Q: I am 24 years old. My height is 5 feet 3-inches and weight is 60kg. I have gained a lot of weight after getting married. Please suggest easy exercises that do not hinder my daily routine. Fazeela
A: Dear Fazeela, a healthy weight range for you is 47-64 kg. At present, you are within a normal weight limit but you can aim for the lower limit. In addition, you should check your body composition to set your fitness goals appropriately. Exercising improves your muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance, and it never hinders your daily routine if you follow the protocols. You should always warm up before working out, followed by some resistance training and cardio work out. Never forget to lower your intensity gradually to let your body cool down first and in the end relax yourself by stretching all major muscle groups. Another important aspect of your work out is to begin with keeping your frequency, intensity and mode of exercise to a minimum, and accept a challenge only when you get sufficient fitness targets. You should take help from your fitness instructor to get appointments for fitness tests to evaluate your fitness parameters. You may follow an exercise regimen given below but don’t forget to eat a balanced diet or visit your dietician to prescribe you an appropriate diet plan.
Frequency: 3 (Mon/ Wed/ Fri)
Intensity: 60-65% of your MHR (maximum heart rate)
Warm up: 5-7.5 min, aerobics steps/ spot jog
Resistance training: 1-2 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 30 sec rest b/w sets.
Chest press; seated cable rows; leg extensions; leg curls; basic crunches; bridging; cross crunches
Cardio training: 10 min each for the following: Stepper; Elliptical; Magnetic bike; Cool down: 2-5 min/recumbent bike
Stretching: isometric/ entire muscle groups/ 15 sec hold each
Q: My weight is 53kg and height is 4 feet 10-inches. I am 51 years old and a high blood pressure patient. I feel the need to lose some weight, as it might be a reason for my high BP. Please suggest a diet and simple exercise plan. Kulsoom
A: Dear Kulsoom, 40-54 kg is a healthy weight range for you. You can try to reduce to 40 kg. You may follow the diet and exercise plan below.
Breakfast: 2 cups cantaloupe, 1 cup Greek/ plain yogurt, 1 cup whole grain cereals or oat meal with 100 ml skimmed milk, 1 cup coffee or tea (if desired), you may add low fat milk
Morning snack: 1 cup beans/ peas,
Lunch: 1 large bowl chopped salad; you may add cauliflower florets, broccoli florets, carrots, red onion, radishes, romaine lettuce greens, beetroot and cucumber, 100gm grilled fish, 40 gm home-made chapatti
Evening snack: 1 apple, 2 cups strawberries
Dinner: 1 cup steamed vegetables, 1 small bowl mixed pulses or legumes, 1/2 cup cottage cheese
Post-dinner: 100 ml skimmed milk
Frequency: 4 (Mon/ Tues/ Thurs/ Fri)
Cardio Intensity: 55-60 % of your MHR; 10 min each
Resistance training guideline: 15-20 reps/ set; one set each exercise; intermittent with cardio workout; rest 10-20 sec after each exercise/ step
Warm up: 10-15 min, walking on T.M or stationary cycling
Mon & Thurs: Wall push-ups; elliptical; one arm D.B rows; r. Bike; shoulder press; elliptical
Tues & Fri: Seated leg extension; elliptical; seated leg curls; r. bike; standing calf raises with D.B in hands; elliptical Core work out
(Mon & Tues): 15-20 reps/ set; 1-2 sets each exercise; 30 sec rest after each set; abdominal lifts; bridging; standing side bends
Cool down: 5-7 min; r. bike
Stretching: isometric; entire muscles group; hold 10-15 sec; do not hold your breath during a stretched position. Always keep a check of your blood pressure before and after exercise, and never forget to take your physicians permission before starting any work out regimen.
Q: My age is 22, weight is 47kg and height is 5 feet 8-inches. Please suggest a diet plan that helps me gain some weight. Saira
A: Dear Saira, 55-74 kg is a healthy weight range for you; lower levels are recommended for women so you need to gain about 8 kg. I suggest you to go through a fitness test first to know your body composition and other fitness parameters as it will help you set suitable fitness targets. Body composition would let you know the fat content and fat free content that you posses and it may suggest where you need to gain. Never forget that you should indulge yourself in an active lifestyle to gain healthy weight. Eating healthy with increased calorie intake is only a half part of fitness gains. Resistance training with some cardio workout with frequency 2 or 3 and duration 30-40 min in total would be sufficient for you. Your fitness instructor may help you in conducting your fitness test. You may follow the diet plan given below.
Breakfast: 1.5 cups oatmeal, 100 ml skim milk, 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins, 1 tablespoon flax oil (cinnamon flavoured flax oil works well with oatmeal too)
Mid-morning snack: 100 ml milkshake prepared with skim milk, 1 large piece of fruit, 1 slice bran bread with 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 low-fat cheese stick
Lunch: 2 cups egg salad on 2 whole wheat pitas, 120 gm grilled chicken/fish
Afternoon snack: 1 cup low-fat yogurt, 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese, 1 cup blueberries, 1 tablespoon honey
Dinner: 75 gm grilled salmon, 1 large sweet potato baked, 1 cup kidney beans, 1 cup skim milk
Post-dinner snack: Peanut butter smoothie, a large piece of fruit.
Q: My height is 4 feet 11-inches and weight is 44 kg. I am 20 years old and want to gain some weight, as I am very thin. Please suggest a diet plan. Sumbul
A: Dear Sumbul, you may follow the diet below but don’t forget to improve your activity level also to meet your targets.
100 ml milkshake, 2 eggs white + 1 egg whole, 1/2 cup oat meal, 200 ml low fat milk, 1 apple, 2 medium sizes bananas, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 cup strawberries, 1 cup chopped cucumber, 1/2 cup beetroot, 1/3 cup tomato, 100 gm red meat, and 1 cup cooked rice, 1 cup baked potato, 1/2 cup nuts, 100 ml fresh juice, 1 cup pasta, 75 gm grilled/ barbecued chicken, 50 gm home-made chapatti, 100 ml whole milk