Aerobic exercise helps building stamina: Hema Gidwani Rajpal

Hema Gidwani Rajpal is an American College of Sports Medicine Qualified Fitness, Nutrition & Weight Management Consultant and licensed zumba fitness instructor.

She specializes in personal training for women and group fitness training for women, men & kids through zumba, dance aerobics, power yoga, bollywood dance, belly dance workout, kick box, pilates, muscular endurance & strength training, swiss ball & resistance tubing exercises & artistic stretching.

Hema Gidwani Rajpal answered Sify readers’ queries related to the above in an exclusive chat. Read the transcript below.

Are people who sweat more are healthier? Thanks

Sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself off and maintaining a healthy temperature. People are born with sweat glands. Fit people sweat more efficiently by sweating sooner during workouts, when their body temperature is lower. However, a sedentary person working at the same intensity will heat up a lot faster and possibly sweat more. Also, overweight people sweat more profusely than normal weight individuals because fat acts as an insulator that raises core temperature. So, its not that people who sweat more are healthier. Thanks

Good afternoon. is it true madam that people who sweat more in work outs lose weight and fat faster than others?

No, its not true.

Is there any best way to strengthen the muscles that I strain in my life (ie., 8-10 hours in computer )

You need to strengthen your core muscles and upper back by practicing muscular endurance and strength training. Exercises like Lat pull over, Rowing, Abdominal crunches, Shoulder Shrugs etc will help you strengthen your muscles of the upper back and core. Along with it practice Surya namaskar, it will help you relieve your strained muscles and improve over all body flexibility.

I am doing 30 min of cardio exercise and 1 hour of weight training. Still my weight is same from last 6 months. what else should I do to reduce my weight.

Watch on what you eat and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

What is the right age for a child to start working out? Thanks for the answers.

Hi! Children should be encouraged to exercise and play sports like tennis, basket ball, cricket, swimming at an early age. They should indulge in activities like dancing and yoga. For them to start doing weight training, the right age is end of teens.

Can a person of 55-58yrs who has never exercised work on his/her muscular endurance and strength training?

Yes can, but ensure they do it slowly and gradually. I would ask them to listen to their body and do one thing at a time.

My mother is 55yrs. She has never exercised till date. She wants join a gym now.What form of exercise is suited for her?

She can start with cycling and walking on the treadmill, along with using machines in the gym which will help her to improve her muscular endurance and flexibility. I would advise her to start slowly and gradually and to enjoy exercising. All the best to her.

What do you suggest to those people who cannot exercise due to some medical condition? Is yoga the best for this?

Depends on the medical condition. Yes it is good to practice yoga after the doctors permission.

dhemaiam 43 mother of 2 ……weight is 59ht 52 is it ok or i need to reduce iwant to resume walking is it ok dr

Staying active is very important. keep walking regularly. Yes you should knock off some fat aswell.

dear dr do u feel thay yoga can bring abt weight loss i did yoga for 2 yrs but no loss as sugch omli flexibility. i have discontinued it now

Yes, Yoga brings weight loss. It is very important to watch on what you eat along with practicing any fitness activity. Good you achieved flexibility! Keep it up! Achieving Flexibility is often a goal in itself. Keep Practicing Yoga and eat nutritious food. Don’t Give up!

What is your take on spot fat reduction which is commonly heard off now days?

There is no short cut. One needs to exercise, eat well and maintain a healthy life style.

Can belly dancing be practiced by women with flat stomach only?

No, Belly Dancing movements are artistic and feminine, Can be practiced by everyone.

What are the benefits of belly dancing?

Belly dancing helps tone the obliques & the rectus abdominus muscles of the abdominals. It is indeed a best workout for your ab packs. Movements like the hip drops and the shimmies in belly dancing helps in increase the flow of synovial fluid (nature’s lubricant) in the joints. Belly Dancing improves posture, prevents back pain that can be caused by the unnatural curving forward of the spine that occurs when muscle groups are weak (lordosis).

I recently came across a CD on how to do Zumba? Is it advisable to follow it.

Doing Zumba alone can be boring, Join a group Zumba class, it will keep you motivated to practice it regularly. 🙂

I am a male aged 36yrs. I get too tired everyday to exercise due to my work schedule.What should I do? Regards.

Ensure you are eat nutritious and energy giving food. Try to start with exercising two to three times a week, slowly and gradually increase it when you feel you have build up the stamina.

My wife is 5 weeks pregnant. Can she do power yoga with the help of an instructor?

A Green signal from her gynecologist is a must before practicing any form of exercise.

I am fond of bollywood dancing. Please tell me how much time and how many times in a week can I practice it for fitness?

You can practice it two to three days a week for 45 to 60 minutes.

Any advice to lose chubbiness on face?

Indulge in a Cardiovascular Activity, that will help you burn the fat, also the fat on your face.

Are there any basic exercises that can be done at home for flabby arms?

Yes Push ups & Tricep Dips.

Do I need to only go for weight training to lose fat from my flabby arms?

No you also need to do Cardiovascular activity to burn body fat.

Madam I am 23yrs female. My problem area where I gain eight easily is my face and arms. Any exercise for flabby arms?

For toning your arms try doing exercises like Push ups and Tricep dips. To burn fat indulge in a regular Fitness regime i.e. A combination of Cardiovascular exercises + Muscular Endurance & Strength Training + Flexibility Training.

What foods should I avoid to prevent fat accumulation on stomach and hip area? Thank you

Avoid junk and starchy food. Have more fibrous fruits and vegetables.

Can jogging everyday for 20 mins, 4-5 times a week give one desired weight loss?

Increase the Duration gradually. Yes it will help you lose weight. But for overall fitness you need to incorporate muscular endurance & strength training aswell as flexibility training. All the components play an equal and important role to achieve fitness.

I am 26yrs female. I want to lose around 5-6kgs. I have flab mainly on my lower body. What exercise is suited for me?

Hi! You need to balance your exercise regime by doing Cardiovascular exercises + Muscular Endurance & Strength Training + Flexibility Training. Along with any Cardiovascular activity like jogging, cycling, walking, swimming, dancing etc. try incorporating Toning exercises Like Squats & Lunges for your lower body.

What is the best time to work-out? I find it difficult to exercise in the mornings.

The time that suits you to workout is the best time to workout. Its completely ok if u can’t workout in the mornings, but ensure you fit time to exercise in your daily routine, anytime during the day that suits you. All the best

Is it true that overweight people should exercise after having their meal?

No one should exercise on an empty stomach. Not only overweight people but every one should ensure a proper pre workout meal before exercising as the body needs energy to burn calories which comes from the food we eat.

What if a person can devote only 15-20 mins everyday for work-out, then how does he manage warm-up & cool down?

Hi! It is very important to warm up before exercising, for atleast 5-7 minutes and cool down for atleast 5-7 minutes after exercising. Your warm up and cool down can be your activity based. for eg- You could start your fitness activity and end your fitness activity gradually. So as to prevent your body from injuries and a state of sudden shock.

Good afternoon Madam. I want to know the importance of warm up and cool down exercises?

Good afternoon! Importance of Warming up before exercising- Warm up exercises gradually increases your heart rate and blood flow to the working muscle, which helps in preparing your body physiologically and psychologically for exercising, It also reduces the chances of joint and muscle injury. Moreover it prevents the body from a sudden shock stage. Importance of Cooling Down- Cooling down after exercising is equally important as warming up before exercising. Cooling down helps in preventing blood pooling by returning the blood back to the heart rather than allowing it to pool in the muscles that have been worked, It helps in bringing the heart rate back to normal gradually, It prevents an individual from fainting by ensuring that the brain continues to receive a sufficient supply of blood and oxygen, it also reduces the blood lactic acid levels. Hence it is very important to warm up before exercising, for atleast 5-7 minutes and cool down for atleast 5-7 minutes after exercising.

kindly explain me about zumba. how it helps.

Zumba classes are ” fitness-parties ” with easy-to-follow choreographies and the music that is addictive, It is a great total-body workout. It helps in burning a huge amount of calories, helps you tone your body, Its a great cardio workout, helps in fighting stress, releases the Happy Hormones-the endorphins which makes you feel good and energized, Being a group activity, it is motivating and it creates a nice friendly social environment which encourages the participants to keep sweating out.

what exercises i do for weight loss pl explain.

Hi! You need to balance your exercise regime by doing Cardiovascular exercises + Muscular Endurance & Strength Training + Flexibility Training. Doing only Cardiovascular exercises and ignoring Endurance & Strength Training or Flexibility Training is not advisable. + A watch on your Nutrition intake is a must. Ensure you follow a healthy and well balanced lifestyle.

How is power yoga different from regular yoga?

In regular Yoga, the focus is on holding the posture, where as in Power Yoga the focus is on the flow of various Yogasans (postures).

Does artistic stretching require expert supervision or it can be done without it?

Ideally Yes, it requires experts supervision. But once you master it, you can practice it regularly on your own.

I am 28yrs but not so flexible. I try doing stretching exercises at home. I want to know about artistic stretching.

Hi Sneha! Flexibility is joint specific and can be increased to a certain degree by flexibility training. Artistic stretching comes under Flexibility training .Being able to take a joint through its full range of motion gives us more freedom of movement and helps us in living a better quality of life. Relaxing the tight muscles makes one feel good and also it balances the body. It improves Physical Performance & reduces the risk of injury, reduces muscle soreness & improves posture. Stretching increases tissue temperature, which in turn increases circulation and nutrient transport. It also increases joint synovial fluid, which is a lubricating fluid that promotes the transport of more nutrients to the joints. This allows a greater range of motion and reduces joint degeneration.

What is swiss ball and resistance tubing exercise?

These are the fitness equipments that i use in my class for muscular endurance, strength training & flexibility exercises. There are various exercises that we can practice with these fitness equipments.

Please tell me about Pilates. How does it work for fitness?

Practicing Pilates helps in strengthening the core muscles, it trains the body as an integrated whole. It helps in development of muscles, improves flexibility and increased the range of motion of the joints.

Are freehand exercises enough to lose fat aound abs?

No they are not enough. You need to incorporate Aerobic activity like cycling, jogging, walking, swimming, dancing etc to burn overall body fat. Toning exercises will help you to tone and strengthen the muscles but to burn fat, you need to practice aerobic activity atleast 3-5 days a week.

Hello Hemaji, I am 32 yrs female,height 5.3″,weight 59kgs. I want lose flab around obliques.What exercise form is best for me?

To lose flab around your obliques you should be doing Aerobic exercises to burn fat & muscular endurance exercises to tone and strengthen your muscles. Try doing the Belly dance workout, it helps to tone the obliques & the rectus abdominus muscles of the abdominals. A best workout for your ab packs.

Hi Hema, At present i am running 5km in 30 min. I would like to participate marathon events in future. What are all the steps i need to follow to achieve this goal successfully.

Marathon running requires a strong body. You need to indulge in a regular training program to build your stamina and strengthen your body. You need to Eat well, Intake of proper amount of Carbohydrates to provide you energy and proteins to help repair your muscle tissues is a must, Drink plenty of water, Ensure you get plenty of sleep. Start with participating in small races like 10k and half marathon for practice. Don’t Over do, take care & Listen to your body.

As flexibility is the key to Yoga’s success what is the key to success for aerobic exercises?

Cardiovascular fitness ie. strong heart & lungs, better blood flow, along with Reduction in blood pressure, Increased HDL-cholesterol (the good one), Decreased total cholestrol, Decreased body fat stores.

How long does it usually take to a beginner to perform really well in an aerobic class?

It is quite relative and Differs for person to person. Different persons have different stamina. But approximately 2 weeks.

Does one lose fat more efficiently by performing work outs at a lower intensity? What is your advice?

Yes, Scientifically it is true! Working out at a lower intensity requires less quick energy, which is used from the fat in our body, hence it helps in burning fat. But you’ll burn fewer calories than you would if, for the same amount of time, you work out at a higher intensity . The idea is to increase the duration of the exercise to burn more calories.

I have heard that weight loss through aerobics is quick but all the lost weight comes back once aerobics is discontinued. How true?

Its not the ‘discontinuing of aerobic exercise’ to be blamed for all the lost weight coming back, Its the bad life style that one follows after discontinuing any exercise regime. It is very important to keep your metabolism high by staying active & exercising regularly. Staying active helps to maintain the weight loss.

How does aerobic work out basically help in fitness?

Aerobic activity Strengthens your heart & lungs, helps you burn fat, increases your stamina, Activates your immune system, helps lower high blood pressure & controls blood sugar, Increases the good cholesterol ie. HDL, decreases the total cholesterol, helps release the Happy Hormones- the endorphins, which leads to a feeling of euphoria & helps us to cope up with stress in a better way.

Hi, does regular participation in an aerobic exercise reduce one’s health illnesses?

Yes! regular aerobic exercise helps in building stamina and improves the immune system which helps in reducing ones illness.

My friend has just joined an aerobic class. Can you please guide on some dos and donts so that he does it well?

Some Do’s- Warm up before you start your exercise & Cool down after you finish. Progression with respect to exercise time, frequency and intensity should be gradual for best adherence and least injury risk. Keep sipping water in between the glass to keep yourself hydrated. Proper shoes and Proper exercise gear is a must. Some don’t Don’t stop in between the class. Never skip a pre workout & a post workout meal. Say NO to Junk food. Eat Healthy food.

And how often one should do cardio vascular exercises?

3-5 days a week for atleast 30 to 60 minutes.

How often is it advisable to do weight training in a week?

2-3 times a week on nonconsecutive days.

I just want to know M’am whether I should do Cardio first or weight training first?

Weight Training First. You need to save your energy for a challenging weightlifting session, finish your weight training and then do your Cardio.

I had a baby 9 months ago. I’ve been on a diet and have lost some weight, but I can’t seem to get rid of the post-partum belly. What do you suggest?

Hi! You need to start with toning exercises along with good Cardio. To Burn Fat start with any aerobic activity like walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing for 30-60 minutes thrice a week. Toning exercises like Abdominal Crunches, Reverse Crunches etc. would help in toning the abdominal muscles. Continue to keep a check on your nutrition intake aswell.

I am 33 years old. Once I shred, what should be my diet to bulk up without loosing definition? Can you suggest a regime? I like to lift heavy.

You should ensure you eat 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per day for each kilogram of your body weight. You should target on strength training: -Do 8 to 10 exercises for the major muscles -1 set of each exercise -8 to 12 repetitions per set of exercise -2 or 3 nonconsecutive training days per week -Full-range movements (pain free) -Moderate speed, approx 6 seconds per repetition followed with flexibility exercises like stretching, yoga or power yoga.

Hello Ma’am, How do we ensure a balance between muscle building and stamina? For my age of 30, what should be the right balance in number of days in a week of doing cardio and strength training? Thanks

Hi! For balancing between muscle building and improving stamina, it is important to do Aerobic exercise + Muscular endurance & strength training along with flexibility exercises. You should be doing cardio 3-5 days a week for 45-60mins, Strength Training 2-3 nonconsecutive days per week, Flexibility exercises 2-3 days each week to improve the range of motion. Thanks