drawbacks. One has to decide for himself. I benefited hugely by switching to being vegetarian from part 3-4 years.
Needless to mention that in the above list that Alcoholic Products, Cigarettes, Tobacco etc. are a Big NO! Remember that our body is the temple where God resides in the form of our soul/consciousness/energy whatever we may like to call it.
We are all divine beings and this body is a precious miraculous gift from divinity to us, that we should never disrespect it by the intake of such products. “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey, we are just spiritual beings on a human journey” hence the best way to show gratitude to divinity is by taking care of your body!
The above components if integrated properly would surely raise the self-healing on abilities of your body. Just have faith that there is a cosmic intelligence that has been fine-tuned the entire universe. mass of the electron, gravitational constant, electromagnetic constant, distance between earth and sun, the composition of air that we breathe and millions of such parameters had to be exactly the same as they are been for you and me to exist. Within our cells lies the same way to intelligence that is driving billions of galaxies.
For each cell has the same intelligence by which it is able to perform such complicated functions with such an ease. Each cell in the body is like a universe in itself.
This intelligence is working for all the time within you and can definitely re fine-tune the parameters of your body that have gone out of order. Just set your priorities right way and you can surely manage one hour/day, let these things be an integral part of your life like you brush your teeth, you bath these are also shall be included in your daily routine.