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

What is cardio cross training?

Cardio cross training is when you perform different forms of cardio exercises in one workout session, for example you may swim 20-minutes, then walk 10-minutes and then cycle 15-minutes.

Hi Namita, can you please give me some tips to flex during office as i get very stiff by the time it is evening.

Here are some stretching exercises you can do on your chair in the office:

Neck stretch

Drop your head to the right side bringing your ear close to your shoulder. Then return to the centre. Now, switch sides.

Arms stretch

Extend both hands straight above your head, palms touching each other as in the namaste position.

Shoulder rolls

Rotate your shoulders forwards a few times and then reverse direction.

Seated knee to chest stretch

Raise one leg up onto the chair, resting your heel on the edge of the chair. Slowly bring the knee closer to you chest. Repeat with the other leg.

I want to know more about meditation techniques, my problem is i cant focus.
Gayathri V

There are many different ways to meditate. Meditation requires concentration and focus. And, concentration or focus is built through regular practice.

1. Sit facing north or east on a woollen blanket (or a silk cloth) in padmasana (lotus pose) or in any easy cross-legged pose, or even on a straight chair (the blanket or silk cloth serves as insulation against magnetic earth currents that tend to tie the mind to material perceptions).

2. Close your eyes and calm the mind. Keep the spine erect, chest high and abdomen in. Take a deep breath in; inhale and then exhale. Do this thrice.

3. Silence the mind and experience the calmness within.

4. Begin your meditation practice.

5. After the practice continue to hold on to that peace. Say a silent prayer for healing and inner growth. Or repeat an affirmation to increase the positive thought power.

How can I easily include strength training in my daily routine?

I have authored a fitness book titled – Jaldi Fit with namita jain, this book teaches you simple strength exercises that you can include in your daily routine.

How can I maintain/increase my fitness while I am injured?

It is always essential to rest the body part that is injured until it heals completely. However, you can rest the injured body part and still work the other body parts for example- if you have hurt your leg, you can still continue with upper body exercises.

What is the best way to trim the tummy?

The best way to trim the tummy is to watch your diet (eat low-fat, nutritious foods), burn calories with exercise and do abdominal exercises to keep the ab muscle toned.

How often should I replace my running shoes?

Running in old or worn out shoes can lead to an increase in running injuries. Over time running shoes lose stability and shock absorption capacity. The midsole layer of a shoe provides the cushioning and stability. This area usually wears out before the outsole shows major signs of wear and tear. A simple prevention strategy is replacing running shoes when they give you initial signs or wearing of the cushioning.

Namita is a certified clinical exercise specialist and lifestyle and weight management consultant. She is currently attached to Bombay Hospital as their clinical and wellness specialist.

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