Posts for Fitness, Fitness related Category

Why Pilates?

Fitness, Fitness related - Anupriya kapur - November 30, 2017

As a blogger, I have been open to trying a lot of new things especially when it comes to any form of fitness activity. Even though I love CrossFit, I have been intrigued by Pilates for some time now. CrossFit involves high intensity workouts and I wanted to balance it with something which will slow me down. Now, by slowing I don’t mean easy but something which will involve more of me. And a couple of Pilates sessions at Red Mat Pilates later, I realise, how much focus and concentration it involves. It basically forces me to be only in the present and, with all the chaos, this is something I crave for.

So, what is Pilates?  It’s a form of exercise which concentrates on strengthening the body with an emphasis on core strength. Pilates concentrates on posture, balance and flexibility. In Pilates the chance of injury is much lower than with other more strenuous forms of exercise.

It can be done on a mat as well as the intimidating looking “reformer machine” but a reformer machine usually kicks in when you are a bit stronger. Even though you can do mat Pilates at home, a good instructor as per me is critical. A good instructor will not only guide you correctly but will ensure your posture and form is correct all the time. And I feel there is a certain segment which can really benefit from this form of exercise:

Beginners and inch loss – If you have been sedentary all your life and want to slowly get in to an exercise regime, this is a great option. Also, if you have been sedentary but want to take up running or pick up anything high intensity, then it will make a lot of sense. It will help you make a strong base and create better mobility, for more activities. Or for that matter if you are looking for something completely different from the regular yet targeting inch loss and toned body, then this is it for you (I would probably write about this again in a few months as I’m working towards toning my “mommy pouch”).

Rehab – Pilates exercises can be modified for each person and still be extremely effective. You can go from basic movements to very advanced, depending on how you need to progress or how badly you are injured. At Red Mat Pilates, I have seen patients recovering from knee replacement surgeries and get stronger every day. And many people with severe back ache issues completely recover.

Injured/burnt out from another activity – I know the previous category is rehab and this should be the same yet I choose to segregate it. Let’s be honest, the number of running, biking and CrossFit related injuries in India are on a rise. And Pilates is a great way to keep building your core while you can’t do other activities. It will also take care of the frustration one feels when you are unable to do much.

Mental well-being –  When exercising such as in the gym or running, you are so engrossed that it takes your mind off all things that weigh you down on a day to day basis. You’ll be more focused on your breathing and on the moves that you are making with your body. It is an excellent way to relieve stress. Any form of physical activity helps cope with depression and even better is one which forces you to be in the moment.

Older people – Pilates is gentle on the joints and focuses on controlled breathing and quality of movement and not quantity of repetitions. As per Taru, Co-founder and Chief Instructor at Red Mat Pilates, “Pilates teaches control and stability in a small range of motion, graduating to a larger range of motion as they gain control and confidence. Increased control and stability is crucial for older adults as it can help them improve much of their functional movement, including balance and posture.”

Collaborative/Combining it with running and CrossFit – Having been a runner and now a Crossfitter for a while, I can very confidently say that both forms would benefit greatly if you include Pilates in your routine. Running requires good core strength especially uphill and Crossfitters can benefit from not only core strength but the functional mobility that comes along with Pilates.

In case you are in Gurgaon, you can join Red Mat Pilates. To know more, you can call Sonal at 9711572656 or drop in your details at http://www.redmatpilates.com for a call back.

 

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5 reasons to be a fit mom

Fitness, Fitness related - Anupriya kapur - October 26, 2017

This article has been written by me and published in The Hindu on 9th October, 2017.

When you start working out for the first time in your life, the revelations that good health bring are magical. It’s not about dragging yourself through a workout in the hope of losing some weight; it’s about loving the time you spend doing it. When I started running, it helped me literally run away from the insecurities of being a stay-at-home mom. When I ran my first full marathon, I knew that if I could run 42 km, I could do a lot more in life. Exercise helps unleash your potential, as these moms say. Continue Reading

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Mamaearth Apple Cider Vinegar and Stress Relief Tea Review

Fitness, Fitness related, Reviews - Anupriya kapur - October 17, 2017

It might sound like a cliche but I have recently discovered again that as we get older how we stop trying new things. The ‘I know better’ syndrome gets the better of all of us but just once in a while, we should make it a habit to try something new. I discovered this recently when I thought that I had tried all types of infusion/green/medicinal tea over the years when Mamearth sent me package with their Stress Relief Tea and Apple Cider vinegar (more on that later) and I had two cups of it without giving it much thought. When I woke up the next morning I felt fresh and because my sleeping pattern has been erratic lately, also pleasantly surprised. But I hadn’t made the connection with tea yet. It only occurred to me later in the afternoon that it might have been because of the tea so I decided to try it again. As it turns out it wasn’t really a coincidence because I gave it to my father to test and he exactly that feedback. And I slept well three nights in a row! Continue Reading

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Lifelong Foot massager and Body Massager Review

Fitness, Fitness related - Anupriya kapur - October 6, 2017

As a runner and someone who works out on a regular basis, I understand the importance of a good massage. A foot massage is great to relieve pain, reduce stress and anxiety, rehabilitate injuries and boost general health. The only problem is that I’m unable to get it done regularly as it involves money, time and effort (I’m not fond of driving around in Gurgaon!). And I will be honest, a lot of times I find most massage parlours shady and the good ones are way too expensive for me. So, when I received the Lifelong Foot Massager for review, I leapt at the opportunity. Continue Reading

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What keeps me going

Fitness, Fitness related - Anupriya kapur - September 1, 2017

Quite often I get messages asking me to write about what keeps me motivated to continue my workouts. And I have never written about it because I always thought my reasons are the same as anyone else’s or that others might find my reasons too trivial. Basically, I have had my share of inhibitions in sharing them but I also understand that it’s unfair to my blog not to.

Not too long ago, I used to struggle to workout until it finally became a part of my routine and there is so much I have gained from being physically fit that there is no other way I would have it. Come to think of it, that in itself is one of the reasons which keeps me motivated. Here are a few more.

1) My son – I started taking care of my health for the first time after two years of giving birth to my son. I hated falling sick again and again. I feel it’s my responsibility to be strong and healthy, only then I can take care good care of him. An added advantage is that I also get to lead by example. Continue Reading

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You are still a runner

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Running Related Injuries - Anupriya kapur - August 4, 2017

The best part about running as a recreational sport is that it is inclusive. That probably explains its popularity the world over. Anybody can run, it’s that simple. And the more runners I meet, I realise how therapeutic it is and how it forces you to take note of yourself. For me, it was as if I connected with myself for the first time when I started running. Even pregnancy had failed to do that for me. However, nowadays it also comes with a lot of noise and commotion. There is pressure of what races are you signing up for, your finish time, how much you are running in a week etc. It feels good initially as a new runner but slowly the pressure builds up. Of course, it’s great if you want to improve continuously and important to strength train to remain injury free but it’s not ok to constantly compare yourself with others. Continue Reading

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A Healthy Start to The Day

Fitness, Fitness related - Anupriya kapur - June 27, 2017

I had always taken my well-being for granted until I got pregnant, that too in the last trimester as I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. My whole outlook towards food changed during that time as it was the first time I understood the importance of eating right. Yes, eating right and not eating less.

The most important meal of the day is when we break our 8-10 hour fast, this meal is breakfast. Yes, having breakfast is important, but what’s more important is having a healthy one. Regular breakfast consumption has proved to have plenty of benefits especially for children. It includes improved attention, problem-solving skills and better comprehension during reading & listening. In adults it may help in reducing risk of hypertension and diabetes. Eating breakfast regularly keeps our weight in control, and prevents us from binging on high calorie foods when we have started our day in full josh and a satisfied tummy. Continue Reading

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Off to the races

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - June 15, 2017

This article was first published on The Hindu on June 12th, 2017.

I started recreational running when I lived in the Philippines. I explored the sport there for two years before moving back to India. I was still fairly new at it and running here wasn’t very big, so it was a weekly activity and a bunch of runners would get together, decide a route and just run.

But slowly, the scene started evolving. As did I, as a runner. From the running events that excited me in the Philippines, to the ones that made me dash out to register when I had just moved to India, to the ones that get me going now, are all very different. It really depends on the stage of life you are in, how long you have been running, and your personal goals, among other things. However, with a run almost every fortnight, especially in our bigger cities, choosing the one which is right for you can still be a tough decision. If you are new to running or new to participating in organised events, here are some tips to help you pick the best ones to start. Continue Reading

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Why Strength training is important specially for girls

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul - Anupriya kapur - June 8, 2017

I remember the time when Maine Pyaar Kiya was such a rage and all the boys I knew then, including my brothers, wanted to do push ups, one hand push ups and weighted push ups. I somehow don’t remember a single girl or I wanting to do the same. As if push ups were only a thing for boys. And it got me thinking how we never expected our girls to be strong. While calluses and bruises would be a mark of pride for boys, the same are frowned up for girls.

I lived almost 30 years of my life being under-confident and hating myself. I used to be a hyper, playful and adventurous girl till about 5th grade, post which something changed. I spent the rest of my growing years trying to please others and ensuring that I look pretty. And while there is absolutely no harm in looking pretty, but I was trying to look pretty for others and live by their standards of pretty. And when I look back and realise what has changed over the last few years that I feel better and confident in my own skin, then it has a lot to do with how strong I feel physically. It started with running, being outdoors and now CrossFit. The stronger I grow physically, the less I feel the need to look pretty. I don’t have to pretend to be confident anymore and saying “no” when required comes more easily. And I have listed down some reasons why I think every girl and woman should strength train, actually everyone should. Continue Reading

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The Dark Side

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - May 30, 2017

One of the biggest revelations during my recovery period from injury last year was that I had become obsessed with running. It was bordering an unhealthy obsession. The very thing that had given me my self worth was now controlling it. I started feeling worthless when I didn’t or couldn’t run. And that wasn’t right as “I’m a runner” didn’t define me wholly. That’s why, when I joined CrossFit to strength train, I already knew where to draw the line. To keep it 3 times a week, an hour each was my goal and I have stuck to it happily. It’s a method I have chosen now to stay fit and running will forever be for the soul.

When I look back and look around, I realise that there is a fine line between passion and an unhealthy obsession. And when I say an unhealthy obsession, it’s nothing to do with the distances one wants to train for. I have met enough and more passionate runners training for 160km and yet take life as it comes. While I have written a lot of fun articles on running and some on how running transforms you as a person (read here), this one might come across as a little harsh.

Here are some signs I really think one must watch out for and it’s not limited to running, biking or CrossFit –

1) Getting irritated if you miss a run or workout because one of the family member is sick. It might seem extreme but I have known someone who was going crazy because she missed her gym for 5 days as her child was sick.

2) When rather than being at peace, you feel life has come to a halt when, for some reason, you are unable to run longer duration.

3) You push yourself to train despite being constantly fatigued or severely injured. “No pain, no gain” isn’t always true. I did that because that’s the only thing I knew and then paid a price for it. Wearing knee pads and continuing to run rather than taking a break to fix that knee, can be really harmful in the long run.

4) When it feels more like a chore. Yes there are some bad runs/workouts and good runs/workouts but most of the time a workout or run should leave you feeling good. That’s a definitive one, if you don’t feel good after a run, give it a break.

5) Trying to squeeze in mileage by compromising on sleep. Sleeping 6-7 hours is really important. Training/workouts need to be balanced and missing one day here and there isn’t going to kill you.

6) When you are tempted to deactivate or actually deactivate social media channels as you feel miserable about missing out.

These are just somethings which came to my mind and I know list is long.  But let’s not forget that

Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself
– Baz Lurmann – Everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen)

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