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Fitness First | Get Fit with Celebrity Nutritionist Luke Coutinho - Exclusive
The marathon season has officially begun, and the season of resolutions for the year ahead is also just around the corner. Several people take up to hard core training and fitness routines around this time, mostly as a resolution for the brand new year (and to add everyday exercise to our daily routine) or simply, to look our best for the most coveted NYE party in town. However, for many others, fitness means serious business and is an important part of their lifestyle. Constant work pressure and stress takes a toll on us, and taking out some time for a walk, run or even Yoga can do wonders to take us away from the monotonous routine. In addition, it also keeps us fit, flexible and energetic.
Interestingly, Celebrity Nutritionist Luke Coutinho also believes the same. Coutinho, who is also an Exercise Physiologist and celebrated author of ‘The Great Indian Diet’ (with actress Shilpa Shetty), believes in lifestyle change and helps coach people to make ‘shifts’ in their respective lifestyles, in order to achieve their health goals. Coutinho is the founder and director of Pure Nutrition, well known for their wide range of organic health products. He is also the head nutritionist, master coach and mastermind behind the popular GOQii lifestyle and health coaching model. Coutinho enjoys a strong clientele across the globe and works towards a simple vision - “To empower people with skills and knowledge to live longer, healthier, and happier lives, through methods of consulting, mentoring, counselling and professional advice,” he says.
Since many of you asked us to share fitness tips for the ongoing season, we got Coutinho to discuss fitness at large in this feature. Right from tips for a marathon or gym beginner to eating right, workout do’s and don’ts and fitness trackers; we’ve got your covered on everything in this exclusive chat with the master coach and nutritionist.
Basic tips that a beginner should keep in mind before hitting the gym
Luke: Make sure you set your goals and duration to achieve them
Start some light walk or exercise before joining any gym, in order to see if you are and can be regular
Optimise location, so you aren’t bored to hit the gym
Make targets on daily basis to achieve the goals
Workout do’s and don’ts for the winter season
Luke: Do’s - Drink plenty of fluids
Protect your hands and feet, as while exercising, blood supply is to the core and in winter, extremities might freeze out. So, please take care. Wear socks and hand gloves
Don’ts - Don’t over exert yourself.
Don’t skip your meals during winters
How much does a ﬁtness tracker beneﬁt an individual, especially to track their progress, whether in the gym or while running / walking?
Luke: Fitness tracker proves to be beneficial in terms of keeping you motivated if you have set goals for yourself
Build up correct goals that you can achieve as per your previous records
Shows realistic picture of your current health and fitness status
Also helps to understand if you had sound sleep as that is also one of the major part towards health and fitness
Five everyday exercises that are a must and perfect for every individual, irrespective of age or gender
Luke: The utmost important exercises to be done daily by any age group are:
Pranayama, Stretching exercises, Walking, Yoga, Side kick
Five important tips for a beginner, who is looking to prepare for a marathon
Luke: If you are interested in taking part at any marathon, it is important to take care of the following things -
Eating meals on time with small gaps
Focusing on a balance in between carbs and proteins with fibre
Hydrating body is most important of all
Keep natural sugars like jaggery, dates, figs etc handy to munch on, especially when you feel low on energy
The best pre-workout food / snack?
Luke: The best pre workout food needs to be a good combination of carbs with protein, as they help you in maintaining good energy levels while working out. For eg: 1 whole wheat bread peanut butter sandwich or / 1 Fruit with handful of nuts or /1 bowl of curd with fruits (yogurt parfait) among others.
Your thoughts on dietary supplements. How do they beneﬁt an individual?
Luke: Dietary supplements are not mandatory for all. They are best suited for people who are malnourished, have deficiency, suffering from digestive problems that hamper nutrient absorption, some medical conditions that need extra nutrition among others. These supplement help nourish them by supplementing those extra micronutrients that are needed to lead a healthy life.
Diet plays a crucial role in staying ﬁt. What is your thought on people who only concentrate on pumping the iron at gyms, but staying away from nutritious food?
Luke: Together, both Diet and physical activity play an important role in staying fit. Diet plays 80% role in maintaining healthy and fit lifestyle. Just pumping out will not give any good results. Instead, it will affect the body more negatively, making it vulnerable to catching infections by weakening the immune system, digestive system and more over, loss of muscles that can lead to other related diseases and may end up giving you a distorted body shape.
An important workout tip that you always swear by
Luke: Daily aiming to do 8,000 – 10,000 steps a day is most important for everyone. It is better than 1 hour of continuous workout.