Fitness Q&A: Walking is safer than running!

Fitness expert, Namita Jain answers readers’ questions on fitness. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Thursday.

This week’s answers:

1. I have PCOD problem & treatment is going on since 20days for 3months. So during this period my Gynec suggested to reduce my weight which is 68.5kgs and my age is 29, height – 5’2″ (156cms).

Doctor please advise how to reduce my weight. I am planning to reduce 10kgs approximately. What is the best method to rectify my problem without any side effects?

kocharla sreelakshmi

I suggest you follow the guidelines given in my diet book ‘The four week countdown diet’ to get results. Please read the book carefully – it’s a guide to losing weight sensibly.

2. Hi Madam, I am 36 years old and 65 kg, height 5ft 3 inches . I want to reduce my weight, tummy. Can u suggest diet plan for me . I am a vegetarian
Remember, when you plan your meals, look at the caloric content and body’s nutritional requirement simultaneously. Prolonged, unbalanced diets that include only one or two foods, or that eliminate the entire food groups can lead to severe nutritional deficiencies.
The body requires proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water, vitamins, minerals for its maintenance, nourishment and repair. Eating a wholesome diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, sprouts, seeds and low fat dairy products will build your immune system, helping you build health and achieve your weight loss goals sensibly.


Breakfast: Tea, fresh fruit bowl, a small bowl of oats porridge.

Midmorning: 1 apple, coconut water

Lunch: Salad with sprouts, 2 rotis, green veggies, dal

Late afternoon: 1 cup tea, 2 wheat crackers

Evening: Pomegranate and papaya

Dinner: Vegetable soup, 1 cup green vegetable, 1 cup moong dal, 1 to 2 rotis

3. dear mam, can you please share information on ideally how much time one should run and at what speed with respect to various age group?


Running speed and duration does not depend so much on age, as it does on the fitness level and medical concerns of an individual. Also, since it’s a high impact exercise, it is important that the person is not obese and free of knee and back pain. Walking is a safer option.

4.  Am a mother (age – 33) , wght- 64kgs, height – 5.4. have 2 kids aged 6 n 3. i have lots of loose tummy fat which is bulging, skin wrinkled. please suggest some exercises to reduce it. the tummy muscles didnt contract much post my 2nd delivery. please suggest a diet plan. I have low BP (106/58).


Abdominal crunch
Lie on your back with your knees bent, and your hands behind your head. Lift your shoulders off the floor and curl your legs towards your ribcage; simultaneously. Slowly, return to starting position.
Do 2 sets of 12 reps.

Reverse curl
Lie on your back and lift and bend your knees at 90-degrees. Contract your abs to stabilize your torso, and bring your hips and knees towards your chest. Slowly return to starting position.
Do 2 sets of 12 reps.

Oblique scissors
Lie on your back with legs extended and arms behind your head to support your neck. Contract abs and lift shoulders off the floor. Use your oblique muscles by attempting to bring the left shoulder towards the right knee and the right shoulder toward the left knee. The right and left leg accounts for one rep.
Do 2 sets of 12 reps.

Back extension
Lie on your stomach and place your hands on your lower back. Lift your upper body off the floor; keep your eyes on the floor and your chin in a relaxed position. Slowly return to starting position.
Do 1 set of 10 reps.

2 idlis and sambhar
1 bowl grapefruit/ papaya
1 cup coffee or tea

1 Apple
1 coconut water

1 serving mixed veggie salad
2 rotis
1 cup green vegetables
1 cup dal or curds

2 non-cream biscuits
1 cup coffee or tea

1 coconut water or herbal tea

Late evening
1 cup roasted savoury such as popcorn (without oil or butter)

Vegetable soup
1 cup mixed vegetables
1 roti
1 cup dal or curds

5. Hi Namita. What is the best way to achieve cardio fitness without going to the gym?
You can walk, jog, swim, cycle or play a sport to improve cardio fitness. If you decide to take up walking you could wall uphill or walk briskly to increase the intensity of your workout.

6. Dear Maam, please can u suggest exercises for my sister who is in her second trimester.
Walking and swimming are safe exercises. Here are some important considerations:

It is important to discuss your exercise plan with your gynaecologist, as each pregnancy is different. In general, healthy women who have uncomplicated pregnancies can continue their exercise programme with slight exercise modification. It is also safe to start exercising (if you have not exercise before) during pregnancy if given the all-clear signal by your doctor.

You will need an additional 100 to 200 calories to compensate for the calories you burn during exercise. If you are consuming the extra calories and still not gaining the required amount of weight, you could be overdoing exercise.

For every 30 minutes of strenuous activity you need water to compensate for fluids lost due to perspiration. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration.

Your centre of gravity shifts during pregnancy. That’s why you should take great care when you shift positions. Getting up quickly can make you dizzy, and cause you fall.

Never exercise to the point of exhaustion when you are pregnant.

Minimise exercise in very hot and humid weather; don’t use saunas, steam rooms or hot tubs during pregnancy. Research has shown that exercise or environments that raise a pregnant woman’s temperature by more than 1&1/2 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit are dangerous – since blood is shunted away from the uterus to the skin as the body attempts to cool off. Exercise in cool, airy rooms at cooler times of the day.

In pregnancy your centre of gravity shifts forward with the uterus affecting your sense of balance, hence you should proceed with caution. Be aware of the added risk of injury due to lax joints, even absentmindedness. Drop exercises that could compromise your safety – like walking, jogging, or cycling on wet surfaces; or playing sports such as basket ball, ice-hockey, scuba diving, soccer or any activity requiring sudden movement.

Though you must have heard stories of athletes who have continued intense exercising till the ninth month – it is unwise for you to do so. Stay with low-impact exercises such as walking, cycling and swimming.

It is not advisable to lie on your back and exercise for over 60 to 90 seconds after the fourth month of pregnancy as the weight of your enlarging uterus could constrict major blood vessels, restricting circulation. If you are lying on your back and symptoms such as dizziness, nausea or shortness of breadth occur, roll onto your left side to re-establish blood flow.

7. I am 23 yrs old young girl.My height is 5.2″ .My weight is 79.Please give me a diet plan & Excesice required,so that I can reduce my weight.(with in 6 month).

Sowmya sah

I suggest you follow the guidelines given in my diet book ‘The four week countdown diet’ to get results. Please read the book carefully, it has exercise and diet plans – it’s a guide to losing weight sensibly.

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