by Sidra Arshad
27 June-03 July, 2015

Q: I am 15 years old. My weight is 60kg and height is 4ft 7 inches. I want to increase my height and lose weight. I can only go to gym on weekends as I am a school-going kid. Please make a diet plan and advise me some exercises. Shams
Dear Shams, height growth among boys during age group 13-15 years is 5 inches. Height is mainly related to your genetic make-up but other factors such as your lifestyle, eating habits, sleep duration and environment has its impact as well. Height growth in teenage boys usually peaks at puberty when pituitary gland secretions are heightened. It may occur during the beginning, midst or by the end of your teenage. So, you do not need to worry. However, excess weight needs to be worked out for your proper growth and development. You can adopt an active lifestyle and proper rest time to boost your glands and body to function appropriately. You can do so by following exercise regimes, some physical activity and having required nutritious calories in a balanced way. The amount of rest you need with this active lifestyle is about 8 hours. Going to the gym on weekends is not the only solution. You can make other changes in your daily life to be active and to include some form of physical activity in your routine. Here I am prescribing you a weeks' plan. You will visit your gym on weekends whilst doing other activities during week days at home.

Always warm up for 5-10 mins before starting any exercise or physical activity. You can do calisthenics / spot jog / aerobic steps at light to moderate pace.
Day 1: Bicycle ride to your institute 15 mins
Day 2: Gardening at home 30 mins
Day 3: Playing sports that interests you 30 mins
Day 4: Cleaning and washing car 30 mins
Day 5: Stair climbing 15 mins
Day 6: Gym
1-2 sets each exercise; 12-15 repetitions; rest 30 secs after each set; 1-2 mins rest after each exercise
Push ups + squats + pull ups + standing calf raises on step + leg curls with ball + basic crunches + cross crunches + ball bridging
15 mins T.M run + 15 mins elliptical run
Cool down for 5 mins. Lower the intensity of your cardio workout. Stretch all major muscle groups during rest phases and by the end of exercise session.
Day 7: Rest

Diet Plan
• 150ml fresh juice
• 1 medium bowl whole-grain cereals + 1 egg whole + 1 egg white + 150ml skimmed milk
• 1 medium bowl mixed fruit
• 1 medium bowl salad + 125g fish grilled + 1-2 servings of rice
• One handful of nuts / 1 small-sized baked potato
• 1 medium bowl salad + 1 medium bowl mixed pulses + 45g homemade chapatti
• 100ml skimmed milk

Q: I am 25 years old. My weight is 55kg and height is 5ft 1-1/2 inches. Everyone is saying that I look fat and chubby. I want to lose extra kilos. Please recommend what should be an ideal weight for me and how to achieve it. Nimra
Dear Nimra, weight range according to your age and height is 45.22 to 61.13kg. Women usually look bulky when they gain weight. You need to reduce around 10kg to be at the lower limit of your weight range. Considering people and their pessimistic behaviours in creating a negative self body image makes you set your targets high and consumes your energies in achieving them. Here you can set your targets as reducing extra kilos and improvements in your fitness levels. You can do so by having an active lifestyle that requires healthy eating in balanced ways and appropriate exercises for about an hour a day.

Exercise Plan
Warm up for 5-10 mins in the beginning.
Resistance guidance
(12-15 reps each/no rest in between/ 30 secs rest after the two exercises/ 2-3 sets).
Day 1
A. Cable chest press + cable back rows
B. Shoulder press machine + lat pull down front
Day 2
C. Concentration curls (biceps) + single arm kick backs (triceps)
D. Single leg raises prone + single leg raises supine
Day 3
E. Leg extensions + leg curls
F. Hip abduction + hip adduction
Day 4
G. Front calf raises + back calf raises
H. Plank 30 secs + side plank 15 secs each side
Cardio guidance
Day 1-4
I. 15 mins T.M + 15 mins elliptical + 15 mins bike
Day 5
J. 20 mins T.M + 10 mins stepper + 20 mins elliptical + 10 mins arc trainer
Day 6 & 7: Rest.
Cool down 5 mins by slow walk. Stretch all major muscle groups. Hold for 20-30 secs each group. Repeat two more times.

Diet Plan
• 200ml skimmed milk + 1medium bowl whole-grain cereals + 2 egg whites
• 2 slices bran bread with peanut butter and 40g chicken kebab
• 1 large bowl salad + 150g chicken/fish grilled + 45g homemade chapatti
• 1/2 cup mixed fruits
• 1 medium bowl salad + 1 medium bowl mixed pulses + 1 serving rice

Q: I am a 30-year-old guy. My parents are diabetic but I am not diagnosed yet. I want to follow a healthy regimen to avoid any illness. My height is 5ft 6 inches and weight is 68kg. Please help! Kazim
Dear Kazim, although diabetes has a strong hereditary component, however, major risk factors for diabetes are obesity and sedentary lifestyle. As it runs in your family you need to keep a check on your lifestyle routines that must be active enough to keep you healthy and fit. Parallel to it is your eating habits that must be balanced. This is the only way out to avoid any illness. Although you are not over weight but you are in the upper limit of your weight range. It would be safer for you if you reduce around 8-10kg. I am prescribing you an exercise and a diet plan to help you reduce a few more kilos. Moreover, go for regular check-ups to your family physician.

Exercise Plan
Warm up for 5-10 mins at the start. Keep your intensity at 70-75% of your maximum heart rate.
Day 1, 3 & 5
12-15 reps; 1 min cardio activity; no rest in between; rest for 1-2 mins after one complete cycle; total 2 rounds.
Incline D.B. flying + T.M run + pull overs + jumping jack + leg press + bike + lunges + up and down on aerobic step + lateral raises + arc trainer + upright rows + mountain climber + side lunges + stepper + posterior calf raises + skipping + biceps curl with barbell + elliptical + overhead triceps extensions + stationary jog
Day 2, 4 & 6
12-15 reps; one set comprises of three exercises; no rest between three; rest 30 secs after one complete rest; 2-3 sets.
Advance crunches + 90 degree cross crunches + ball bridging
1 min static hold plank prone + side plank (R+L) 30 secs each side
15 mins T.M + 15 mins elliptical + 15 mins bike
Cool down 5 mins by the end of every exercise session. Static stretch all major muscle groups, hold about 30 secs each muscle group.

Diet Plan
• 200ml skimmed milk + 1 large bowl whole-grain cereals + 2 egg white omelette
• 1 average-sized seasonal fruit with low glycemic index
• 1 large bowl salad + 45g homemade chapatti + 150g chicken or fish grilled
• 1 cup tea without sugar with skimmed milk + one handful of nuts
• 1 medium bowl salad + 1-2 servings of rice + 1 large bowl mixed pulses

Want to stay fit and shed those extra kilos? Write to us at and out fitness expert Sidra Arshad will get your problems solved.
The writer is a gold medalist in Health & Physical Education and a physiotherapist who believes that a healthy body and mind connection is the key to a much happier life
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