KT For Good: Forget fads, stick to what works for you


ubai Fitness Challenge,  Fitness, Dubai, UAE, Health
30 MINUTES OF FITNESS: Residents do stretching exercises in a workout session at Dubai Festival City on Monday, the fourth day of the Dubai Fitness Challenge.

The most important thing is to fit in some time to sweat in a day.

By Dr Daamini Shrivastav

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Tue 22 Oct 2019, 6:56 AM

Last updated: Tue 22 Oct 2019, 2:56 PM

The problem with health, fitness and wellness in general is that we - the human race - are still in the nascent stages of discovering and understanding the complex science behind it all.
The simplest way I explain this to my patients and clients is that: Science is constantly updating itself (and us) and there is a time delay between discovery and education of specialists in the field.
It took years for smoking to be condemned because in between the early studies revealing the bodily carnage it causes and people beginning to accept the gruesome reality of it, there was unwillingness to evolve from something they had been conditioned to consider 'natural'. Foods that were routinely consumed by two or three generations before us were then relegated to the 'unhealthy' lists by Baby Boomers.
I personally feel that we as a society go through cycles in decades when it comes to demonising food groups. In the '80s we shunned fats; in the 90's we swore off carbs (oh Atkins!); in the 2000s we stayed away from dairy; and now we're witnessing a gluten-free era. A lot of this is further fueled in its 'trendy quotient' by aggressive marketing at the hands of food manufacturers.
Similarly with exercise, I witness daily how misinformed many people are on aspects ranging from how and when to work out - to the dos and don'ts. But just like the issue at hand, which is multidimensional, the solution is complex, too.

So when does one work out?
I personally advise people to find what suits them best. Based on your personality and commitments, figure out whether you're the owl or the early bird.
Once you do, stick to it and gradually build up your fitness, endurance and performance. The most important thing is to fit in some time to sweat in a day.
There are some that rise from sleep and full of energy, aka 'early birds'. Another type of person, the 'owl', wakes later and more slowly than most, taking a few hours to get functioning and feel alert.  Generally speaking, the owl will perform better in the late afternoon, while the lark will perform better in the morning.
But life, presently, doesn't run solely on body science nor personality .
To whom do we turn to and what information should we filter out?  If you ask me, I'd suggest a combination of reading up from reliable sources on the Internet and then asking professionals in the field. 
(Juggling many roles from physician to writer, pilates instructor and director of marketing-PR at Conceive Hospital, Dr Daamini Shrivastav is constantly inspired to get creative on how to squeeze a retreat into her daily life.)

Top four things to do today

1 Go for a ride
Ride your way through an intense indoor cycling class that can elevate your metabolism hours after exercise.
What: RIDEHiit
Where: NRG Fitness, Dubai Marina
Time: 10.15am-11am
Cost: Free

2 Get in the water
Enjoy a morning swim that combines high-intensity interval training and yoga moves
What: Float Fit (Swimming)
Where: Dubai Ladies Club, Jumeirah
Time: 10.15am-10.45am
Cost: Free

3 Take exercise to the next level
Get moving in a circuit training in which you do one exercise for 30 seconds then immediately shift to another exercise

What: Circuit Training
Where: Fitness 4 Life, Silicon Oasis
Time: 12pm-12.30pm
Cost: Free

4 Test your limits
Challenge yourself in a fun CrossFit class that also includes body analysis and movement assessments
What: Mainline Class (CrossFit)
Where: InnerFight CrossFit Gym, Al Quoz
Time: 5pm-6pm
Cost: Free

Challenge accepted

'Staying in shape makes me feel good'

Nutrition, exercise and fitness: Three things that are always on 28-year-old Akshatha Balachandra's mind. But that hadn't always been the case.
Akshatha, who came to the UAE in 2013, said it was a snide comment from a loved one that motivated her into becoming a fitness buff.
"I have always loved the idea of exercising, being fit and strong, but I was never consistent or motivated until, one day, a close friend said something that made me realise it's time to hit the gym," she recalled. "However, being in India, I never really got a chance to follow a strict diet and exercise regime because of too many family and social gatherings."
Soon after she got a job in the UAE, she started her life-changing fitness journey.
"I started following a strict diet and began exercising regularly, squeezing in some time even with a hectic work schedule. This was an investment in myself as I took on the challenge of getting in shape." Akshatha shed a considerable amount of weight in a year or so and realised that being fit not only helped her look good but also made her mentally strong.
"Not only did I lose weight in a healthy way but it also toned up my body. My family could not believe it was me, when I sent them my pictures a year after coming to the UAE."
The changes fitness brought into her life were unbelievable, she said.
"Not only did I look and feel good but also became more confident and mentally strong. I cannot think of a day without exercise."
Taking up the Dubai Fitness Challenge with great zeal, Akshatha believes such initiatives give people a chance to focus on themselves and take charge of their fitness levels.

More news from