SPORTS & WELLNESS
 

Ready Riders
From the location of the track to the recreation of a natural terrain, dirt racing takes a lot of work to get going
Ruma Kat

The Chandigarh Motor Sports Association did a great job in terms of recreating a natural terrain in the centre of the city for the ridersT
he
engine roars to life, the machine shakes, as if a beast comes to life, and is all set for battle. The tyre burns the ground beneath, kicking up dirt and gravel. Every particle under the rubber and within the bike comes to life. This is the life of a bike in Supercross.

The Chandigarh Motor Sports Association did a great job in terms of recreating a natural terrain in the centre of the city for the riders Photos: Pradeep Tewari

Fitness mantra
Fire up your metabolism
Nancy Sahni

F
rustrated
dieters must have experienced and shared their woes how their strict eating plans and rounds to the gym all go in vain. Yes, they do see some results on and off, which simply veer off the minute they steer their direction to a more relaxed regimen. So, wonít it be so much bliss if we can eat and still remain fit! For this, one needs to fire up the metabolism. Now, the basic metabolic rate (BMR) is the rate at which our body burns the calories that we consume.

Workout for women
Jane Fonda
had revolutionised home fitness with her first workout video three decades back and her latest offering is set to be a must-have present for women this season. The 73-year-old actress has released a double DVD of workouts, which promises to burn fat and tone muscles.

Eating nuts elevates mood
E
ating
nuts helps lowers heart disease risk in people with metabolic syndrome (MetS) or those with excess abdominal fat, high blood sugar and high blood pressure, say researchers.

 





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Ready Riders
From the location of the track to the recreation of a natural terrain, dirt racing takes a lot of work to get going
Ruma Kat

The engine roars to life, the machine shakes, as if a beast comes to life, and is all set for battle. The tyre burns the ground beneath, kicking up dirt and gravel. Every particle under the rubber and within the bike comes to life. This is the life of a bike in Supercross.

And it was on show when the MRF Supercross National Championship began in the City Beautiful a couple of weeks ago. Although the event was a spectacular four-hour thing, the work put in, had taken weeks, probably even months. For it is not easy to grab the mind space of your audience in sport, without putting in unrelenting labour.

The winner might have been C. S. Santosh from TVS Racing team, but the men behind the scenes, are equals in deserving praise. After all, the team has been working consistently, over the past 25 years, and becoming the national champion is only justified fruit. TVS team manager Ravi shared some of the technical detail that goes into the making of a champion outfit.

Treating the track

In order to allow the 800cc engines growl in a race and the crowd to cheer each jump of the riders, from every crest and trough, one needs to first start from the base ó the soil that forms a Supercross track. The foremost thing is the location of the track, which should be big enough to string a series of obstacles and to get your dirt bike going more than the second gear. It should have a room for a water truck to pass through and should drain with ease. Since itís the dirt race, therefore, it is essential to have enough dirt on the location. And the most important thing is to get permission from the authorities concerned.

The Chandigarh Motor Sports Association did a great job in terms of recreating a natural terrain in the centre of the city for the riders to drive safe yet providing treacherous turns to pass through to win the race. This artificial creation provided lot of jumps and rhythm sections with a uniform and a measured look to let the city eyes get a feel of a national championship.

Bikes and the boys

When the track is set, itís now time to get thrilled with death-defying jumps, some spills and a lot of burnouts from the riders. And for this, they need their off-road motorcycles. TVS Racing team uses Apache RTR bikes to race in these championships. The top drivers, who are also the national champions of Supercross in India, are C. S. Santosh, K. P. Arvind and H. K. Pradeep, besides others from the team.

The 2011 championship was held after a span of six years in Chandigarh. Santosh won the title of best rider then also as he was the champion this time around too. Santosh is one of the best Supercross drivers the country has got. The 27-year-old boy from Bangalore has received extensive training from Australia and the USA and has made his team proud through his brave winning streak.

Becoming a professional rider isnít easy for any common person. Not only does one have to have the passion for fast and crazy driving, but one also must undergo a strict fitness schedule even while not racing. Physical trainers are kept to look at the driversí health for the whole year just as technical engineers are there to take care of their bikes to keep them prepared for all races.

When these professional racing teams move across the country for the national championships, they also organize a race category for the local lads. Even though the local people do not have professional bikes, but for the sake of finding extreme talent in racing, this category is kept. It is at this time, that young and potential drivers are picked up by various team managers.

The new drivers are then trained by the team, be it to understand the track better prior to a race or the technical pick ups and landings and also making them professional riders off the track.

Chandigarh challenge
Former Supercross champion Jeevanjit Singh feels the riders lack a professional team that can buy them foreign bikes to compete in these racesFormer Supercross champion Jeevanjit Singh feels the riders lack a professional team that can buy them foreign bikes to compete in these races

Even though the local lads did not have professional bikes to compete in a national Supercross and were mere kids lost in a candy store, yet they did not back out and put in their best to complete the race.

Former Supercross champion Jeevanjit Singh brought his Yamaha FZ16 down the track to mark the northern regionís presence in the world of motorsports. Jeevan had won the race back in 2004 with his RX100 and in 2005 with Honda Unicorn bike.

But this year, he could not make it to the podium. ďNeither do we have a track in north India to practice regularly, nor do we have a professional team that can buy us the foreign bikes to compete in these races. Motor sports is a costly affair.Ē

Costly it definitely is, and not just that, as a matter of fact motor sports is one of the most expensive sport in the world. But as everyone knows, the sensation of being a winner, the air that kisses the man on the podium Ö it is all priceless.

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Fitness mantra
Fire up your metabolism
Nancy Sahni

Frustrated dieters must have experienced and shared their woes how their strict eating plans and rounds to the gym all go in vain. Yes, they do see some results on and off, which simply veer off the minute they steer their direction to a more relaxed regimen. So, wonít it be so much bliss if we can eat and still remain fit! For this, one needs to fire up the metabolism. Now, the basic metabolic rate (BMR) is the rate at which our body burns the calories that we consume. You must have noticed that some people do not tend to gain weight no matter what they eat, but some gain weight quiet easily. Fortunately or unfortunately, this depends on the body type and the genes you have been gifted by your ancestors, but itís not a losing battle, since by skilled food combinations, you can make your metabolism gain speed.

Dieters, out of frustration, tend to experiment with all kind of fad diets available but the bad news is that that these quick-fix diets may cause initial weight loss but they actually slow the metabolism, which hinders long-term weight loss. But when you fire up your metabolism, you are not going on a diet. It is no fad diet but based on some principles and adheres to the recommendations by various nutrition bodies. These are:

Never skip meals: For instance, if you skip your morning breakfast, lay bets, youíll order a cup of coffee along with a couple of biscuits between 10 and 11 a, in your office cabin.

Choose a diet rich in the best carbohydrates: The complex carbohydrates found in wholegrain (whole wheat flour, brown rice, oats, beans etc), take a longer time to digest as they are rich in fibre. As a result, you feel fuller longer. Simple carbohydrates such as white rice, cookies and candies take a minimal time to digest.

Time and amount of protein intake has to be right: Eating a small amount of protein, along with carbohydrates, makes the metabolic boost from carbohydrates last longer. However, eating a large amount of protein at one go will make you feel sluggish, as the blood rushes to your stomach and stays there to digest all the protein and your brain and muscles are left short of blood supply and energy and the body doesnít burn calories but stores them.

Drink appropriate amount of water: It carries oxygen to your working muscles to help you perform your exercise, but when you donít drink enough water, the BMR tends to slow down. Water also helps fibrous foods in our stomach to expand and make us feel full. Squeeze a lemon in the water you drink to get an extra doze of immunity booster.

Eat a diet low in bad fats: Fat digests even more slowly than proteins, so in the right amount, it may prevent you from binging since it provides more sustained energy. But like protein, eating too much fat in one sitting backfires. Large amount of artery clogging fats make you lethargic. A high fat and high protein combo is a real thumbs down and makes your metabolism really slow and again all the body does is store the energy instead of using it. Think of it what the junk foods contain? Isnít it a high-fat and high-protein combo.

Eat at right times, eat more frequently than you were doing before: This means six times a day instead of two or three times because eating frequently is the key to fire up your metabolism, but, it doesnít mean eat more food than you were already eating! Also when you eat after more than 5 hours, your body goes into conservative mode and when you eat, even if it is in right amount, your body canít deal with all those calories while in a conservative mode and stores them as fat.

Get enough night sleep: Sleep deprivation leads to intense sugar cravings, impulsive eating and compulsive overeating and decrease in physical activity (too tired to exercise, too tired to play with your kids and even too tired to walk) leading to sluggish BMR and, in addition, you reach for that extra cup of tea or coffee to keep you awake. When you are deprived of sleep, the bodyís ability to use carbohydrates becomes impaired and thus more calories are stored.

Experiment with exciting ways to stay active: Your metabolism is like a slow burning fire and exercise is like a wood for this fire. Just like adding wood makes the fire burn more and for long, exercise makes our BMR faster and keeps it active for long even long after you have stopped exercising and the added advantage is that it also releases feel-good hormones that make you feel happy. You may choose certain cardiovascular activities, such as swimming, biking, walking, running, aerobics, skating, dancing, playing active sports etc. Try and change the mode of exercise after you feel bored by one.

Your target heart rate (THR) is the number of times your heart should beat per minute while you exercise. Determine your maximum heart rate (MHR) by subtracting your age from 220. If a beginner, your THR should be 60-70 per cent of your MHR. If at an advanced level, then it should be 75-85 per cent of MHR. Find the appropriate THR according to your age and fitness level and then proceed.

Muscle strengthening exercises are a must: When one ages, muscles begin to shrink and fat takes its place. As you lose muscle, metabolism slows down and kilos begin to pile up. After 30, both the number and the size of muscle fibres decrease. So, strength training in any form becomes a must.

Last but not the least, identify your hindering habit, which is not letting you fire up your metabolism and then follow the guidelines to break it.

The writer is a dietician with the Department of Dietetics, PGI

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Workout for women

Jane Fonda had revolutionised home fitness with her first workout video three decades back and her latest offering is set to be a must-have present for women this season. The 73-year-old actress has released a double DVD of workouts, which promises to burn fat and tone muscles.

Fonda, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer last year, has released 23 exercise videos since 1982, and has sold 17 million copies, the Daily Express reported.

She has been widely credited for popularising living room exercises. ó ANI

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Eating nuts elevates mood 

Eating nuts helps lowers heart disease risk in people with metabolic syndrome (MetS) or those with excess abdominal fat, high blood sugar and high blood pressure, say researchers.

MetS symptoms increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, the Journal of Proteome Research reported, citing a statement from the University of Barcelona.

Cristina Andrťs-Lacueva and colleagues from the varsity with the Human Nutrition Unit of the Rovirai Virgili University explain that the rise in obesity worldwide means more and more patients have MetS.

To check the benefits of nut consumption, researchers put 22 MetS patients on a nut-enriched diet for 12 weeks and compared them to another group of 20 patients, who avoided nuts.

The scientists analysed the compounds excreted in patients' urine and found evidence of several healthful changes, including a boost in patients' levels of serotonin metabolites.

Serotonin, a chemical, helps decrease feelings of hunger, makes people feel happier and improves heart health, the researchers said. óIANS

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