Fitness Q&A: Minimum 20 minutes exercising is must to keep fit

Dr. Sonali is a certified fitness specialist from the American College of Sports Medicine.She runs a fitness consultancy, Santulan, providing lifestyle management programs for individuals and groups.Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every thursday.

This week’s answers:

I am student in university and I want to lose weight, currently 76kg and I am 20 years old. I don’t cook often but eat readymade meals or pizza, fish finger, chips or chicken fillets.
chandar lal

Hi Chandar Lal,
Thank you for writing to me,
You have mentioned that you eat a lot of junk food, pizzas, burgers etc- i understand that you are away from home, but unless you make some radical changes in your diet, this problem will persist, Please try and have healthier food such as the local cuisine , fresh fruit , yoghurt( dahi,0 plenty of water, i cannot tell a 20 year old to stop fast food all together, but have it as a treat once a week, if you follow a healthy diet the other days of the week. You also need to start some physical activity, i suggest a 20 minute walk atleast 5 days a week to begin with.
i hope this helps you, yours in fitness- sonali

Dear mam . Mam i am 18 years old and suffering from thyroid and the doctor advised me to take 100mg tablet daily and i am taking it
regularly. My height is 5.8 and my weight is 87 kg please tell me how
i should control my weight and i don’t have time to exercise because i
am persuing b tech so i don’t have time. So tell me how i should
control my weight. Thank you
Akash Chauhan

Hi Akash,
Thank you for writing to me.
Considering the information you have provided, i am sure you are extremely caught up with your studies, however with your medical condition, exercise is not optional…. it is MUST . You need to take out a minimum of 20 minutes , ideally everyday in your case, and then work your way up, because if you dont do so your basal metabolic rate will fall further, and medication will be a lifelong companion. i really request you to prioritize your health, so you can start with simple walking, also suryanamaskar and pranayam, the latter two, please learn from an expert and then practise.
good luck and i hope to hear from a healthier Akash very soon- yours in fitness- sonali

Hi mam,
this is vipin bhardwaj mam i am having 6ft hight and my weight is 63kg.i want put on weight but i am not live at home so its really difficult to maintain the diet.i am also sufar from joindis last year. pls suggest me….
Vipin Bhardwaj

Hi Vipin,
Thank you for writing to me,
I hope you are feeling much better and have recovered quite well from your illness of last year. Since you are staying away from home, i will make some simple suggestions that you can try and follow. First of all avoid eating out, though it is very difficult, so stick to simple meals such as roti, daal, sabji, fresh fruit which has been properly washed, milk, eggs, chicken and fish if you are non vegetarian, you can have a protein supplement like B- Protein with milk as part of your diet.For gaining muscle weight, you can start doing weight training , its always advisable to start slow, with lesser weights and with a trainer, so joining a gym may be an option.i hope this helps you- yours in fitness- sonali

This is Siva Prasad
Hi, I am in India, I need perfect diet plan for weight loss please, I am doing nightshifts now from 9:00pm to 6:00 AM– Please let me now what is the best timings for sleep and proper diet for weight loss.please Give me the example food names (Please don’t mention proteins, carbohydrates like that, i am not good in science- Its a humble request).

Hi Siva Prasad,
Thank you for writing to me,I would like you to send me some more information, regarding your age, weight, height and current diet and exercise , so that i can help you in a more focused manner, however, i will attempt to provide some guidelines, i would suggest a good breakfast with options like idli, dosa, or brown bread sandwich with veggies, or corn / wheat flakes or muesli with milk some fresh fruit- seasonal. try to exercise 2 hrs after this for around half hour, then a small snack like a fruit. you then have the entire afternoon to sleep, on waking you could have your main meal try to include salad and dahi with this meal. if possible carry some fruit to your work place, so that you can have less of the food served there.i hope this helps you- yours in fitness- sonali

kindly send diet chart to lose weight

1. age 35 years

2. 112 kg

3. height 154 cm

4. location punjab

jaswant singh

Hi Jaswant Singh,
Thank you for writing to me, from the information you have provided, i feel you may need to rule out any medical issues, so i would suggest getting your blood sugar, thyroid function and lipid profile done. Once we rule out any medical issues, we can work out a diet and exercise plan, meantime, if you are not exercising at all, please start by walking on a flat surface for 20 minutes, 6 days a week- the speed of your walk should be such that you feel the effort, but are not getting breathless.
i hope this helps you- yours in fitness- sonali

Hy madam,
I want to let you know that my hight is 5” inch and my weight 54 but i am not sattisfy in it and i want to change with 49 kg it is possible or not. i am doing surya namaskar 30 times every morningi( one hour) and 1.5 hour doing gym and i am always on the strict diett but can’t seem to get my weight down. can you give me helpful tips for achieve my goal and look slim ant trim. and i want to see my face looking slim.
tasheen khan

Hi Tasheen,
Thank you for writing to me. I am very happy that you are taking so much effort to maintain your health and fitness- congratulations. You have not mentioned your age, also i need your current gym workout- do you do cardio or strength training, or both, and if so at what intensity- in short what is your work out and your diet. I suggest you get your body composition done, so that we understand if your weight is fat weight or muscle weight.Please send me the report, and also your current food consumption. keep smiling and be happy- thats the best facial exercise!
i hope this helps you- yours in fitness- sonali

Dear ma’am , I am 52 years, 5 feet 8.5 inches tall female. Have had my menopause. Lost 21 kgs. But now have started putting on weight as I have stopped exercising. Kindly suggest a healthy diet and a fitness regime. Thanks. Pam Moga

Hi Pam,
Thank you for writing to me. Let me offer a few suggestions that will help you go closer to your fitness goals. I agree that keeping weight off post menopause is a challenge as our bodies truly slow down in terms of processing food calories, but there is a lot we can do
Please incorporate some aerobic activity, such as walking, jogging, hill climbing, cycling , dancing, depending on your current fitness level and your liking, do any of these or alternate between them, 5 to 6 days a week atleast for 20 minutes.Introduce resistance or weight training at least twice a week to maintain muscle mass and bone density.Your diet is crucial please consume plenty of fresh veggies, fruits, salads, lean meat such as chicken or fish, whole grain , unpolished rice, milk, curd to stock up on calcium, introducing soy products such as soy milk, nuggets , tofu will help.
i hope this helps you- yours in fitness- sonali

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