Posts for For the soul Category

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.

Boosts confidence – You don’t know what you are made of till you start strength training. I think most of us don’t have an inkling of our dormant strength. The moment you get into a routine and realise what you are capable of, it has a profound effect on you. I never thought as a woman I will be able to do pull ups, what the heck I never even thought I could lift my 9-year-old son and do squats. Now I have set a target for myself and I’m elated every time I make progress and get closer to my goal. It makes me venture out of my comfort zone (in any activity) so easily as I know I’m capable of tackling a lot more than I thought I was.

Body positivity – It’s only when I started strength training, I truly started loving my body as is. Strength comes in all shapes, sizes and body types. And you start appreciating yourself and others more for the effort. Commitment makes a person radiant. The stronger you feel, the lesser the stretch marks and cellulite, bothers you. It makes you feel badass and the way the world is, the feeling of being a badass is great. I just wish I knew this when I was an 18-year-old.

Falling sick less often – I don’t how this works but I don’t fall sick very often since the time I started running and now even lesser with strength training. It probably also has to do with the fact that it helps me fight stress better. Oh! my periods are more regular and less painful.

Strengthens the bone – Having gone through severe vitamin D deficiency and osteomalacia, as a result of that, I know how severe and crippling the pain can be. For those few months, I cried with every movement and was on painkillers and a fake smile all the time. Strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. As per Livestrong.com “As you age, you naturally lose muscle and bone mass. This is of special concern for women, whose bones are smaller to begin with and can become dangerously weakened by age.” Yes, we need to prepare for old age not only financially.

Nutrition – I still love waffles and give in to gulab jamuns. However, I’m so much more conscious of eating better now. I know strength training needs to be supported by a good balanced diet specially for recovery. I have started searching for more natural sources of protein. Seeds, eggs, nuts, fruits have become an everyday thing for me. And,  I actually eat more and more often now to get right amount of calories and nutrition.

I know there are many more health benefits of strength training but what I really wanted to reiterate with this article is that it’s very important for girls to start strength training early on. It’s not going to make them bulky unless they want to be bulky (and that takes much effort and discipline). It just helps them accept and love themselves for who they are rather than constantly trying to be someone else and that’s such a waste of time.

 

 

Continue Reading

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)

Continue Reading

Being receptive

For the soul - Anupriya kapur - May 17, 2017

leo

They say grief is resilient. And it comes at the strangest of moments and you are reminded of it with the strangest of things. A few days back, I woke up to drink water around 2 am and a hair pin kept on the side table reminded me of my mom. As I laid down on the bed, I started crying silently. Leo my 3.5-month-old kitten was sleeping in one corner of my bed and had been giving me a lot of attitude through the day. However, as I lay there crying in the dark, I felt her fur on my arm. She came close to me and felt my hand with her paws. Then she rested a part of her body on it. It felt like a hand of a person who really cares about me, on my head. Very reassuring. After about 15 mins or so she lifted her body but slept close to me through the night. I almost thought I’m imagining things as how can this tiny little being be so sensitive. And everyone had told me cats are selfish. But it happened again and again as last few days have been tough for me. May be we don’t understand their way of expressing love.

Leo is teaching me more ways to love. She’s teaching me to be more receptive to love.

Continue Reading

Trip to McLeodgunj

For the soul, Travel - Anupriya kapur - April 19, 2017

I haven’t slowed down since my mom’s death in October last year. Maybe it was my way of coping with the loss. So, when this project to visit McLeodgunj came my way (yes on good days, bloggers get to do this too), I was apprehensive. Mountains force you to slow down, they make you feel small and remind you of how unimportant you are, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to be with myself yet. What’s worse is that it had been years since I took a bus for a long journey and did a backpacking kind of a trip. But I’m glad I went ahead with it because, even though I didn’t realize it, it was time for me to slow down. I will try to give out all the details of the journey and at the end of it some pointers as well and loads and loads of pictures.

Room with a view

Continue Reading

Continue Reading

No more apologies

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul - Anupriya kapur - April 6, 2017

I face the problem of camel toe in most of my workout tights. In fact, for the longest time I rejected most of my workout tights because of that. It got me thinking that instead of comfort, women have to think about so many things when they should be concentrating on just getting fit. What’s worse is when I did a google search on camel toe most links that came up were on “How to hide the camel toe?” or “How to avoid embarrassment of a camel toe?”. So, here’s the list of things, I feel, as a woman, we should not be embarrassed about and ensure we support other women rather than shaming them. Continue Reading

Continue Reading

When I met Haile Gebrselassie

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - April 4, 2017

The night before I was to meet Haile Gebrselassie, I was a little uncertain about what I might talk to him about. It was a great opportunity for sure and I respect the man immensely for his endless achievements. But I didn’t get the kind of a feel that I did when I was to meet Nitin Rawat or Scott Jurek, where I was waking up in the middle of the night and writing down the questions that I would ask. I finally realised that the reason was that as a recreational runner there was nothing different to ask him and it would only be a small variation over what I have mostly read about him. So, I decided to wing it. Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Run.Learn.Run.

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul - Anupriya kapur - March 2, 2017

It’s been over 5 years since I started running. And over the years the reasons for running have evolved too. It began with a quest to find myself. I started respecting and loving myself a little more every time I ran. I needed to run to have conversations with myself. The more I ran the more I understood about how much more capable I am of everything else. Then came a time when I ran for speed. I loved it and I wanted to get better and I wanted to prove myself. But I realised I was trying to prove myself to others and seeking validation. I think that’s where I got robbed of the joy that comes from running. I was achieving PBs but I wasn’t truly happy. And you can’t ever be truly happy if you are trying to do things for others. And that revelation was enough for me to take a step back from running. Now I have chosen to only run for myself, when I really want to and when it really makes me happy. I don’t know if this is what happens when you evolve as a recreational runner but it has definitely happened to me. And since then somethings have changed – Continue Reading

Continue Reading

A forgotten affair

Accessories, Clothes, Fashion, For the soul - Anupriya kapur - February 8, 2017

How often do we take the city we live in for granted? Years pass by and the only place we usually visit are the nearest cafes and pubs. But when we travel, we take out time for places that aren’t even remotely worth visiting. I have started to believe that it’s almost criminal to not to see the heritage your own city has to offer.

My visits to monuments of Delhi might have started of as I wanted good pictures of me in a saree (you can read my previous articles here and here). But it’s slowly converted to love for Delhi and how beautiful it is.

Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Lessons I learned from the Ultra Dog

For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - January 23, 2017

cooling down

It was the second edition of the New Delhi Marathon Stadium run yesterday. A simple format, where a runner has the option of running for 6 hours, 12 hours or be a part of a relay team. I ran in the first edition and loved the experience but this year I was there as a part of the organizing team. I ran a bit here and there with my running buddies and chit chatted with most. The music was loud and the energy at the stadium unmatched. Around 11 in the morning, we noticed a healthy stray dog doing rounds with the runners.

cooling down

Thinking of him as a hindrance, runners initially tried to shoo him away. But he seemed very determined and refused to budge. He wasn’t aggressive, not even one bit, but he wasn’t meek either. He held his ground so we let him run. He paced quite a few runners on different laps. And when he didn’t stop running after a couple of hours, we knew he was there to stay. Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Express Yourself

Fashion, For the soul - Anupriya kapur - January 23, 2017

I had been contemplating this shoot for a long time. And once it was done I was contemplating if I should be sharing it or not (maybe because it was a little sensual). And of course I was scared to share it because of good old conditioning and the fear of being judged. Once I realized that, there was no stopping me. There is hardly any skin. Every woman wants to be shot like this. Every woman is and wants to look sensual. The only thing that stops us is fear and conditioning. And this is just another jab in my fight against it 🙂

A big shout out to Shailaja for capturing me the way I had imagined.

 

Continue Reading