Life & Style
For a fitter physique‘Anyone who claims that they do not have time to exercise for 20 minutes should reconsider their life choices.’
Raul Moktan is the co-founder, executive director, and Head Muay Thai Coach of Gymkhana Muay Thai. In this interview with the Post's Mimamsha Dhungel, Moktan, who used to kickbox professionally, discusses the importance of fitness, his personal fitness routine, and recommendations for a good workout and diet plan.
What does fitness mean to you?
There is no precise definition of fitness in the dictionary. Just because someone looks fit doesn't mean they actually are. Some people are able to lift 200/300 kilograms but struggle to run a flight of stairs. As a result, the definition of CrossFit—high-intensity functional movements in various situations—is the closest to my understanding of fitness.
You must be agile, which is what fitness truly encompasses. The fitter you are, the easier it is for you to perform all kinds of actions. Health and fitness are intrinsically tied. Outside of a hospital, your fitness will be the closest thing to health.
What is the correlation between fitness and body weight?
It would be incorrect of me to claim that fitness is unrelated to body weight. Everyone has an ideal weight to walk around with. When I say the word ideal, I don't mean it in the sense of beauty. If a person is 5 feet tall and weighs 80-85 kg, their bones must bear a large amount of weight. It also implies that they are obese. Obesity causes a wide range of diseases, not just heart disease. If a person is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 60 kg, anorexia may be a problem.
There are numerous areas to consider. So, being healthy means being able to perform all of your daily activities to your full potential. Fitness levels cannot be compared. You can't say you are fitter than another person. Setting a minimum or maximum benchmark for yourself is the right attitude toward fitness. The difference between how your body can perform at its best and its worst determines your fitness level. I say you are not fit if you perform below the minimum benchmark.
Is going to the gym necessary?
You do not have to go to the gym to exercise. It is simply more convenient to go to the gym. Morning walks are enjoyable, but they claim that pollution levels are highest in the morning. It is not impossible to do weighted squats in the jungle. However, going to the gym is far more efficient. I own a gym, but I rarely use it to lift weights. I have a background in martial arts. My primary form of training is martial arts. Even back then, I could kick a tree. But why would I go to all this trouble when I can just go kick some bags in a gym? The gym is simply convenient and time-efficient.
What does your personal workout routine look like?
My routine now revolves around my fighters. Whatever personal routine I had was thrown out the window when I became a coach.
If one of my fighters has a fight coming up, I need to train them more. I spend more time exercising alongside them. I am more relaxed when they are not fighting. Then I'm free to do my own thing. My fighters and I train twice a day.
I can't just relax and dictate when I am a martial arts trainer. I have to participate. As a result, I am kicked and punched alongside the fighters. You transform into a moving punching bag for your fighters. I get my workout there. When I have more time, I like to run on the treadmill.
What are your tips for a good workout?
I believe doing anything that requires you to move your body is better than doing nothing. Something as simple as taking a short walk is preferable to remaining sedentary. Your body operates like a machine. It will rust if you leave it idle. So, you should prioritise mobility.
Staying disciplined while working out at home is difficult because nobody else is keeping you in check. You should be strict about this. Always set a limit for your workout and follow through. If you can, try to exceed it even. Persevere and strive to achieve more than you did yesterday. Set new objectives and milestones. Gradually add things that will raise your threshold. What you need is consistency and persistence while moving forward and increasing your threshold.
What are your recommendations for a healthy diet?
Your diet should be determined by your goals for your workout. If you want to be a professional athlete, there are strict rules you must follow. If you simply want to live a healthy lifestyle, balance is essential. You don't want to go crazy eating unhealthy food all the time, but you also don't want to be the obnoxious person who goes to a birthday party and refuses a cake from a six-year-old because 'You're on a diet.'
I recommend that you consume a lot of vegetables, meat, seeds, fruits, and nuts. Anything with an expiration date that comes in a package is a no-no. Please avoid eating processed foods and sugar as much as possible. These are the basic principles of fitness. Don't overdo it with oily foods or spices. Consume natural foods and whole foods. Deep-fried foods should be avoided. If you must eat at KFC, go for the grilled option rather than the deep-fried one. Choices like these make a world of difference.