Shake a leg to masala bhangra, zumba your way to reggae, salsa and merengue or simply try Bokwa. Check out these must-do fitness fundas for a healthy 2014

Get smart

“A great way to kick-start the year is to choose a crisp, smart and customised workout that suits your body type,” says G. Reshma, centre head, Fitness One. “Fitness is not about duration; it is about following a routine that keeps you charged all day.” Most importantly, she says, you should enjoy it. So, opt for workouts that promote the release of endorphins or happy hormones.

It could be stress-relief workouts such as running or jogging, endurance and stamina exercises that help pump up the heart rate, exercises that promises flexibility or a routine that helps you burn fat. You could also go in for yoga, dynamic body stretches or PNF stretching.

Eat right

Say no to fried food, fatty items and junk food. “A resolution to eat healthy with more veggies and fruits, and on time is the way to go,” says nutritionist P. Uma Poorani of Pink Fitness. An ideal breakfast should include pulses, cereals, salads and fresh fruit juices. A traditional South Indian lunch of rice, sambar, rasam, vegetables and curd works wonders to fitness, she says. Follow it up with a light dinner. “Replace wheat and rice with millets such as ragi, jowar or kambu. Give a twist to traditional recipes. For example, add millets and vegetables to your idli batter and try vegetable idli or dosa,” she says.

Consume more protein rich-food — pulses, egg, soya, fish, legumes and lean meat — and drink a minimum of three litres of water every day.

What's your choice?

Zumba, chaircocise, masala bhangra, Bokwa…there are options galore for fitness enthusiasts in the city, says M. Edwin of Footloose Edwin Dance School. “People want variety. Fitness fatigue has hit them and they want to experiment and try out new routines. So, dance classes clubbed with fitness is their mantra,” he says. People are not willing to give up on good life, so a fitness routine is mandatory to burn the extra calories, he says. Chaircocise, a total workout for the upper body, has many takers, he says. It is suited for corporate and IT employees who spend long hours at office. The workout, done sitting on a chair, targets the upper neck, upper back, arms, shoulders and abs. It also helps those who have knee problems and cannot cope with standing exercises. As for Bokwa, it is a workout that involves fancy footwork as you dance to music beats.

Calm and relaxed

It’s just about high-intensity workouts. Yoga, pilates, yogalates (a combination of yoga and pilates) and Tai Chi offer a stress-free workout, indoors. Tai Chi expert Sonika Vickraman says fitness is not about working out mindlessly. “Any fitness regime should have a pace that you can follow throughout your life,” she adds.

Go natural

“Consume freshly harvested fruits and vegetables,” says hospitality consultant R. Shreedhar. He warns against processed meat, seafood and canned vegetables as the fat content multiplies on storage. Stay away from carbonated cool drinks, he says. The caffeine, taurine and ethylene in them can harm the digestive system. “Take a resolution to have iced teas in any form and fresh juices instead of aerated drinks,” he adds.

Make it a habit to start every meal with a soup. This helps limit your rice intake and cuts down on carbs. Cut down on oil while cooking, he says. It is packed with calories. Include more steamed or grilled food.

The ideal food plan

Every meal must comprise 20 per cent of raw food. Replace fried foods with fruit salads; top them with an interesting dressing — lime juice, black salt or olive oil.

A healthy breakfast is the key. Have your breakfast before 9 a.m.

How much rice is good? Just as much as your palm can hold.

Eat lunch before 2.30 p.m.

If you’re a brunch person, have it between 11.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. and include fresh juices, toast, salads, cereals and nuts.

For evening snacks, opt for multi-grain cookies.

Dinner must comprise rotis, a multi-vegetable sabzi, some dry fruits and a glass of milk