Each new year, many people set their resolutions on becoming more healthy and physically fit.
For his recent movie Dangal, 51-year-old Aamir Khan gained and lost weight in a matter of months. Of course, he had personal trainers and dieticians to help him - people power that not everyone can afford or has access to. But there are a number of youtube channels and websites available to help - such as BodyRockTV, Built Lean, and myfitnesspal.com.
What everyone does have access to is the will to exercise. As the old saying goes, "where there is a will, there is a way".
Getting in shape and keeping your body healthy requires focusing on both exercise and the food we eat. The YouTube channel Good Health 24/7 offers a Celebrity Fitness Tips playlist featuring Bollywood stars sharing their techniques for keeping healthy through diet and exercise.
Another often repeated saying is "success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration." Bollywood stars are known for their toned physiques. But it doesn't necessarily come naturally. Lots of work on a daily basis goes into creating that slim waistline or those six-pack abs. Here is a Bollywood-Fitness playlist of celebrities sharing their workout regimes.
The Fitness Challenge
The best fitness program is one you'll stick with. In the run-up to the 2015 film Brothers, the following exercises were highlighted - many of which are regularly used by Bollywood stars to help maintain their fitness levels (Download PDF). The are frequently recommended as part of a basic fitness program, don't require much in the way of equipment and can be modified for beginners. The number of reps and sets you do depends upon your fitness level with 8-12 recommended per set. A variety of exercises is recommended to get a full body workout.
While we've provided guidance with links to learn more and demonstration videos, always check with your doctor or personal trainer before taking on any major new exercise regime.
Low impact. The inchworm is a multi-joint, dynamic exercise that increases strength and muscular endurance throughout the entire body with an emphasis on the shoulders and core. Stand with your feet close together. Keeping your legs straight, stretch down and put your hands on the floor directly in front of you. This will be your starting position. Begin by walking your hands forward slowly, alternating your left and your right. As you do so, bend only at the hip, keeping your legs straight. Keep going until your body is parallel to the ground in a pushup position. Now, keep your hands in place and slowly take short steps with your feet, moving only a few inches at a time. Continue walking until your feet are beside your hands, keeping your legs straight as you do so. Learn more | Watch video.
Low impact. The plank is one of the best exercises you can do for your core because it builds isometric strength to help sculpt your waistline and improve your posture. And depending on the type of plank you try, you can also engage your back, arms, shoulders, glutes, and hamstrings. Start by getting into a press up position. Bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms and not on your hands. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine. Hold this position for a prescribed time, such as 20 seconds or 2 minutes. Learn more | Watch video.
Low impact. A strength based exercise that utilizes your body weight to isolate the core area, V-Ups target the abdominal muscles, tone down the obliques (the muscles on the side of the upper body that help with turning the body from side to side), strengthen your back muscles and challenge the entire core. V-Ups also work your quadriceps and hamstrings. Keep the feet together and the toes pointed at the ceiling. In one movement lift the legs up keeping them straight and raise the upper body of the floor reaching for the toes with your hands. Engage and squeeze the abdominal muscles as you reach for your toes. Slowly lower the body back down to the starting position. Learn more | Watch video.
Low impact. The Superman is one of the best exercises to strengthen your upper and lower back muscles. If done regularly, the Superman may help alleviate back pain that is related to weak back muscles. In addition to strengthening back muscles, the Superman works your glutes and your hamstring muscles. Lay face down on a mat or flat surface, with arms outstretched. Keep your hands and arms straight throughout the exercise. Raise your hand and legs 4-5 inches off the ground. Hold for 5 seconds, then return to starting position. Learn more | Watch video.
5. Plié Squats | Sumo Squats
Low impact. Squats help with overall toning in your lower body and legs, increase the range of motion in your hips, and strengthen the muscles in the butt (gluteus maximus), hips (gluteus medius), thighs (quadriceps), hamstrings and calves. Plié Squats and Sumo Squats share similar characteristics. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart and toes turned out. Bend knees lowering torso keeping your back straight and abs tight. Squeeze your glutes and come to standing position. Variation: As you get more advanced, you can hold a kettlebell weight between your legs with both arms for resistance. Plié Squats: Learn more | Watch video. Sumo Squats: Learn More | Watch Video.
Low impact. This crossed-over lunge helps to incorporate new leg muscles into the lunge position, giving you toned inner and outer thighs. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips for stability. Use your left leg to take a large step back and across to the right. Squat so your right thigh is parallel with the ground. Push off with your left leg to straighten your legs and return to your starting position. Return to standing, and switch sides to complete one rep. Variation 1: Add a little hop. Variation 2: For an added challenge to your body, hold hand weights in each hand. Learn more | Watch video.
Despite its difficulty, the Bicycle Maneuver is considered one of the best of the abdominal exercises nd an excellent way to develop a flat stomach. Lie flat with your lower back pressed to the floor. Put your hands beside your head and over your ears. Raise your knees to form a 90-degree angle with vertical thighs and horizontal shins. Extend your right leg out with your leg about 30 to 45 degrees above the floor. Keep your left thigh vertical and your left shin horizontal. Raise your shoulders off the mat with your abdominal muscles and rotate to touch your left knee with your right elbow. Switch legs and rotate in the opposite direction to touch your right knee with your left elbow. Keep even, relaxed breathing throughout the workout. Continue until your muscles are fatigued. Learn more | Watch video.
8. 10 Pushups
Low impact. By working on a large number of muscles in your body, push-ups help tremendously for a fitter you. Push-ups help you focus on your arms, abdominals, and your lower body, all at the same time. They train your muscles to work together and become stronger. Get into a high plank position. Place your hands firmly on the ground, directly under shoulders. Lower your body. Begin to lower your body—keeping your back flat and eyes focused about three feet in front of you until your chest grazes the floor. Push back up. Learn more |Watch Video
Low impact. Russian twists are a core exercise, which involves all the core muscles in your midsection including the front, back and sides. A twisting motion helps to work the muscles. The exercise got its name because it is believed to have originated in Russia during the Cold War period. Lie down on the floor placing your feet either under something that will not move or by having a partner hold them. Your legs should be bent at the knees. Elevate your upper body so that it creates an imaginary V-shape with your thighs. Twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor while breathing out. Hold the contraction for a second and move back to the starting position while breathing out. Now move to the opposite side performing the same techniques you applied to the right side. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions. Variation: As you get more advanced, you can hold a weight with both arms for resistance. Learn more | Watch video.
High impact. High-Knee exercises are an intense exercise that targets and tones your core, upper thighs, buttocks, and calves. Because of the one-legged stance during the movement, this exercise also serves to help improve your balance. And once you are able to move repetitively through your High-Knee exercises for an extended time, you can achieve aerobic intensity and help to burn calories and increase your metabolism. Basic high knees can be performed while running in place or moving over a distance. Stand in place with your feet hip-width apart. Drive your right knee toward your chest and quickly place it back on the ground. Follow immediately by driving your left knee toward your chest. Continue to alternate knees as quickly as you can. Learn more.
High impact. The favorite of gym classes, jumping jacks is a cardiovascular exercise because it increases heart rate and increases metabolism. It can improve oxygen levels in the body and gives a boost to blood circulation. It can also help reduce the amount of fat you have on your legs. Stand with your feet together and your hands down by your side. In one motion jump your feet out to the side and raise your arms above your head. Immediately reverse that motion by jumping back to the starting position. It is crucial that you maintain a bend in your knees and land lightly on your feet to help reduce the amount of impact. Wearing shock-absorbing footwear can help to reduce impact. Learn more.
High impact. The burpee is a full body strength training exercise and the ultimate example of functional fitness. With every rep, you'll work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abdominals. After a few sets of burpees, your legs should feel a little bit like lead. Start in a standing position, squat down and place your hands flat on the floor in front of you. Explosively kick both feet back so you finish in a plank position -- your body in a straight line from your neck to your ankles. Explosively push through both feet again to return to the squat position. For a squat thrust, simply stand back up. For a burpee, explosively jump into the air. Wearing shock-absorbing footwear can help to reduce impact. Learn more| Watch video.
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