Survival for the fittest
Eating little and still putting on weight? Have low stamina, weak bones and frequent low back pain and headaches? Congratulations. You’ve just won yourself a spot in the 21st century tired people’s club. “I meet people in their 20s and 30s who can’t even climb stairs or walk a kilometre. They are clocked out even before they touch midday,” says Gagan Arora, a Delhi-based fitnesstrainer. Fatigue has become one of this century’s most debilitating, yet underrated, conditions, affecting the youth physically, emotionally and mentally.
While getting the fit figure is still the driving factor for many, most strive to just get the basic, everyday fitness to do their household chores and professional jobs better. “Doing the kind of work I do, there’s always a lot of load on my back. Having suffered a previous slipped disc, I would come back from assignments wincing in pain,” shares photographer Mansi Midha. She started functional training recently with the prime objective of not losing weight but to strengthen her back and get overall endurance. “I feel I can handle much more now – physically and mentally. I’m in a more positive space now,” she adds.


Today’s coffee-and-adrenaline-fuelled lifestyle leaves less room for physical movement. Arora says, “Although we have more health clubs than ever and new fitness programmes, a huge population still lacks basic cardio respiratory endurance and strength required to perform daily chores effortlessly.” Agrees strength and conditioning coach, Raoul Hirani: “The biggest problems people face are mobility issues. They have incorrect postures and flawed squat patterns.” He feels that most gym trainers focus more on body building and teach only partial range of motion.


Exercise is a must. The energy you produce while exercising breeds more energy, not caffeine and sugar. “Redesign your schedule to squeeze in some movement on a daily basis. Simple tasks like standing, walking a few steps every hour, climbing stairs or 10-minute morning/evening yoga can deliver positive health benefits,” says Arora.
He recommends a healthy combination of elbow planks, wall push-ups, squats and pelvic tilts for starters – done in a slow, controlled manner, breathing normally and under proper guidance. Do not get too ambitious if you seek everyday strength. “Getting the form right is more important. Keep weights for later,” says Hirani.


Sodas: Drink plenty of water throughout the day
Starch: Go for wholegrain over refined flour

Packaged food: They are high in preservatives and salt
Artificial sweeteners: May contain less calories but has an adverse effect on insulin levels