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Health & Fitness

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When Sauda Gare started going to the gym three years ago, it never occurred to her that she would shed 23 kilogrammes in such a short time.

Now weighing 78 kgs, she says the secret to losing and maintaining her ideal weight is exercising with dumbbells.

The 26-year-old who exercises at least five times a week says the beauty with dumbbells is that they can be used together with other workouts.

“I don’t diet because I have stomach ulcers. Working out with dumbbells did the magic for me and I get amazed each time I look at my old photos,’’ says Ms Gare.

For most Kenyans looking to lose weight, what comes to mind is gruelling exercises on different gym machines after spending 30 to 45 minutes running on a treadmill.

Dominic Tongo, a fitness trainer in Nairobi says that while jogging on a treadmill is great for weight loss, so is resistance training.

“Dumbbell are effective resistance training tools and they can be used in a variety of exercises regardless of the age or gender,” he says.

Dumbbells are small weights that come in pairs with each ranging from one kilogramme to five kilogrammes.

They can either be adjustable, fixed or selectorised, meaning that their number of plates can easily be changed when resting the dumbbells on the stand.

Tongo notes that for desired results, a person has to pay special attention to balance and proper posture.

“The weight in the right hand has to equal the one on the left, otherwise you run the risk of compromising the results of your fitness regime,” he says. When Ms Gare joined the Tongo Wellness Centre in Nairobi three years ago, her goal was to shed weight and tone up flabby skin.

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Being a Muslim, she mostly wears buibuis, which made it hard to immediately realise the extra weight she had gained. “I spoke with my fitness trainer and he advised that I carry dumbbells while exercising at the gym,” she says.

Tongo notes that using dumbbell takes longer before someone sees results but they can help shed extra weight. However, to really attack body fat, combine aerobic and resistance training.

Sauda Gare, before and after photos

Sauda Gare, before and after photos. PHOTO | COURTESY

To promote fat loss, make each workout 30 to 60 minutes long and work at a moderate-to-vigorous pace.

There are different dumbbell exercises which depend on the muscle group that someone is targeting.

For instance, if a person wants to trim the chest and shoulders, bench presses, flyes, shoulder presses and lateral dumbbell raises work best.

On the other hand, you can exercise your arms with biceps curls, overhead triceps extensions, triceps kickbacks and concentration curls.

For the back workouts, opt for dead-lifts, lateral dumbbell raises and dumbbell back extensions.

To firm up the mid-section (the core), opt for squats, lunges and calf raises exercise as well as weighted crunches. When you have been jogging for a while and you are looking for ways to up your game and make the runs more challenging, dumbbells are way to go.

While extending the workout time and intensity are the classic ways to do this, adding weights means you will be pushing yourself a little harder.

Working harder will increase your heart rate, which will lead to more calories burned.

At the end of it all, ensure you choose the right weight lest you put unnecessary strain on body joints and muscles.

@ke.nationmedia.com



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