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fit and fat at home

We tell you how to set up a makeshift monsoon gym at home so you can get a great workout without leaving the comfort of your home.

The monsoon is not an excuse to sit around and pile on the pounds. No, we are not suggesting you spend your life savings on heavy-duty equipment for the home or the services of a private trainer either.

Look around your home and you're likely to find all the exercise gadgets you need right there.

We got Shalini Bhargava, Director, JGS Fitness Centre, to let you in on how to get started on your own cost-effective home gym.

Coke and beer can keep you fit

Instead of dumbbells, beginners can use unopened coke, beer cans or one-litre water bottles for toning and strengthening exercises. They can be used as weights for bicep curls, tricep kickbacks and chest-flys.

To do a chest-fly, lie on a bench, facing the ceiling with the cans in your hand. Hold them parallel to each other over your chest. Keep arms straight or slightly bent, and lower each arm towards the floor, until it's parallel to the ground. Then lift again and start over. Do 16 reps to begin with, and increase steadily or graduate to using heavier weights. This exercise develops pectoral muscles and impacts your biceps.

Borrow a basketball

Sit on a chair and squeeze a basketball between your knees to tone your inner thighs. Hold for 5 counts and release. Repeat 10 times and gradually take things up a notch by squeezing the basketball between your feet. The further the ball is from the muscle you want to tone, the more intense the workout.

The Rocky Balboa rope

Borrow your kids' skipping rope and use it for a great cardiovascular exercise. As this is a high-impact exercise, depending on your technique, you could burn as many as 200 calories with just 15 minutes of skip-rope jumping at a moderate speed.

Hula to a hot bod

Using the hula hoop is a great way for beginners to get a moderate amount of exercise. It also shapes your waist, but is not very effective in burning calories. The intensity and time spent doing the activity is significant to calculate how much weight you can lose. According to research by a Canadian kinesiology lab, a hula hoop workout can burn 325 calories an hour.

Leap to fitness

Jumping on a trampoline offers a good cardiovascular workout and helps develop balance. You can even do yoga poses on it to boost balance. With the right intensity, you could burn 200 calories by putting in 10 minutes of trampoline time.

Invest in rubber tubings or a resistance band

These are used for strengthening muscles by creating a resistance for them to combat. Wrap a resistance cable around the leg of a couch. While lying on your back, with your head near the cable and knees bent, grab one end of the cable in each hand and pull on each alternately as you crunch your abdomen and curl your head and shoulders off the floor. Start with 8 to 10 reps and gradually increase reps as fitness levels increase.

You can also do side-bends with the resistance band under your feet. Hold one end of the cable in each hand and stand tall. First, lean one way and then straighten your spine before you lean the other way. Do 8 reps on each side, and gradually aim to double this.

Dining chairs are for more than mealtimes

Stand in front of a dining chair, with your back against the chair's back and feet parallel to it. Stretch your arms out in front of you at shoulder level. Bend slowly at the hips, always making sure your knees are in line with your ankles. Then lift up to the standing position. Do at least 12 reps to begin with.

Lose weight, Swiss style

A Swiss exercise ball offers a core workout and is excellent as you can do myriad exercises and your back is supported at all times. Use the Swiss ball to boost flexibility, balance and strengthen muscles. With your stomach on the Swiss ball, one foot on the floor and your arms out for balance, raise one leg as high as you can and hold for 5 seconds. Then, change legs and repeat. Do 10 reps for each leg. You could also do push-ups, with your legs stretched out and your feet over the ball.

Tricep Dips are another exercise you can use the Swiss ball for. Stand in front of the ball. Then, leaning back, with knees bent, place hands on the ball behind you. Next, lean towards the exercise ball and then lower yourself slowly to the floor in front of the ball. Then lift up again and repeat 10 times.

Pick your routine

A variety of exercise DVDs are available in the market today. You can choose one that demonstrates yoga, aerobics or one that's designed for muscle toning depending on your goal. A towel makes for a good exercise mat option. For yoga, however, it's advisable to invest in a slip-proof mat with better grip.

Ms. Madhuri Dixit Nene :

Shalini is truly an excellent trainer. She is the perfect combination of tough and soft, She is skilled, thoughtful, sensible, and a pleasure to work with and talk to. She knows just how and when to encourage and when to push, and when to take a step back. Owing to her combination of diverse training methods, individualized exercise programs challenging yet achievable goal setting, a simple to follow diet plan and personal efforts, I am stronger and more flexible, I have better balance and endurance and most importantly, working out has become fun.

Dr. Shri Ram Nene :

Knowledgeable, Competent, Professional and Dedicated are what I would say for Shalini. She is quick in understanding individual goals and hence forth providing advice and varied programs. She uses a holistic approach, incorporating flexibility, strength, posture, balance, endurance along with promoting a healthy eating regime. She is encouraging without being “soft” and a great motivator. Most importantly – she ensures that the moves are done correctly and reinforces how it will benefit . Her professionalism, extensive knowledge and enthusiastic commitment to her work and ultimately her clients, provides the perfect scenario for success and sets foundations for a new healthier lifestyle! Highly recommendable!!!

Dr Dimple Shah :

I joined JG`s gym for ante-natal exercise and probably this was one of the best decision during pregnancy. Anupa, my trainer, exactly knows the regime a pregnant woman needs to follow. Her exercises kept me fresh through the day and my fitness improved post joining the class. She is very attentive and motivated me on days I felt tardy. Her flexibility with timing allowed me to go to gym when I was in comfortable doing exercise - this is a serious plus during pregnancy. Thanks a lot Anupa!

Dr Gitanjali :

JGs is a fantastic gym and work out centre.It`s is not only clean and hygienic , it`s ambience is very inducive for a good workout. The trainers are friendly and very motivating. In addition , there are a variety of group workouts which make it all the more interesting and I`m never bored working out. It`s been 3 years and am still going strong. I have not only attained my desired weight but I have also become physically stronger , energetic and well toned. This has really boosted my self confidence especially when I have to dress up.

Dr. Sanjay Sharma :
Director Asian Cancer InstituteProf. Surgical Oncology Lilavati & Bombay Hospital, Mumbai

JGS is heaven on earth for all fitness lowers and motivates those who desire to do so. This Centre and its management provides such an unbelievable environment which gives so much positive energy & makes you addicted to stay there longer.

It has meaningful, wonderful, newer equipment and above all class very professional, helpful trainers who guide you to do targeted, correct energizing newer exercise regime which no gym that I have visited in India and abroad provides.

I have myself got absolutely fit increasing my lean weight, shedding my flab which I never achieved in previous stints at other places, this in spite of my spending limited time here due to my busy professional schedules, this improved fitness has allowed me to concentrate more on my longer surgeries without getting tired.

I would strongly recommend everyone to stay fit & happy, please join JGS.

Dr. Priti Modi :

10 years and still going strong! My journey has been of a person who prior to 2006 did anything besides exercise to lose weight, to a person who wants to exercise everyday to kickstart a healthier day, for a healthier life. My sister in law, Reshma pushed me to join (thanks to a free 1-month trial coupon) and the JGs team members ensured that it becomes a part of my life. All the trainers are superb at JGs but my major experience has been with Anupa, Shalini, Sangeeta and Vijendra. Shalini has ensured that her dedication to fitness has rubbed off on all her team members. Each one of them is as dedicated and as strict as her in ensuring that we are regular and give our best while exercising. I always share with my family and friends that I just need to reach the gym, after that the trainers ensure I give my best. JGs has also been hugely instrumental in transforming my son, Nihar, from a chubby kid to a 20 year old with 6 pack abs. Thanks Shalini and team JGs, super job, well done, keep it up.

Rohan N Gajjar, Tennis Player :

“Very Good facilities and equipment with expert trainers.Friendly and fun environment to work out in”

Sneha Jaisingh :

I have been regular at JG’S for the past 2 years. Whether it’s the Group X or the gym, they offer something to suit everyone. The energy of the trainers is absolutely infectious. You wouldn’t want to miss a day at the gym because Shalini and the team have a way of getting you addicted to workout and a healthy life.

Sandeep Soparrkar, Choreographer :

'JGS is a gym for complete health & fitness activity. Their friendly trainers guide you at every step and help you fix a healthy goal. I am really happy to be a part of JGS and recommend it to people who are looking for serious fitness'

Gopi Kukde, Advertising Guru :

"A gym is a gym. But JG's is different. It got something that makes people comfortable. More than ten years of my association with JG's says it all!"

Kishori Kukde, Advertising Guru :

" The systematic, rhythmic and thoughtfully designed workout; is what I love about JGs. The atmosphere there is kind of "feel at home". I have been a member of JGs for more than 10 years and even today I have same enthusiasm towards JGs. The credit goes entirely to JGs for it`s 360° wholesome Fitness programs.