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“My passion for cycling helps me stay fit and healthy”

Nafees Ahmed, CIO, Indiabulls Group, tells us how cycling has changed his life and gives tips for health living. By Pooja Paryani

Since the last four years, Nafees Ahmed has been consumed by a new passion—cycling. This is a passion that has drawn in his family—his son cycles with him—and pushed him down the path of healthy living. From increased stamina to better lung health and a fitter body, Nafees is enjoying the benefits of his new hobby. And he encourages others to take it up as well. “Staying fit is important for a healthy life,” says Nafees. “Choose whatever you find fun, but be regular with it. My son and I ride for 50 to 60 km almost every weekend, as we’re both free then. If there isn’t much time, we ride for 10 to 15 km. We’ve also joined cycling groups in Gurgaon, and they organise several cycling events, which we participate in. Some are full day events and some are for a few hours.”

Memorable rides
“Once, one of the cycling groups organised a cycling event to Panipat, which is a 300 km distance. I covered the distance in 14-15 hours, which is not really possible for someone like me who is not a professional. So I was very happy. Another time I rode as part of an event from Gurgaon to Faridabad, a journey of 40-50 km over a hilly region. It is a very risky ride but we could cover it in three to four hours.”

“These rides are fun and I enjoy riding because my son and I are able to see nature up close, interact with people in villages, eat at dhabas, or just enjoy a cup of tea. I interact with traffic cops and people along the way, and it’s a whole new experience, and a way to learn more about my surroundings. After several good and bad experiences I have started carrying a kit with me. It has all the things required to fix tyres, tubes and the battery. We also keep water and other energy drinks to stay hydrated throughout the ride. I often call my wife every half hour or so to let her know we’re okay. This way she’s also reassured about my passion and gets more calls from me!”

Pushing others to get fit
“A few of my colleagues and my brother-in-law have ALSO been inspired to get fit after seeing me take up cycling and persue my passion. So we have now made a group of five people and we go for rides sometimes. I like to share my passion with others and feel proud when they try out cycling. I even thought of cycling to work, as it is just 10 km. But seeing the traffic and pollution I changed my mind. Plus it is very risky to ride a cycle on roads and highways alone.”

Benefits
“I lost a good amount of weight after I started cycling. It makes me feel energised all the time as there is less fat bogging me down. I’ve reduced my smoking and I have no breathing issues now. Thanks to cycling I’ve also been able to do more cardio exercise at the gym.”

Tips for healthy living
Have a balanced diet

“As soon as I started cycling my eating habits changed quickly. Cycling requires a lot of physical exertion. To stay fit and energetic you need to have the right amount of good nutrients. So I made the shift to a balanced diet and feel much healthier.”

Eat more protein

“When you do any type of a workout your body needs to have protein for muscles, and cycling is one such activity. I have started eating more of the protein because of my physical requirements. Chicken, white meat, eggs and pulses give a good amount of protein to the body.”

Stop unhealthy food

“Junk food makes you lethargic and drowsy. It also makes you fat and you won’t get any energy from eating unhealthy food. Include more veggies and fibre in your diet; this is a new food habit I’ve started. I have stopped consuming soft drinks and sweets as they add on a lot of unnecessary calories.”

Hydrate yourself all the time

“Drinking a lot of water is the key to fitness and even weight loss. When you are doing any physical activity you should drink more than four to five litres a day. I keep energy drinks and water with me whenever I am riding. It is very necessary to be hydrated whenever you are straining your body.”

Avoid heavy meals at night

“Eat a proper diet throughout the day and have light food at night. If you eat a heavy meal at night it will weigh you down as you won’t be able to burn it through movement, exercise, etc. There will be a heaviness in the stomach, which also won’t give you restful sleep. So eat light at night, so you sleep better and your metabolism works well.” 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Sports

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