Shivani Sahasrabudhe (MeraNews, Ahmedabad): Diwali is not just the festival of lights—it is also a time for feasting. Diets and fitness go for a toss, cheat days abound, and calorie counts go through the roof.

Keeping fit amid the flood of rich food becomes a challenge, but fitness experts and dieticians recommend a range of ways—from exercises to yoga to simple household chores—for a toned tummy.

“Since it’s Diwali, your home is probably filled with guests, and the household help are not around. So trying doing the cleaning and other work by yourself. You will feel energetic and at the same time you don’t need to go out (to exercise) and, secondly, start walking,” says Alpesh Shah, the owner of Life Fitness Point gym, who also recommends basic exercises such as sit-ups, stretches, jogging and push-ups that do not take much time and can also be done while travelling.

Fitness trainer Ruju Desai concurs. “You can climb steps whenever time permits and you don’t need to get out of the house for this,” she says.

Desai also recommends some novel approaches to exercising: “There are different exercises for different festivals, like in Navratri. During Diwali, we always do Bollywood-style dances and nowadays also do high-resistance cardio. We also divide this into indoor and outdoor exercises. Tire flips on the ground are also much in trend these days.”

Arial fitness techniques are in vogue around the world right now, from China to the UAE, says fitness trainer Gopi Trivedi, who, along with Desai, suggests surya namaskar to keep healthy and fit.

To counter the pollution and dust during the Diwali festival season, yoga trainer Shilpa Kelkar says, “Ujjayi breathing is the best. It can be done any time, while driving or sitting. Kapalbhati kriya is also easy to do. And Anulom-vilom pranayama is also good to do at the same time.”

Fighting the flab

“Go for natural options such as anjeer (figs) and other dry fruits,” says dietician Pallak Shah, who recommends push-ups, pull-ups, stretches and crunches that can be done at home and don’t require visits to the gym. “And have a lighter lunch.”

“As it is Diwali, people are tempted to eat more, so try to lessen the quantity you eat so that your cravings are satisfied and fitness is maintained,” says Alpesh Shah of Life Fitness Point. “People think that sugar-free sweets are better to eat, but that is not so—every sweet contains some percentage of sugar, for example cashews, which have their own sweetness. So people, thinking these have fewer calories, consume more of these, which is not good.”

Ruju Desai says the focus should be on healthier sweets as opposed to the usual options. “Most shops use jaggery, anjeer and so on. People should concentrate more on sugar-free sweets as they have fewer calories compared to other sweets.”

Gopi Trivedi has a different philosophy: “Eat what you can digest and tolerate. Don’t just gulp down sweets.”


 "You can climb steps whenever time permits and you don’t need to get out of the house for this... There are different exercises for different festivals, like in Navratri. During Diwali, we always do Bollywood-style dances and nowadays also do high-resistance cardio. We also divide this into indoor and outdoor exercises. Tire flips on the ground are also much in trend these days.” —Ruju Desai, fitness trainer

 

 

 



"People think that sugar-free sweets are better to eat, but that is not so—every sweet contains some percentage of sugar, for example cashews, which have their own sweetness. So people, thinking these have fewer calories, consume more of these, which is not good.” —Alpesh Shah, Life Fitness Point