• 25 Apr - 01 May, 2020
  • Alina Qamar

Well, it’s official… while most of us are banging the door on our 2020 fitness and style goals, some of us have already fallen off the wagon! But, don’t worry, we have just what you need to get you back on top of your game. We’ve partnered with fitness consultant, Mehreen Hussain, to get the skinny on what it means to “hit the gym” and how-to workout properly.

Hussain is the founder of MX360 A C T I V E which is a weight loss and fitness programme, and the co-founder of X-FORCE Fitness Education Programme. She has also worked with PCB Women Cricket Team as a Sports Therapist. She runs her own social media account MforFitness where she provides her followers with tailor-made fitness tips.

Tag along as MAG connects with Mehreen Hussain.

How has your focus on fitness changed your life?

I'm more disciplined. In fact, the lockdown made me realise that I need to keep working from home and provide fitness solutions. In order for people to stay active I have to maintain my code of conduct.

What’s your favourite fitness routine and why do you love it?

Any routine that involves resistance training, I love! However, most favourite these days is mixed martial arts inspired workouts which is more of a power and speed challenge.

Physical activity and relaxation techniques can be valuable tools to help you remain calm and continue to protect your health during this time. What exercises would you recommend to our readers to stay stress free and also maintain their fitness?

Choose workouts that you enjoy. You can do that by trying different formats and see what interests you the most. It's a good time to find out and start working on your fitness. I include a variety of workouts. For example, HIIT, TRX, cross-training and MMA, these are a few you can select from. For relaxation, add a day or two of a recreational activity. Like a leisure walk, yoga, listening to music or even sitting alone.

Which household items can double as fitness equipment?

You will be surprised to know that you can use quite a lot. Dumbbells can easily be substituted with bottles. Exercises that can be done with them are bicep curls, triceps extensions and shoulder presses etc. Bags can be used for exercises that require more load, e.g. rows, chest presses, squats, lunges and deadlifts. Chairs/ sofas can used for box exercises, e.g. step-ups, jump squats, inclined/ declined push-ups etc.

What is the best and quickest way to shed unwanted body fat?

Eliminating sugar intake form the diet can do wonders. Changing the composition of your meals. For example, taking the right amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats according to your activity level and exercise routine. Avoid eating for at least 12 hours after your dinner (last meal). This improves insulin resistance which helps burn the stored body fat.

What's the biggest mistake that newbies make?

Proceeding with inappropriate information. Learning is important. They should always cross check it. Above all get training from qualified, experienced fitness professionals.

Your take on cheat days?

Once in a while you can have a cheat meal. However, I don't recommend cheat "day".

Any myths you’d like to bust?

There are many, including a few here.

• Sit-ups reduce belly fat:

This is one of the most sought for; doing sit-ups or crunches will reduce the belly fat.

The body does not burn fat from a particular area by doing a targeted exercise.

• Weight training is not for females:

Testosterone is the main hormone that results in muscle development. Men produce it in high amounts that is why they can build bigger muscles and faster as compared to women. The fear of looking masculine keeps most women away from lifting weights. However, it’s very difficult for females to become muscular like males do. In fact, females will improve their strength while not increasing in size. Apart from getting toned and strong, weight training can also improve bone density, posture, joint health, boost metabolism and fat burning. It also helps improve the quality of living and reduces the chances of injuries.

• Detox drinks for weight loss:

It’s a scam. Detox drinks are not bad, using them to lose weight is. Eating your fruits and vegetables is better than drinking them. It fills you up more and has fewer calories than what you take in liquid form. The body has the ability to detox itself so there is no need for these drinks. It’s also costlier than whole fruits or vegetables. You can't eat or drink anything to lose weight, you just need to create a calorie deficit.