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INTERVIEW: How Goans can tackle Diabetes

In the build up to the Rio Olympics, we recently covered articles on the Great Goan Olympic stars Leander Paes, Neville D’souza and Serephino Antao.

While not all of us can scale the heights of being an elite Olympic athlete, just watching the professional sportsmen perform on the TV certainly gets us in the mood for exercise.

If you have been stuck in a sedentary lifestyle recently, there is no better time to turn back the clock and get your health and fitness on track.

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Kenneth Rego a Fitness Professional, from Mumbai who has trained in countries such as Russia, Vietnam and Thailand has recently brought the popular explosive exercise method of Calisthenics combined with kinesthetic learning and Yoga to Goa, by setting up Holistic Healing Goa.

Check out this video:

 

ItsGoa caught up with Kenneth to learn more about the fitness training routine which is currently making waves in the big metro cities of India.

What made you get into conducting fitness classes?

A few years ago I was diagnosed with severe type 2 diabetes. As of today I have reversed my diabetic condition purely by nutrition and a wholesome healthy lifestyle. It was my diagnosis of diabetes at such a young age in spite of being so fit that motivated me to be a Holistic ‘HEALTH’ coach and spread awareness that if I could become a diabetic at the age of 28, there are many more walking among us who don’t even have a clue that they might be diabetic or suffering from heart disease. So through my Fitness Training classes, Blogs & YouTube videos I wish to spread health awareness and motivate people to get healthy first rather than mindlessly run behind a body image.

What is kinesthetic awareness?

Kinesthetic Awareness is the ability of the mind to know and be aware of the bodies positioning and movement in space without actually having to visually see. Kinesthetic Exercise is a very scientific terminology. A simpler way of describing it would be Mind-Body Exercises and the two most commonly known forms of mind-body exercises are Yoga & Pilates.

A simple example of kinesthetic awareness is if I give a verbal instruction like “Stand upright with your feet together, now lift your right hand straight up with your fingers pointing to the sky, and with your left hand hold your left ear.” When your mind receives this verbal or visual instruction, it processes the information and directs the body to get into this desired position without even having to look. Any form of exercises or movement which incorporates the cognitive and kinesthetic awareness of the mind in movement is called Kinesthetic Exercises.

How does it differentiate from other types of exercise?

Most forms of exercises are purely mechanical, especially Gym exercises done on machines. The body blindly follows the mechanical pathway designed by that exercising machine, without really having a mind – muscle connection. The exercise done on machines does not allow the cognitive ability of the mind to access the complexity of the movement and its ability to gain mastery in that movement.

However, a very superior form of exercise which is done in a gym is a Barbell Squat & Dead lift. This type of free weight exercises is an excellent form of kinesthetic movement. Most people prefer to quit these exercises because of the complexity of the movement and rather choose to work on a leg press or leg extension machine.

What are the benefits of attaining kinesthetic awareness in your workouts?

Your body is an extension of your mind. For example, an upright chest-out posture signifies confidence and alternatively a hunch-back posture head-down might signify lack of confidence, maybe even depression. To simply put it, the body signifies the state of mind. The body and mind were never meant to work in isolation, but as a team. Just as a strong confident mind is signified by a strong posture, similarly one can train the body to achieve a superior functioning mind. Hence every movement should be Kinesthetic in nature.

Is this type of exercise recommended for all age groups?

Yes, these types of exercises are recommended for all age groups. This form of training is very crucial for young children from the age group of 5-11 for optimal cerebral development. This form of training is also optimal for senior adults from the ages of 65 and above, especially when the mind functioning starts to decline and starts showing a lack of cognitive awareness. The intensity and the complexity are diverse and will vary to suit participants of all age groups.

Is there a different approach to health and fitness in the countries you have visited?

I have worked with many westerners while in South East Asia, especially Europeans. 90% of them are very active and indulge in some form of sports or exercise activity. They might not always look fit physically, but movement wise they always impress me. Most of the clients I have worked with in the west adopt and embrace different forms of training with an open mind. This makes it more fun and challenging for me to be creative all the time.

What dietary habits should Goans implement to improve their health?

I have observed most Goans consume copious amounts of refined carbohydrates as their staple, like white rice and white bread. Processed flour items such as cakes, biscuits are also consumed abundantly without realizing the consequence. On the other hand, nutritious foods like raw or cooked vegetables are significantly absent. If at all they are consumed then it is in the form of a condiment (very small portions). Also most Goans are not as physically active as recommended for good health. This way of eating habit can make people very sick and over weight. Keeping a check on your overall sugar intake and increasing the overall consumption of fruits and vegetables is the kind of dietary change I would recommend to Goans.

How long should one wait to start seeing improvements in their overall fitness and weight?

If practiced consistently, noticeable improvements can be seen within 3 to 4 weeks, provided a good exercise plan is supported by good nutritional eating habits as mentioned.

Are there any other great fitness tips that you can share with our readers?

A good looking lean body represents Great Health & Vitality. If suffering from weight issue, one needs to get to the underlying cause of it. A body that stores fat increasingly is a sign of a major health issue. Goal should be to achieve overall health and wellness and the right body will follow. The Basic points include:

  • Eat more servings of fruits and vegetables.
  • Cut down on processed carbs and junk food.
  • Switch to green tea instead of coffee.
  • Drink a lot of water and have fiber rich food.
  • Get plenty of activity and movement as our bodies were not designed to be sedentary.
  • Finally get good quality sleep and try managing your stress.

We hope Kenneth’s advice has motivated you to get back into shape. Kenneth is currently conducting classes in Porvorim and Saligao. If you are interested in getting back into shape, you can contact him on: Phone +91 9920322150 or email – [email protected].

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