Celebrities were seen giving major fitness goals this year. (Photo: Instagram; designed by Gargi Singh)
Fitness, undoubtedly, has remained the buzzword this year as well with everyone — from the prime minister to aam aadmi — hopping on the fitness bandwagon with greater zeal. In 2019, with the launch of Fit India Movement (in August), and the annual International Day of Yoga (observed on June 21), conversations around fitness gained momentum. Leading the way are our celebrities who regularly share updates regarding their workout sessions on their social media channels. From yoga and Pilates to aerobics and martial arts, the sky has been the limit.
Be it Alia Bhatt, Preity Zinta, Malaika Arora, Kunal Khemmu, Tusshar Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Rakul Preet Singh, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Deepika Padukone or Jacqueline Fernandez, celebs have given their fans a peek into their workout regimen on numerous occasions.
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Yoga is so much more than simple stretches. It is about creating balance, strength, flexibility and relaxation in the body through a series of postures, movements and breathing patterns. Besides improving flexibility, yoga also works on one's core muscles, and allows you to perform cardio-centric exercises in a way that is not as obviously taxing as other forms of cardio training.
Yoga is also well-known for its stress-reducing aspect. Cardio benefits and relaxation from a regular yoga practice, in unison with a sensible diet, can effectively aid in weight loss.
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Rakul Preet Singh
Another great way to improve muscular and postural strength is Pilates, which is a series of about 500 exercises inspired by callisthenics, yoga and ballet. Partly inspired by yoga, Pilates is based on putting yourself into unstable postures and challenging your body by moving your limbs, while yoga mostly consists of a series of static postures.
Pilates lengthens and stretches all the major muscle groups in the body in a balanced way. It improves flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness. Pilates can be an aerobic and non-aerobic form of exercise. It requires concentration and focus, because you move your body through precise ranges of motion. In Pilates, your muscles are never worked to exhaustion, so there is no sweating or straining, just intense concentration. The workout consists of a variety of exercise sequences that are performed in low repetitions, usually five to 10 times, over a session of 45 to 90 minutes. Mat work and specialised equipment for resistance are used.
This exercise is suitable for all — from elite athletes to people with limited mobility, pregnant women and even those with low fitness levels.
Sonam Kapoor Ahuja
Boxing is believed to be a great workout for those wanting to strengthen their flexibility and develop core muscles. While boxing is a martial art and a combat sport, it is also known to be a great workout because of its intensive nature. Not just that, people are drawn to boxing as a workout because it’s fun and enjoyable, and promises drastic improvement to overall health and wellness. For those looking to lose weight and get fit, boxing could help as it combines pad and bag work, skipping and ground work, which are all aerobic exercises.
Boxing strengthens cardiovascular muscles and improves endurance. The rigorous pad work exercises followed by the constant fast-paced repetition of throwing punches is great in developing enhanced aerobic and anaerobic respiration. As a full body workout, it involves head movement and footwork, defensive techniques such as bobbing and weaving, as well as workouts to develop power and speed. It engages the entire upper body core muscles and lower body.
Sara Ali Khan
Aerobics and gymnastic rings
Have you ever noticed how gymnasts have a lean physique? As compared to hours of bodybuilding exercises in the gym for bulky muscle, gymnastic rings propel shorter workouts that help develop lean physique. Training with gymnastic rings is much more intense than a similar move on a static bar. Standing motionless with the help of rings is known to build the upper body and develop core strength. Besides, it helps break monotony and adds variety to one's routine.
However, always consult your doctor before embarking on any new fitness programme, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or have not exercised in a long time.
It’s not just an activity or exercise, it’s a way of life. When done in a proper way, benefits of running include strengthened immune system, controlled blood pressure, physically strong legs, increased bone density and strength, and increased confidence.
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Aerial fitness activities
It is a combination of traditional yoga poses, Pilates and dance with the use of a hammock. Simply put, it allows one to perform various yoga poses that may be difficult to do on ground. The workout is fun, acrobatic and definitely worth a try for fitness enthusiasts because of its varied benefits. Like any other workout, aerial fitness activities help clear the mind and relieve stress, in turn helping combat fatigue and keeping one mentally and physically active throughout the day. Aerial fitness also enhances flexibility as the body is able to move more freely with less effort by counteracting gravity. Being suspended in the air helps release tension on the bones and muscles, increasing flexibility. Suspended yoga is known to strengthen core muscles, which increases spinal and shoulder flexibility.
Aerial fitness is apt for improving blood circulation which helps delay ageing and its symptoms. The detoxifying ability of aerial fitness can help lower the risk of cardiovascular issues.
Rakul Preet Singh
Martial arts has tremendous health benefits and can get you in shape very quickly. It is one of the most effective workouts. From physical improvements to enhancement of both your mental and spiritual well-being, martial arts pave the way for people to reach their peak potential. Notably, in a US study, children aged between eight and 11 years were tasked with traditional martial arts training that focused on respecting other people and defending themselves as part of an anti-bullying programme. The children were also taught how to maintain a level of self-control in heated situations.
The researchers found that the martial arts training reduced the level of aggressive behaviour in boys and found that they were more likely to step in and help someone who was being bullied than before they took part in the training.
Pregnancy fitness activities
From Pilates to Yoga, pregnant women and new mothers were seen sharing about activities that helped them keep fit. It is well-known that depending on one's body conditions, exercise during pregnancy can help reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling; increases energy levels, improve mood, posture and promote muscle tone, strength, and endurance besides help in sleeping better.
Gymming workouts haven't gone out of fashion. From lifting weights to strength training, a dedicated gym workout has benefits you can't say no to. From improving the mood to meeting your fitness goals and take up new challenges, a good gym session led by a trainer is a great way to work-life balance.
Have you wished your loved ones a very happy new year? Read more here.
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