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Give yourself just half hour in a day to be activeAugust 5, 2016 | Health

By Dr. Harshita Mehrotra | Source Credit: GOQii

She is a doctor by profession but, strangely never found time for herself to be active and healthy. But, the GOQii band and her coach changed everything for her in 18 months.
Here is Dr. Harshita Mehrotra’s success story in her own words.

I am a surgeon and currently posted in Port Blair. But, during my residency training to be a surgeon I was based in Delhi. Residency can be very taxing and stressful. I was so involved in my studies and work that I never paid attention to my own health as I never made time for myself. It’s ironic that I was studying medicine and I myself was not up to mark with my health goals.

I used to be frequently working night shifts in the hospital and I got addicted to caffeine leading me to have several cups of Coffee through the day. Add to this habit, I also had a very sweet tooth so it used to be pastries with Coffee invariably. I just could not resist them. I was also suffering from PCOD and GRD (Gastro Reflux Disorder) which are lifestyle diseases. And above all, I had no form of exercise at all.

I knew it was time for me to do something about this and get on the health path as soon as possible. I was sure that whatever changes I made to my life needed to be sustainable over the long-term. After all, what would be the point of working really hard to get active and healthy, only to go back to old times and face all the problems again?

Before:

  1. Unstructured schedules of a medical student
  2. No focus on her own health – Incorrect food, no exercise routine

In November 2014, I was suggested that I join a gym or do something to get active. I had joined a gym earlier but due to my odd things as a resident, I frequently skipped it. I came across GOQii band and I decided to go for it. The moment I got it I had made up my mind I am going to get active. I was also happy that I got a personal coach who would be having a hawk’s eye on me.

My dear coach Neha More asked me all about what I did, how I ate, what I ate, if I was active daily, how much did I sleep and when did I sleep etc. I had no positive answers to give her but, I told her my health goal was clear – I wanted to get active and be active every day. Neha helped me a lot towards achieving my goal.

We did not do anything drastic. Slowly and steadily she made me change my habits. She would say “ok, you are not having enough water – so drink water and not coffee.” She got me to reduce my caffeine and sugar intake. Alongside, she also made sure I was walking or had some kind of physical activity. Prior to getting a GOQii, I was leading quite a sedentary life. Then just by jogging around also gave me some leg pain but as I got regular, the pain also disappeared.

After:

  1. Daily fitness routine – Run and core exercises every morning
  2. Introduced Interval Training to build stamina
  3. Healthier meals – given up sugar, white carbs, and snacking on junk food, having an early dinner and not skipping breakfast
  4. Change in mood, energy levels, and dress size

I have now moved out of Delhi and practice in a hospital in Port Blair so cannot be a part of Delhi active Sundays anymore. But, I make it a point to spend at least 30 minutes with myself. Currently, I do a step count of anywhere between 7000 to 10000 steps daily. I also go for a 1.5 to 2 km run every day.

Having a personal coach has really helped. Some days when I am really stressed out and tell her I am stressed she would tell me to do some meditation and breathing exercise. She would ask me to focus on the positives and these helped me.

My life has been transformed as a result of being active on a daily basis. Even the voice in my head has changed. The voice that used to be harsh and self-critical is now kinder and much more compassionate. I have learned to treat myself and others with me too who are struggling to be active and healthy.

I have also had the opportunity to inspire others to take steps to become more physically active, too. I just tell them to give you 30 minutes daily to get active and that would be all.
While it’s not just about getting active and healthy, GOQii also gives you an opportunity to do good through their Karma initiative. I have so far donated 5000 karma points till date. I donated this towards improving healthcare access for women, improving access to healthcare to poor and victims of Tamil Nadu floods. Karma initiative is a great idea and makes me feel that I am contributing to the welfare of society.

It’s been over a year-and-a-half since I started on this journey. Today, I can proudly say that I have gained so much more. I have gained a healthy life and hope for the future. By the end of this year, I want to run a marathon.

What does Coach Neha More have to say about Dr. Harshita?

Dr. Harshita is a surgeon and very dedicated. When she was working in a hospital in night shifts she used to have lot of coffee and pastries. She had a sweet tooth or should I say rather sweet teeth and no time to be physically active.

We had been working on her sweet cravings, coffee intake then later running, interval jog and strengthening exercises too.

She started with exercises like strengthening, Interval jog and run and it has now become her routine and she ensures to keep herself active through the day if she misses on her daily exercises.

She incorporated healthy foods and understood the effects of ‘Mindful Eating’ while having meals which had great impact on her sweet cravings and portion control. She started consuming more water, lemon water after having sweets and coffee to maintain hydration level. We also worked on balancing the nutrient intake than restricting the specific food items to develop a healthy meal routine. All in all she is well on her path to ‘Good Health’ and be the force.

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