One of my first jobs in college was as an aerobics instructor at the gym in New Delhi’s Surya Sofitel Hotel in the late 80s. It was the era of Jane Fonda, spandex leotards and leg-warmers, an era when “no pain, no gain” was the mantra, low-fat diets were all the rage and “step” was a noun. I would sail through a dozen high-impact Jumping Jacks, my twenty-something body quivering with effortless grace, while the rest of my class composed of forty-something-year-olds heaved and panted through the fitness routine.
Three decades later, that image fills me with envy. After two kids, a sluggish metabolism, and a body that feels decrepit, I've found (like many others before me) that it's not easy to lose the pounds anymore. At cocktail parties and at meetups, the most common lament I hear from people is that they'd like to "exercise more regularly." Exercise is very important for health and mood (those aerobic highs aren't exaggerated!) and everyone knows this—and yet it's often tough for people to stick to an exercise routine.
Here's my cheat sheet on staying fit . . .