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

I’m turning 40 next month. How can I prevent weight-gain as I get older?

As you age (especially after forty), your metabolic rate progressively becomes slower. Due to this the body needs about two percent fewer calories with each passing decade to maintain the same body weight. Also, you need to exercise daily to stay fit and in-shape.

I have time only for 20 mins of yoga morning and evening. Is it good enough?

You must walk daily for 30-minutes as well, this is because you need to include cardiovascular exercise into your daily routine. Walking is essential for the heart, lungs and circulatory system.

How many calories will I burn in a 20-minte treadmill session?

Treadmill can burn roughly about 100-calories in 20 minutes, depending on your speed and intensity level.

I eat less but still seem to bloat. How can I boost my metabolism?

Here are 4 ways to boost your metabolism:

§         Build muscle. More muscle means a faster metabolism. This is because muscle requires more oxygen and calories to maintain itself than fat. And, strength training helps build and maintain muscle.

Good choices include weight bearing exercises like push-ups, sit-ups or working out on machines or exercising using dumbbells or resistance bands.

§         Include cardiovascular exercise. Do some sort of aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging or swimming at east week, for a minimum of 30 minutes. Metabolic rates can increase up to 25-percent after a vigorous aerobic workout. This form of exercise will also help improve the digestive system and decrease levels of body fat.

Good choices include walking, swimming and cycling.

  • Set a scheduled eating pattern. Eating erratically affects the metabolism adversely. Set regular times for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

§         Lead an active life. If you are sitting at a desk all day or leading a sedentary life, the metabolism starts becoming sluggish. It is important to increase your activity levels whenever possible. For example; take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk when possible instead of driving – keep your mind and body active to avoid lethargy from setting into your routine

Is it safe to learn aerobics from my local gym?

Yes, but make sure your trainers are certified so that you are ensured of learning the exercises with the correct technique.

Is it important to warm up and cool down even for yoga?

Yoga is a perfected science. Yoga asanas when performed in the correct sequence ensure that the body is warmed-up sufficiently, also, all yoga sessions end with savasana, which is like doing a cool down.

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.

Send in your questions on fitness to bawarchieditor@sify.com now! And don’t forget to include `Fitness FAQ` in the subject line.