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Meditation - Health Fitness India

I've been meditating a bit for a decade and half now. However, I've been searching for a nice Yoga school to also improve myself in it. Recently, I thought that I had found one by visiting its web-site. I went to its class in a nearby top hospital where it's conducted, however, their evening timing was incorrect since I found out there that classes are only held during mornings. I thought that this was general administration's fault which seems to be with several things in India and not of the specialist yoga teachers themselves. However, there was very high amount of pollution on the way and so I decided to not go there including in the mornings because by when the class would've gotten over, the traffic would've increased much and that which would've also kept me in that very high pollution that much longer. If you're concerned about pollution then I welcome you to also read and share 

I just read "At Shell, a Grassroots Effort Aims to Nourish Innovation Via Meditation" and that felt being a part of a great world and that humans are still pursuing greatness including for our world: 


Knowledge@Wharton: Recently, we published a series of articles on a meditation program at Google, called "Search Inside Yourself," which makes an explicit connection between mindfulness, meditation practice and emotional intelligence. I wonder whether at Shell you view it in a similar light and if so, what implications that might have for the way your program is built?

Mandar Apte: Yes, there is definitely a link. From my perspective, the link is that we're all busy; we're all racing to solve challenges. As for innovation, you know, it's all about thinking of new things. One has to learn how to drop the old habits, the old ideas, the old concepts and it's like taking a pause from the business of today, a gap in your mind from the train of thoughts. That's what meditation allows you. It gives you tools and techniques to pause. And silence is the mother of creativity. So, if you can invoke that space of silence within yourself -- through any means -- it need not be through meditative practice -- it could be any other means that anybody chooses to adopt. That's the first step. The second step involves social processes and interpersonal skills. If you can invoke that quality of compassion or empathy in yourself, where you are not judging yourself, you're not criticizing yourself, nor are you judging somebody else, then I think there is a space for insights to be created. These qualities are crucial for grooming your own innovative skills and nourishing the innovation culture in an organization.


I would keep sharing valuable readings and experiences on meditation in the posts. I welcome you to read and share if you like.



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Hi All,

I'd like to thank Ms. Ruth G to consent for the interview with the Health and Fitness India network. Our Q&A are as follows:

1. Why did you decide to enter the fitness industry?

I entered the fitness industry because I always felt lethargic and dull and suffered from a lot of aches and pains as I was a very inactive person in my childhood. Due to which I was overweight, so when I started going to the Gym I felt very charged whenever I attended my aerobics class, leading to which I really lost a lot of weight. Here I realized I could be a part of the then new, growing fitness industry in 1996 and so here I am 16 years down the line, still actively involved in this Industry.

2. What are your specialties as a fitness professional?

I pride myself to be able to convince women not to treat their bodies badly by starving to lose weight. But I help them understand that to lose weight we have to feed our bodies with the right nutrients and hydrate regularly and I'm happy to say I've convinced most of my clients to eat regular, frequent meals.

My specialties as an instructor is I'm a certified Personal trainer and Aerobics Instructor and I have my current First Aid and CPR certification which empowers me to be be able to handle any unexpected situation while training clients. I specialize in PIYOLET classes which is a fusion of Pilates, Yoga and Ballet conditioning, Step aerobics, Kickboxing, Aerobics, Power yoga and Boot camp workouts were also my specialties until I got hooked on to Zumba fitness. Im also a Marketing Agent for Zumba in India. Soon I'm also going to restart taking PIYOLET classes in the near future.

3. What's a great piece of advise that you've given to a client?

I feel you live this life only once so it's best to live a quality life by eating moderately, not necessary to restrict yourself. Workout regularly, and stop crash dieting!! If you can eat everything moderately and have a pretty stable lifestyle it won't be difficult to maintain a good body weight and live an illness and ailment free life. I promise you life is worth loving because when you have no illnesses to worry about you can enjoy a great life.

4. Can you please share any major mistakes that fitness professionals make?

Only one word, Overconfidence!!! Instructors treat everyone the same like some army boot camp, we have to realize that everyone has unique body structures, metabolism, stresses etc. We are in this industry to help people get healthy so its our responsibility to see to it that we equip ourselves well enough to offer injury free workouts which can take a client through the stages of fitness slowly but successfully so that progress is ensured.

5. Where do you see yourself professionally in the next five and ten years from now?

5 years down the line i see myself mentoring new Group fitness Instructors to become active, responsible Instructors. I also hope to see every citizen fit enough to actively play with their grandchildren even at a very old age.

10 yrs down the line I see myself opening an academy for serious fitness professionals in India.

Her Profile:

Ruth G is a Zumba marketing Agent for India and helps Zumba conduct Zumba Instructor trainings in India.

She is a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor operating from Goa.


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Hi All,

I'd like to thank Mr. Gurnit Singh Dua, Founder of The Fitness Factory, to consent for the interview with the Health and Fitness India network. Our Q&A are as follows:

1. Why did you decide to enter the fitness industry?

I was studying in England, and was impressed by how health conscious Britishers were. Whether it was hitting the gym regularly, or playing outdoor sports like football and rugby or even going for activities with their friends and families like hiking , trekking but fitness was something which was a part of their everyday life.

I was hooked onto body building as a result and started visiting the local gym in Bristol, UK.

My personality was totally transformed from a bulky 97 kgs to a super fit muscular guy weighing 76 kgs at 5'11 height.

I came back to india, and almost immediately started India's first professionally managed personal training company, The Fitness Factory ( and there has been no looking back since then (2005).

2. What are your specialities as a fitness professional?

I have several qualifications in Fitness and experience of over 10 years in Fitness / fitness studies .

I am certified by –

International Sports Science Association (ISSA)

Pilates Institute of America (PIA)

Fitworx as a Gym and Aerobics Trainer

American Heart Association in Heartsaver First Aid

Gayo Fitnesse in CPR and AED course

I am the founder of India's first professionally managed Personal Training academy: The Fitness Factory (

Furthermore, I am also the academics manager/representative of various reputed institutes like International Sports Science Association (ISSA), Pilates Institute of America (PIA), and American Heart Association (AHA) in Delhi/NCR, vide Gayo Fitnesse, Mumbai and I have helped several hundreds of trainers get their certification.

I am also actively involved in promoting various other fitness services as ZUMBA, Body Pump, Kick boxing and has also tied up with World tae kwon do federation in promoting martial arts.

My clientele include various top gyms like Golds’, Fitness First, Fuel, muscle magic.

I have personally trained over several hundred people (including the American embassy, Unitech MD Mr. Sanjay Chandra, ICT CEO Ms Himani Kapila, Bollywood actress Zoa Morani and various other prominent businessmen, lawyers, cabin crew, etc.) helping them achieve the desired goals.

I have also provided consultancy to the INS (Naval Academy, Delhi) for up gradation of their equipment and sports surfaces.

I contribute regularly to Mail Today newspaper.

3. What's a great piece of advise that you've given to a client?

Always take one step at a time and stay focused (You can only achieve the desired result if and only if you have an aim, a "LAKSHYA")

4. Can you please share any major mistakes that fitness professionals make?

- Being Presumptive

- Not being on time for their sessions (either at home/gym) and worst not informing the client

- Not dressing/smelling appropriately

- Overconfidence and not being open to the idea that one could know more than them also

- Pushing the clients too much (where it could be dangerous)

5. Where do you see yourself professionally in the next five and ten years from now?

I would like to see myself training the trainers on a PAN INDIA level in more than one disciplines and improving the level of Fitness / fitness sciences or fitness relates services here in India.

I would also want to start something where I could train all fitness trainers / professionals the art of effective communication with not just their clients but also their peers / subordinates and/or bosses.

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Hi All,

I'd like to thank Ms. Richa Sharma to consent for the interview with the Health and Fitness India network. Our Q&A are as follows:

1. Why did you decide to enter the fitness industry?

I was always a fitness enthusiast and I realized that in most of the gyms I went to, there were no properly qualified trainers. Most of their methods were outdated and non-scientific. Most of the trainers have been focusing on body-building rather than overall fitness. As a result the desired results were rare or limited. Sometimes I used to get nagging injuries as well. It was a continuous journey rather than a single incident and exploration of exercising concepts that made me aware of proper training methods. Once I achieved what I wanted, I decided to turn it into a career and help other people.

2. What are your specialties as a fitness professional?

• Handle the progression and transition of all the clients into new, more effective exercises.

• Make exercise programs based on specific, customized needs and goals.

• Create and implement complete and individualized time based programs which include weight goals, diet specifications and menus, physical training and exercise, and lifestyle changes.

• Focus on motivation and program adherence.

• Correct assessment of posture deviations and prescribing correct and safe rectification methods.

3. What's a great piece of advise that you've given to a client?

One of my clients is a middle aged woman. She had not worked out or had any kind of exercise in many years. The moment she joined a gym, she expected immediate results. Also just by looking at other regular gym goers, she started to expect the same fitness level as those members. I had to tell her to be patient and consistent with her workouts as one cannot undo the damage caused by several years of unhealthy lifestyle, instantly. Its important to work on strong foundation and to start with modest, short term goals.

4. Can you please share any major mistakes that fitness professionals make?

Trainers sometimes introduce too much too early, without even working on the basic movements in order to impress the client. This can sometime lead to injuries. If a client is de-conditioned, before introducing movement patterns, trainers should first work on stability and mobility training.

5. Where do you see yourself professionally in the next five and ten years from now?

I would like to educate myself more. Since obesity is like an epidemic now I would like to complete "Lifestyle and Weight Management" certification. I want to reach out to more people who are in need of expert guidance and want to promote Fitness as a Lifestyle habit. Also I have started my own Facebook page called "Quickfit by Richa Sharma" through which I am regularly posting Fitness updates and facts.

Her professional and contact details:

• ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified personal trainer. Certificate No. - T160334

• PIA (Pilates Institute of America) Certification

• Attended and completed “Training the Core” webinar by exercise physiologist Pete McCall, one of the founders of ACE IFT model.

• Successfully completed ACE IFT (Integrated Fitness Training) model.

• International Red Cross CPR

• Kettle bell workshop with Steve Cotter 

• Completed a continuing education program with ACE on "Fitness and Menopause"

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Strength & Conditioning for Kids: How and Why?

Someone in class tenth asked me today that whether doing push ups stunts height because that's what his school teacher who has a PH.D. told him.

I told him that I would search on this and then share the same with him. 


Age Guidelines

Generally, if your child is ready to participate in organized sports or activities such as baseball, soccer, or gymnastics, it is usually safe to start strength training.

A child's strength-training program shouldn't just be a scaled-down version of an adult's weight training regimen. A trainer who has experience in working with kids should design a program for your child and show your child the proper techniques, safety precautions, and how to properly use the equipment.

Kids as young as 7 or 8 years old can usually do strength-training activities (such as pushups and sit-ups) as long as they show some interest, can perform the exercises safely, and follow instructions. These exercises can help kids build a sense of balance, control, and awareness of their bodies.

Specific exercises should be learned without resistance. When proper techinique is mastered, small amounts of resistance (body weight, band, or weight) can be added. In general as kids get older and stronger, they can gradually increase the amount of resistance they use. A trained professional can help your child determine what the appropriate weight may be.

About Strength Training

Strength training is the practice of using free weights, weight machines, and rubber resistance bands, or body weight to build muscles. With resistance the muscles have to work harder to move. When the muscles work harder, they grow stronger and more efficient.

Strength training can also help fortify the ligaments and tendons that support the muscles and bones and improve bone density, which is the amount of calcium and minerals in the bone. And the benefits may go beyond physical health. Young athletes may feel better about themselves as they get stronger.

The goal of strength training is not to bulk up. It should not be confused with weight lifting, bodybuilding, and powerlifting, which are not recommended for kids and teens. In these sports, people train with very heavy weights and participate in modeling and lifting competitions. Kids and teens who do those sports can risk injuring their growing bones, muscles, and joints.



In the right environment, and with proper supervision and technique, strength training for kids has been deemed safe and effective for kids and has been approved by the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Society of Sports Medicine, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

It is thought that strength increase in children who participate in strength training involves changes in the muscle that already exists. A muscle works by nerve firing, and strength training in children and adolescents changes the way the nerves fire, such that more muscle fibers are activated by each nerve. This increases muscle strength in children without changing the composition of the actual muscle.

Contrary to prior understanding, new studies have shown that growth plates (the areas of primary growth at the ends of longer bones) in prepubescent children are not at high risk of epiphyseal fractures when the training adheres to these guidelines. Strength and conditioning training can actually enhance bone growth; the greatest amount of bone formation occurs during childhood, and strength training can serve to create stronger bones if done correctly and in the proper setting.

Is Strength Training Effective for Kids?

Studies: Then and Now

We now have a better understanding of the neurology behind muscle hypertrophy, and strength training in general, than was common 25-30 years ago. Studies done in the 1970s and 1980s which debunked the validity of strength training were later denounced by the American Academy of Pediatrics for using inaccurate parameters and excluding important studies on natural strength gained by children. For example, in the 1970’s, researchers didn’t realize that it took six weeks for the motor units to change in number and size.

Contemporary studies have altered that approach and have determined that children as young as six years old “can improve strength when following age-specific resistance training guidelines.”

(Benjamin, Holly J. MD; Glow, Kimberly M. MD, MPH, Strength training for children and adolescents. The Physician and Sports Medicine. 2003, Sept; (31)9)

Two studies used the twitch interpolation technique to determine the effects of changes in motor unit activation on strength increases in preadolescent boys when in a proper training environment. This technique involves delivering single electrical pulses to a muscle when the subject is at rest and while the subject attempts to produce a maximum voluntary contraction. The training sessions lasted ten weeks; when it was over, they saw a gain of 9% in the boys’ elbow flexors and 12% in their knee extensors. Strength gains were due to increased neuronal activation, intrinsic muscular adaptations, and motor coordination (learning). While muscle strength increased, the size of the muscle did not.

(Ramsay JA, Blimkie CJ, Sale DF, et al.. Strength training effects in prepubescent boys. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 1990; 22(5):605-614)

Movement Intelligence

An instinctual factor in sports, called “movement intelligence”, has also been shown to increase after a course of strength and conditioning training. Movement intelligence is when all the parts of the body learn to coordinate movement together in the most effective way. With proper training, this state is achieved with no conscious thought, e.g., when a basketball player jumps up for a rebound or when a baseball player swings at a pitch. The muscles involved with these movements and responses become more inherently and instinctually conditioned to react quickly and properly, resulting in increased ability and a reduced risk of injury. Since movement intelligence is learned, and since children tend to learn quickly at an early age, it is best to teach it as early as possible.

(Ramsay JA, Blimkie CJ, Sale DF, et al.. Strength training effects in prepubescent boys. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 1990; 22(5):605-614)

Strength and conditioning training for children can be safe and effective when proper safety guidelines are met and each child’s program is designed appropriately and individually. A pre-training evaluation by a personal trainer is necessary, along with a post-training evaluation, and the child must be supervised throughout the course of the training by the trainer. Likewise, the child’s parents must take an active interest in the regimen without resorting to forceful excess. The quality of each training session should be stressed over the quantity of sessions, and when applicable, the training should be as sport-specific as possible. Most importantly, a child undergoing strength and conditioning training should never stop having fun doing it.

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Hi All,

I'd like to thank Ms. Shweta Pratap Singh to consent for the interview with the Health and Fitness India network. Our Q&A are as follows:

1. Why did you decide to enter the fitness industry?

I've been inclined towards fitness & good health from a very young age. Whilst in school I was actively involved in various sports. I've always been a firm believer of the age old belief that your Body is a temple so you ought to respect it like one. It was this passion of mine for fitness & well being that eventually led me towards taking on fitness as a full fledged career...

2. What are your specialties as a fitness professional?

My specialties as a fitness instructor are : I'm a certified Personal trainer and Aerobics Instructor with the following specialties :

(a) Step and Floor Aerobics
(b) Pilates
(c) Power Yoga
(d) Kick Boxing
(e) Circuit Training

I am also a licensed Zumba Fitness Instructor having done several specialty training's such as Zumba Toning, Zumbatomic and currently enrolled for Aqua Zumba as well.

3. What's a great piece of advise that you've given to a client?

Most of the clients I have come across in my career span are usually people who are looking for a quick fix solution for weight loss due to a big event such as a wedding etc. However my advice to them is always that there is no shortcut nor substitute for fitness as a whole and it has to be a part of one's daily life so that one can lead a genuinely healthy and hence rewarding life.

I also advise my female clients that weight training is really important for them as well because most of them think that weight training is the sole domain of men and if they were to do it, they would really bulge up and look manly. Nothing could be further from truth as correct weight training can help women also in a big way as it increases bone density thereby preventing osteoporosis in old age and corrects the metabolic rate as well and thus helps in reduction of weight much faster.

4. Can you please share any major mistakes that fitness professionals make?

Basically every human is designed differently and therefore as a a responsible fitness trainer, one cannot treat all clients in the same manner. Also, its very critical to check a clients past/ present medical history - a fact that is generally overlooked by instructors. The fitness trainer has to design a fitness programme that is commensurate with the clients individual health and fitness levels, their body type and lifestyle.

5. Where do you see yourself professionally in the next five and ten years from now?

Five years down the line I visualise myself as having traveled round the world learning different forms of fitness and exercise including specialised martial arts such as Krav Maga etc. and add onto my certifications in various specialties. By the tenth year i want to be firmly established in the field of fitness having increased my reach to maximum number of people by having established my own signature fitness centres.

Her contact details:

Shweta Pratap Singh

Kochi (Kerala)


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