Fitness is not about what you see in the mirror or a gym membership,” says Shwetambari Shetty. Instead, the former banker-turned-movement guru tells us it is about weaving exercise into your everyday life. Her debut book Get Moving! is meant to help beginners get out of that sedentary rut and is written in a relatable narrative style. Shwetambari takes us through her story from banker to trainer, alongside chapters on diet, strength and flexibility, and the importance of the often ignored warm-up. While the Bengaluru-based expert is best known as the face of Cure Fit, with a broad spectrum of video workouts available online, the new mom is also focusing on helping mothers with postpartum weight loss. If you’re one of the many mothers who gave birth during the lockdown, check out her comprehensive week-by-week postpartum exercise plan, up on her Instagram story highlights. Excerpts:
We see you sitting in a squat position over and over again in pictures on your social media. Talk to us about the message you want to convey.
Your body is not designed to sit only on a chair, it’s designed to squat. Notice a toddler always doing everything in a squat? A toddler isn’t taught this, it’s the natural position of the body. Start with 30 seconds everyday and then slowly get to about 10 minutes. Read emails on your phone, check Instagram, read the newspaper or have your morning cuppa, all in a deep squat. This is the best movement to improve ankle mobility and knee and hip joint as well as the spine.
Speaking of toddlers, you recently had a baby. Talk to us about exercising through pregnancy and some of its benefits.
My years of exercising and exercising during my pregnancy kept my metabolism high, which helped avoid excess weight gain. I gained around 13 kg in total. I did not have any back pain during pregnancy or postpartum. I did not have gestational diabetes, no blood pressure, no nausea, no pain of any sort. By being active all through, I could start moving from day three and exercising from week three, post-delivery.
There is a chapter in the book titled ‘ Movement is the Cure.’ Do elaborate.
My father has been diabetic for 40 years now. But the one thing he has done well all his life is movement. He walks every morning for over an hour and clocks around 15,000 steps a day. This level of activity has managed to keep his blood reports at a range that amazes doctors. And the same is the case with my mother, her reports amaze her doctors and she is one of the healthiest people I know at close to 70. The message is very clear, if you can walk anywhere between 8,000 to 15,000 steps a day, you can be a very healthy human, keeping many illnesses at bay.
If you could pick only one workout sequence to stay fit — what would you put in it?
Walking, squatting and burpees!
Any tips on dealing with festive feasting?
Choose healthier options at your festive parties. There are plenty of sweet and savoury options made from whole wheat, almond flour, millet, nuts and seeds and the perfect sweetness added to it from dates. And when you have to eat out, eat smaller quantities of all processed foods.
Most importantly, keep the exercise going on these days too. And add a lot of music and dancing to your Diwali parties, not just cards. Dancing is fun and one of the best forms of cardio there is!
Get Moving! published by Penguin Random House is priced at INR 299.