Forget weight and focus on fitness, says Sheela Nambiar

By the end of the book launch of gynaecologist-fitness trainer and writer Sheela Nambiar’s Get Size Wise, organised by Coimbatore Art and Theatrical Society, most of those present were raring to hit the fitness trail. Mainly because they learnt that fitness was not something unattainable.

Conversing with author Shobhana Kumar, Sheela debunked myths, spoke about the importance of proportion and said it was time to stop looking at fitness as ‘boring’. “You don’t need to be entertained. Just get on with it,” she instructed. “Take charge of your lives.”

What about the rural woman? Does she find a place in the book? “The book has been written for the urban woman. But, I see a lot of rural women in my clinic. They are easier to handle. They maintain food diaries better. They stick to a diet because they have fewer food choices.”

There were plenty of tips on nutrition, food groups and exercise too. Crash diets or starvation plans don’t work, she said. The repercussions are beyond weight. “And, what’s the point of drinking expensive concoctions instead of food? It does not comfort or satisfy,” she said.

The happiest line: It’s never too old to embark on a fitness regimen.

Sheela Nambiar is to conduct a workshop in Ooty in October. For details, e-mail /

Four pillars of fitness


Weight training that challenges the various muscles in the body. This can be through external weights such as dumbbells or using your own body weight — squats and push-ups.


Exercises that challenge the heart and lungs and leave you breathless. Try cycling, swimming running, badminton and tennis.


Exercises that increase the ability of a muscle to contract repetitively. Think of a long walk and training using low-intensity weight.


Activities that increase the ability of your muscles to stretch to the maximum length.

For instance, yoga and simple stretches.

Fitness personality

Are you comfortable exercising alone or in a group? Choose an activity that goes with your personality. Else, you will lose the motivation to continue. Think group aerobics, exercising along with a fitness video, or yoga.


Don’t look at fitness as a huge project. Break in down into manageable parts. Start with a 10-minute walk once a day. Gradually increase the frequency and number of minutes. Soon, it will become part of your routine.

The perfect time

Morning is not the only time you can exercise. If you’re an afternoon person, indulge in a pre-lunch workout. But, stick to the time. Only then will it become a habit, and it is easier to stick to a habit.

Number crunching

It’s dinned into us from childhood that numbers matter. Before any sports meet, we are weighed; our fitness levels are hardly checked. We think it is important to fit into jeans of a particular size. We have to get out of that mindset. Once, you forget weight, you will feel liberated and work on getting fit.


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