For famous supermodel and TV anchor Malaika Arora, walking into the gym with an athletic bodysuit is a breeze. But when cameras caught him entering the gym wearing ankle weights, that too effortlessly, he popped. This is because she was not making any style statement, but was focusing on the most neglected part of our body in fitness regimes – our feet.
Your legs carry the entire weight of your body, so they need to be strong to improve your quality of life.
Too many times you’ve heard the doctor say “Loss your weight so your knees don’t get strained and damaged.” How many of you actually heed this advice and act on it? The answer is probably very little.
So how can you work on strengthening, toning and building leg muscles and maintaining an ideal weight?
I would say start using ankle weights as an added tool to your fitness regime. When used correctly and with the right weights, they can help you achieve your fitness and weight management goals. Always remember, just the right way and under expert guidance. Never try to workout alone to get the results you want.
Although ankle weights can increase the energy you burn while running, don’t go too fast with them. These are great equipment that can help you combine strength training and cardio into one workout.
If you are experiencing any discomfort like pain in your feet, tingling sensation, poor blood circulation, swollen feet (edema), it is best to avoid exercising while you are recovering.
Ankle weights work best when used with strength training and aerobic exercise. Simple leg exercises using ankle weights such as intermittent leg raises, side to side or clockwise leg swings, intermittent leg raises while lying on your stomach, and so on, all with ease and Without straining your back or your ankles, muscles can work wonders for toning and strengthening them. Wearables, such as those worn by Malaika, are helpful for exercises targeting the leg and hip muscles, such as leg raises. Since loads place more load on the muscle group being targeted, the latter has to work harder to transfer this increased load against gravity. This increases the strength.
Strength training is all about building muscle and leg strength, whether it’s the various muscles in the calves, thighs or legs in general. Toned and strong legs can give you a place in both health and life.
As in the case of overindulgence in food, we should not overdo the exercise. It would be good to wear ankle weights twice a week for just ten minutes. You can manage weight healthily and have perfectly toned legs to walk that extra mile of success.
(Dr Mehta has trained Bollywood superstars Akshay Kumar, Preeti Zinta, Billionaire, Politician, Miss World / Miss Universe candidate and Maharashtra Police. Best selling author, he has been named Fit India Movement champion by Sports Authority of India).