While it is necessary to have awareness and find ways to stay physically active and lead a strong life, a person can often feel confused amidst a sea of information from various sources.
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This is why it is important to trust credible voices, and Yasmin Karachiwala is a solid there. The famed fitness trainer, who has trained many A-listers in Bollywood and Hollywood, has interacted with indianexpress.com recently, and answered some pressing questions about healthy living, training and managing body image issueseat one Balanced dietand whether it is acceptable to consume cheat meals.
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How do you start your day and what can you tell us about the importance of staying physically active?
I like to start my day with lemon water which boosts vitamin C and helps flush out toxins. It is then followed by a handful of almonds. Almonds are rich in copper, zinc, iron which play an important role in growth, development and maintenance of immune function. Additionally, it is a good source of vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant to support lung immune function. Vitamin E is also known to provide protection against infections caused by viruses and bacteria.
One cannot underestimate the importance of stay physically active. It has significant health benefits for the heart, body and mind. Popular ways to get active include walking, biking, wheeling, sports, active recreation and play, and can be done at any skill level and for everyone’s enjoyment. Physical activity also provides a feeling of freshness. In addition, regular physical activity It has been proven to help prevent and manage non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several cancers. It also helps prevent hypertension, maintain healthy body weight, and improve mental health, quality of life, and well-being.
While you regularly demonstrate many exercises on social media, what is your favorite workout?
The reason I show different workouts is that I don’t like repeating the same ones; I feel that the body needs to be challenged and subjected to different movements. Otherwise, you get used to a particular movement and then you stop seeing the benefits and results of training. I like to do different movements so my body is constantly trying to adapt to them and that’s where the change happens. I like to share the same with my followers. My favorite workout is Pilates. I also do a lot of functional training, HIIT, and Tabata among others.
What made you interested in fitness and when did your journey start?
I never intended to be a famous fitness trainer. I started almost 30 years ago with group aerobics. It was step classes and something I had learned in a class abroad that I was doing for fun. I liked teaching people, it was extra pocket money. My main intention in life was to become a teacher for small children, so I simultaneously completed my teacher training course and started teaching in a morning and evening school.
As my classes became popular I realized I really enjoyed doing this and took a personal training course. I opened a small studio in my house and ventured into Pilates. I never intended to be a famous fitness trainer. I wanted to help people get fitter and healthier. I always like to help people with spine, knee or shoulder problems.
A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. What kind of meals do you suggest people eat throughout the day?
I adhere to a weekly routine of 3 meals and 2 snacks per day. I provide a balanced diet, rich in fiber, calcium, protein and vitamins. Also, healthy snacks such as fresh and seasonal fruits, oats, fresh juices and almonds are some of the things I highly recommend.
A Balanced diet along with protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber helps contribute to body mass and maintain holistic health. After the pandemic, most of us realized the importance of being aware and taking steps to boost the immune system. I always suggest healthy snacks. People should snack on foods that keep them feeling full longer. nibble a handful of almonds can promote a feeling of fullness. They are a rich source of protein, a nutrient that is not only energy efficient but also known to help grow and maintain muscle mass. A study published by researchers at the University of Leeds found that snacking on almonds mid-morning led to an overall drop in hunger and suppressed the unconscious desire to consume high-fat foods.
Do you consume junk food in the form of cheat meals?
I have a cheat meal in the week which is chicken biryani. Junk food is something I don’t like. Over time, I trained my body not to eat junk; the journey has been hard but now my body is rejecting junk food. Sometimes I eat them as crisps or fries. But even taste-wise, I prefer sweet potato fries to regular fries.
Many people have body image issues, feeling guilty after being indulgent. What suggestions do you have for them?
I think we are all smart and making smart food choices is a lifestyle change. I only educate my clients on foods that are good and we all know that fried foods, sweets and alcohol are bad. Packaged foods are more likely to contain preservatives, which means more calories. These foods can often taste delicious and make you crave more, but they are not the healthiest options. Instead, replace these foods with freshly prepared meals. I’m a big fan of mindful snacking. My favorite snack is almonds. Plus, if someone loves spice, they can simply turn almonds into a tasty snack with just about any Indian masala/spice.
Your meals should be a mix of all colors of foods that can lead to holistic growth.
You have trained many celebrities. Who do you think is the most disciplined in their fitness program?
Today, all celebrities whether they are from Bollywood or Hollywood focus on fitness. In my opinion, all celebrities should train diligently and be extremely disciplined, which they are. They’re so disciplined that sometimes when they pull up late I have to go to work [with them]. I had to go to work at 5 am. All Bollywood actors today are disciplined; they realized it wasn’t just about losing weight, it was also about getting fit. They also found that exercise gave them energy and a boost that helped them get through the day.
I enjoy working with all of my clients because I believe everyone is unique and there is something special about them.
What exercise would you recommend for people who work long hours and can’t find time to go to the gym?
Working five days a week is imperative. For people with long work hours, I recommend hitting the gym, doing a simple workout at home, or going for a walk in the evening. The idea is to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. While eating well is important, exercise shouldn’t be neglected. Simple exercises like yoga and meditation, and walking indoors or in the hall will boost their energy levels.
How do you end your day?
If I don’t have plans for the night and I’m home, I eat my dinner and then end my day watching movies or shows. Usually I like to spend around 2-3 hours watching TV. I catch up on shows and movies I wanted to watch but missed.