HEALTH AND FITNESS: Health and fitness: I am Kaka. I am 47 and I have hypertension. I have been on medication for last six years. I weigh 85 kilograms.
I am very much interested to join health/gym club to control my body weight and hypertension. I need right person to guide me through and advise me at every step.

Dear kaka,
Now that you have set your mind to change, following my advice will help you to realise your goal to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

1. Set realistic goals
You want to make small and short-term goals to begin with. Then, as you achieve them, set larger and longer-term goals. You could begin by setting a goal of walking three days a week for thirty minutes each. You should be able to do that consistently. Attempting for too many changes too soon can hamper your ability to progress as the load of your unrealistic goals can be overbearing and, eventually, lead to emotional and physical breakdown, ending up disliking and refraining from exercise to go any further. Change must be gradual and progressive.

2. Health club and gyms
Place and equipment have no magic. All depends on you and how far you want to go.

3. Individual goals:
If your goal is to curb or eliminate hypertension and to lead a healthy lifestyle, acquiring gym membership is not an absolute necessity. A combination of body weight exercise and stretching combined with brisk walking is ideal.

4. How to choose a gym
Cost: You could join a gym where fee suit your income.
Value: You should decide whether it’s worth all the trouble, both in terms of time and money spent to join and to commute to and from the gym.
Quality: Well-equipped gym with knowledgeable and passionate fitness enthusiasts is where you should be.
Nutrition: The best way address hypertension, especially if you are overweight is to lose the extra weight. You can do so by gradually reducing the amount of carbohydrate in your meals. Rice, pasta, bread, roti, and fruits are common items that Bhutanese consume in large quantities. All these should be replaced by a variety of vegetables. The more the variety of food items to your meals, the higher the chances of ensuring that you get all the nutrients required to burn fat.
Lastly, everything in life needs constant work. Building a healthy lifestyle routine is no different. As long as you are consistent, you will enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Tshering Dorji (three times Mr Bhutan winner), is a certified fitness trainer and specialist in performance nutrition


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