Saina Nehwal, one of the most accomplished athletes in Indian sports, has no doubt a lot of fitness secrets to share. A vegetarian from Hissar-Haryana, Saina has successfully battled with agile and strong players from China, amongst other countries. Saina's tanacity and grit have won her many fans across the world, and today we're finding out how Saina Nehwal stays fit.
We can learn a lot about diet and fitness from athletes like Saina, who are not all that different from us in terms of upbringing and food habits. Even though the international stage is ruled by athletes from countries with different dietary and fitness outlooks, our own Indian athletes have childhoods and opportunities similar to ours. Therefore, when someone like Saina comes along and competes on a world stage, we can definitely take tips and incorporate them into our daily lives. So here are some of Saina's dietary and fitness practices:
Discipline, discipline, discipline – Unlike other teenagers Saina doesn’t get to sleep in, watch movies or hang out with friends. She gets up at 6 am every day, 6 times a week and practices. Much of her success has come from just great discipline. Discipline is something a lot of us lack in our diets and exercise routines. We know eating something is bad for us but we still eat it, and the same goes for exercise. Discipline is necessary to incorporate into our lives if we want to keep fit.
Fitness routine – Typically, her weekly routine includes 2-4 sessions of strength training, 3-6 sessions of endurance and 6-8 sessions of agility and moderate running as part of endurance training. As part of her strength training routine she does dumbbell pullovers, rowing exercises, military press for shoulders, heel raises for calf muscles and lat pull downs, amongst others. Her agility training is a customised routine including speedy bursts of running along with lunges, ab crunches, etc.
Diet – Though she was born into a vegetarian home, once she embarked on her chosen career, Saina started eating meat. “Players need strength and the only way to get it is through eating meat. I eat a lot of chicken and I believe it has helped me to gain strength," says Saina, who has also given up junk food.
Though a world class athlete’s requirements for diet and exercise is obviously different from ours, it's important to note that with a goal in mind, discipline and with only our own conscience to guide us, it is possible to make a big difference to our lifestyle and overall health.
* Image courtesy Reuters
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