After all the work…

Fighting the bulge Exercise helps to burn calories, improve concentration levels and keep fit   | Photo Credit: Photo: S. Thanthoni.

Meet the flab fighters — a growing army of men and women whose evenings are all charged up with workouts and playing games, writes Neeraja Murthy

That stereotype thick-rimmed nerd is conspicuous by his absence as a bunch of Google employees sweat it out at the Pulela Gopichand Academy in Gachibowli. The computer lingo is given a go as the youngsters serve aces and win games. What started out as de-stress exercise daily, the badminton routine at the Academy has ended up becoming much more than that. The faces flush with excitement Soumyajit Dey and his colleague Vinay prefer gymming and playing badminton to improve concentration levels, keep fit, sleep better and feel energetic.

Meet the flab fighters – a growing army of men and women who prefer exercising in the evenings rather than mornings. “After office-hours, we started to play every alternate day initially for the fun of it and of course, to keep a check on our fitness levels. The game has paid rich health dividends. Now, we look forward to it everyday,” says Soumyajit, who also tries his hand at playing cricket, soccer and table tennis.

Vinay likes to workout in the mornings rather than evenings but he feels a change in the fitness plan has actually ‘helped him to sleep better.’ His car is his mobile house which is a place to stock his gym gear, clothes and shoes for different occasions. “After my workout, I sometimes have to attend a party or a social engagement and it does not make sense to again go home and change the dress,” he reasons. However, there have been instances wherein he went to a function with a pair of mis-matched shoes!

His colleagues Nabanita and Banamita work treadmills to keep a check on the weighing scale. Nabanita agrees late exercise are refreshing and fill her with a new sense of energy. However, experts argue this alternative workout might not be all that good especially if you are battling the bulge. “Sometimes, the body becomes so tired and hungry that you end up eating more after the exercise. In the mornings, the stamina levels are more as your body has had its rest at night. Another important factor is that your intake of food will be less and you will not feel so hungry,” says fitness instructor Sandeep Chakravarthy.

At Helix Tech Solutions in Banjara Hills, Bipasha Lahiri puts on her tracks and tees when her colleagues call it a day at the office. She makes her way to Talwarkar’s around 8.30 p.m. to do some cardio and weight training. “I am occupied with the household chores in the morning and cannot take time out for exercise. Evenings are free and I have an early dinner in the office around 7 p.m. and after the session I have either a milkshake or buttermilk. Workouts in the evenings are better than watching television,” she says.

Yoga is a preferred means to relax in the evening than trying different workouts, feels Sharmila of Yoga Zone. “Late exercise especially after 7.30 p.m. is not conducive with nature and one’s bio-rhythm gets upset, which in turn will affect your sleep patterns. Instead, playing a game, swimming or going for a walk is a better option,” she says.

Fitness cannot be attained overnight and making small gradual changes in your diet and lifestyle can reap big dividends. Sweating it out in the mornings in search of body and mind beautiful is a better choice than evenings.

Look before you lean

Keep a gap of four hours after your workouts and before you sleep.

Control your diet. Especially after a heavy workout, you end up eating a big meal.

Evening exercises may tire you more. Instead play a game or start a walking routine.

Workout sessions in the mornings give better results if you are fighting a bulge.

Your bad mood at the office might take a toll on your exercise.

Party animals might prefer attending a party than exercising and might end up skipping their workout sessions regularly.