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Here’s to a Healthy Life

fit-and-healthyLet’s face it – we’re lazy! After driving to work on our potholed riddled roads, spending the entire day on our desks (working towards our future) and then trying to make our way back home, we just have that last ounce of energy to change and watch our favorite show before retiring for the night. That is the average corporate Joe’s daily life. Now throw in the excessive alcohol binging and late night butter chicken rolls, over the weekend, and we have the perfect unhealthy Mumbaikar. Not that anybody is perfectly happy with it or even acknowledges it; it’s just become a way of life.

I was there once; actually I would go on to say that I was the mayor of that place. It initially sounds like  a fun and relaxed life, but not for my body or health. Rightly so, within a few months I not only put on 6-7 KGs but also developed acid reflux. It was horrible; I was not able to eat or breathe properly, felt like throwing up after every meal and was just plain uncomfortable throughout the day. This was the result of abusing my health over the last year or so. Well, better sense prevailed and I started exercising and gave up outside food; result: lost 5 KGs and controlled the reflux. It’s very true, what you nurture and grow is what you reap afterwards. We’re young, our bodies can take this torture for some time, but we need to prepare it for the time when we won’t be able to afford to be this active. With this post, I simply want to share a few, quick & easy tips of how you can still manage to stay healthy with this busy lifestyle that we lead in this city. Again, it’s all from personal experience and I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts on it. Hope this helps you in some way.

Quick Exercises (20 minutes)

  1. Surya Namaskar: Initially start with 10 daily and then gradually increase it to 20, 30 and so on. Learn how to do it – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQn-QHLqNvI
  2. Jumping Squats: Start with 10 a set and do at least 2 sets. Slowly increase the repetitions in each set. Learn how to do it – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvUrtV6AJKs
  3. Tricep Dips: You just need a chair to do this. Begin with 10 a set and do at least 2 sets. Learn how to do it – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKjcgfu44sI
  4. Crunches: Lie down on your back and lift your upper body up. Again, do 15 a set with at least 2 sets. Learn how to do it – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xyd_fa5zoEU
  5. Stationary Lunges: These work on your hamstrings and glutes. Do 10 each side for every set and do 2 sets. Learn how to do it – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbzvQBmA5jk
  6. Cross-Body Mountain Climbers: This works your abs, lower back and hip muscles. Do 10 each side for every set and do 2 sets. Learn how to do it – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPbvNCz6eOk
  7. Plank: This is to strengthen your core muscles. Start with holding the positions for a minimum 30 seconds to begin with and slowly increase. Learn how to do it – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSHjTRCQxIw
  8. Push Ups: Use a cushion under your knees to provide support. Start with 12 reps per set and do to 2 sets. Learn how to do it – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh00_rniF8E
  9. Skipping: If you have a skipping rope then great, otherwise get one. This is a great exercise and burns tons of calories. Do 50 jumps continuously, take a 10 second break and then do it again. Complete 500 jumps in total. Learn how to do it – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsWui2L_r2c
  10. High Kicks: This is a great leg workout and helps burns lots of calories. Do 20 each leg and do three sets. Learn how to do it – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zypMc6fWR9I

Quick Healthy Meal Ideas (15-20 minutes)

When it comes to food you really have to watch what you put inside your body. Yes, you will have to do the regular – cut oily and fatty food to once a week (or never), more fruits or cut vegetables to eat as snacks and cook food at home more often. You’ll be surprised, if you do the prep before hand, it barely takes 15-20 minutes to whip up a yummy meal in your kitchen. I found some easy and delicious healthy recipes that you could try out:

  1. The “Healthy” Elvis: Who knew peanut butter could do so well for you. This will give you the pleasure minus the guilt. Find the recipe here – http://www.examiner.com/article/the-elvis-sandwich-fried-peanutbutter-and-banana-made-healthy
  2. Taco Salad: You can replace the meat in this recipe with tofu or soya bean if you like. Find the recipe here – http://www.food.com/recipe/healthy-taco-salad-40651
  3. Stir Fry Tofu: Serve this dish with brown rice and we have a mouth watering dinner ready! Find the recipe here – http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/tofu_broccoli_stir_fry.html
  4. Chicken Wraps: Think of a wrap, with all the goodness and just make it healthier. This recipe replaces your flour based bread with lettuce instead. It tastes too good to believe. Trust me, you won’t miss the bread. Find the recipe here – http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Chicken-Lettuce-Wraps
  5. Mozzarella and Tomato Salad: Of course we had to include a salad to this list! This is a simple, no-fuss, really delicious salad. Feel free to experiment with the dressing flavors to make it your own. Find the recipe here – http://recipes.womenshealthmag.com/Recipe/mozzarella-and-tomato-salad.aspx
  6. Oatmeal Protein Pancakes: A new way of looking at breakfast and your old-fashioned oatmeal. Spice things up with this breeze of a recipe. You can replace the protein powder with ½ cup of cottage cheese. Find the recipe here – http://skinnyms.com/oatmeal-blueberry-protein-pancakes/
  7. Green Tea, Blueberries and Banana Smoothie: Smoothies are just the best. You can experiment so much with this recipe: use another fruit, make it with greek yogurt, try different combinations and surprise yourself every day. Find this particular recipe here – http://recipes.prevention.com/Recipe/green-tea-blueberry-and-banana-smoothie.aspx
  8. Cheese Panini: This is one of my favorite recipes, but I do change things up slightly. I replace the cheddar with fat-free cheese and I also add chicken to this. You can create your own dish with this recipe. Go on, experiment! Find the recipe here – http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/recipecomdetail.jsp?recipeId=25124753
  9. Pasta Salad: Again, this is a very basic recipe and I do usually end up adding more veggies or different meats. Do your own thing. Find the recipe here – http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/11418/storecupboard-pasta-salad
  10. Curried Chicken and Rice Soup: And we finally have a soup. This soup will make you all warm and fuzzy. It’s a complete meal and perfect for rainy or winter nights. Find the recipe here – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/curried-chicken-and-rice-soup-recipe/index.html

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