If you have crossed the 35+ age barrier and are struggling to lose weight then my series #BlogchatterA2Z: My secrets to health transformation is for you. Do take a look at the previous posts in this series and stay tuned for more.
In this post, I will be talking to you about how to fortify yourself before you begin your health transformation
Warning: Stay & read on only if you are interested in making a positive change to your life.
Else, now is a time to shut this blog, pick up a burger and laze while you play with your phone.
When I started my fitness journey, I wasn’t aware of many things – especially the things required to fortify myself before starting. I am hoping this post helps you.
Before you begin your health transformation journey:
Consult a health expert:
Nursing yourself back to health isn’t easy. Age, activity, mental state, level of activity, wear and tear of the body, lifestyle diseases etc – all need to be taken into consideration before you embark on this journey. Seeking the advice of a health expert is critical so that you get a clear picture and a road map to follow. Take your health seriously and work hand-in-hand with the health expert for assured success.
Decide on a fitness & diet routine & follow it
We are a society of astute planners who hardly implement what we plan. It is essential to decide whether sinful food, lack of exercise leading to health issues is going to be your preferred lifestyle. Its time you give yourself as much importance as you give your home, family and work. Following an unhealthy lifestyle will lead to bad health that will make you a burden to everyone you love. Decide and follow – NOW!
What did I do: During my initial days, I identified 1.5 hours in the evening from my extremely busy day. I ensured that my work, family commitments, meetings, conference calls etc. were done before or after this time slot. I treated this time as a meeting with myself – one that I won’t cancel.
Consume health supplements for immunity & strength
Your health expert will gauge your physical parameters and prescribe health supplements that will boost your immunity and strength. Depending on how your body repairs itself, you may also be advised accordingly.
What do I take: Multivitamins, Calcium (with Zinc & D3), Omega 3, Biotin. Recently I started Glutamine powder twice a day for muscle repair.
What are the must-haves before you begin your fitness journey?
Depending on what fitness regime your health expert prescribes, you will need to get the adequate gear before you begin. I started with aerobics & endurance training and after 6 months, I combined it with Pranayam & Yoga to aid lean muscle development. I used to cycle and walk often just for variation in the exercise routine to beat the boredom.
The list below is largely for a beginner level but can be used for medium and advance level also.
Headband to keep your hair away from your forehead and eyes
Whether you are a man or woman reading this post, one thing we all admit is that we all perspire during exercise. The droplets of perspiration finding their way down from the head to the face can be annoying. At the same time, for those with long hair, stray strands of hair always manage to wriggle out of the scrunchy and play with the face repeatedly.
What do I use: Locally made cotton headbands with elastic that offer a comfortable fit.
Dry fit or cotton t-shirt
Many new fitness enthusiasts don’t realise the importance of a dry-fit or cotton t-shirt. Their response is – anything will do – what is the difference? Well, just like you wear the appropriate dress for a wedding so also, you need to wear appropriate clothes for exercising. A dry fit or cotton t-shirt ensure that perspiration dries off quickly and you are not in discomfort during or after exercising.
What do I use: Initially, I used my husband’s cricket dry-fit t-shirts and later, as my sports participation increased, I started using the t-shirts that we got during those competitions.
Slim fit track pants or yoga pants that aid easy movement
I have been witness to many women wearing the salwar kameez tights below a t-shirt while walking or jogging. Worse still is when women wear their palazzos or salwars to walking track. We all need to understand that we are not young anymore and there is a reason why proper track pants or yoga pants are advised by fitness experts. Correct exercise pants offer the right support to the joints and muscles and aid easy movement. They ensure that perspiration dries up quickly and you are not in discomfort before or after your exercise regimen.
What do I use: Locally bought Slim fit track pants and yoga pants (dry-fit) that are specifically for this purpose.
Sports bra (for females)
I meet many middle-aged women who are starting their fitness journey and believe that a sports bra is a silly and unnecessary expenditure. Even when they do spend, they will choose the cheapest sports bra without bothering to find out whether it offers the right support.
A good sports bra aids proper movement and most importantly offers back support and breast support. A good sports bra helps prevent movement injuries and back pains.
What do I use: Initially I made the mistake of buying a cheap sports bra from the local vendor – it led to sagging of breasts and unnecessary bouncing during movement. I now use Triumph Medium-Impact Sports Bra.
Invest in joint supporters: knee, ankle, elbow, heel, wrist
This is an absolute must-have. Consider it as an investment to protect your weak joints. After the age of 35, the regular wear and tear of the body begin. When you begin to exercise after a long gap, the body will obviously revolt in protest. It is critical to invest in the right supporters for your knee, elbow, heel and wrist.
What did I use: During the initial days, I invested in a cheap knee supporter from the local chemist. After a while, I realised that it was important to get the right supporter if I wanted to protect my joints. Today, I own knee, elbow, ankle and wrist supporters that ensure that I can perform to my optimal level during exercise and sports. I bought them from an online shopping app after due diligence and checking with my physiotherapist.
Invest in the right shoes
A shoe has the power to make or break your health transformation journey. The correct shoe will give the required support to your entire body. The type of shoe varies depending on the type of activity and the support required.
We are the generation that has grown up thinking: A shoe is a shoe – what difference does it make? The truth is that it makes ALL the difference.
A friend of mine ignored my warnings and kept arguing that she didn’t want to spend on a shoe and hers was fine. She was almost 100 kgs and wore a basic canvas shoe at the fitness classes. She ended up being badly injured and invested three times the money in medicines, doctor’s visits and a maid to care for her and her family while she was down.
What do I use: I was surprised to find that most branded shoes come at affordable prices on shopping apps. I invested in those. Today I own separate shoes for cricket, throwball, running, badminton, throwball and aerobics. I bought these gradually as my fitness regime widened. I started off with normal Nike shoes for running.
Invest in the right socks
This one may come as a surprise to many beginners. What do socks have to do with health transformation? The right socks will ensure that your feet don’t smell, you steer clear of foot infections and most importantly they offer the right support to your ankle, heel and front of the foot. Invest in cotton socks that are specifically prescribed for the fitness activity that you are engaging in. You will be surprised at the long-term benefits of this investment.
What do I use: Locally made thick cotton socks for my sports activities and TEGO – Socks for aerobics.
Yoga Mat, Lightweights/ Thera band will help
Beginners must invest in a 6mm to 8 mm Yoga Mat, 1 kg weights and a low resistance thera band. Surely, this depends on the type of fitness routine that you are going to follow. However, these three things will aid your progress. Check with your fitness instructor on how to use them for maximum benefit. The yoga mat will help you with all the floor exercises, the weights and thera bands will help build strength and muscle.
What do I use: Locally-made stuff bought from online shopping sites.
Buy a sturdy gym bag
Water bottle, dry-fit jacket, napkin, fruit, light snack, your phone, earphones, weights, socks, protein shake, extra pair of clothes and toiletries need to be kept in a sturdy bag. There are loads of amazing varieties available in the market. In reality, any bag will do provided it has many pockets to hold all your stuff.
What do I use: A basic quick-dry bag pack.
Here’s a quick recap for you :).
Go ahead and print it and use it as a checklist.
What’s my Story?
I am 43 years old, working mother of two lovely kids, sportsperson and fitness freak. Two years ago, a statement by my son changed my life and I set out on the path to fitness. I was extremely unhealthy, always fatigued, obese and looked like Humpty Dumpty. Today, the shelves at my home are decorated with medals and trophies that I won at sporting events over the past two years.
Stay with me throughout April 2020 as I take you through #BlogchatterA2Z: My secrets to health transformation.
Do you have any questions? Do drop in your suggestions and queries. I would love to respond.
Dear Reader: You must know that I am not a healthcare expert and nor am I posing to be one through this series. I am sharing my personal experiences and journey. I urge you to speak to your healthcare professional before trying anything in this series.