Looking for some inspiration to get your workout started? You're just where you need to be. We've spoken to fitness and nutrition expert, Radhika Karle of Balanced Body in Mumbai who gives you some much-needed motivation along with a full-body workout plan to kickstart the fitness journey that you've been putting off for a while. Radhika Karle is an expert when it comes to all things Pilates, fitness and nutrition. With her expertise, she has trained a number of celebrities and is an inspiration to many. Her workouts are known to be approachable, easy and involve simple movements that target various muscle groups. For a workout to be effective as well as engaging, Radhika suggests a circuit routine with compound exercises which engage both the upper and lower body.  So, whether you're just starting out your fitness journey or re-starting your routine, this workout plan is perfect for you and is sure to improve your overall well-being.

Tell me more about your fitness journey. How did you get into fitness?

Nutrition happened first. I have a Master’s degree in Nutritional Sciences from the US. I was always interested in the science behind food and how it can help in disease-related care. However, now I think I have shifted a little more toward preventative care with nutrition. I discovered Pilates when I was doing my Fellowship in Adolescent and Sports Medicine at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. I went to sit down on a chair to start typing my patient notes and a doctor pulled the chair out from behind me by mistake. I fell hard onto my tailbone and bruised it. I was a bigger runner then and the doctor who examined me told me I could not run for several weeks and should try Pilates instead. I found myself in a room full of women in their 40’s and 50’s moving beautifully through mat Pilates exercises like Saw, Roll Up, Teaser, and Open Leg Rocker and there I was, in my 20’s and not able to even touch my toes! It was a serious wakeup call. I am 42 years old now and happy to say I can move like those ladies back in my first Pilates class 20 years ago.

What was one of the biggest challenges you faced when you were starting out?

The biggest challenge I faced was getting people not to be so obsessed with the way they look and their weight. I wanted to change the face of fitness and wellness in India and make it more holistic and about feeling good, healthy, and strong in your body. It has been over 18 years of being in the fitness industry and I have to say that I have overcome a lot of the challenges. Through movement, especially in the form of movement called Pilates, I have been able to change people’s mindsets and views. We still have a long way to go, but we are heading in the right direction.

What do you consider to be your biggest fitness achievement to date?

Finishing a 5K race in 28 minutes and a 10K race in 62 minutes. I love running outdoors. The release of endorphins, the fresh morning air, and the pumping of blood to the entire body is so satisfying. I cannot wait to get back to it soon.

What are your top tips for someone who is struggling to work out?

I honestly believe that a healthy body is very important. And most importantly, a healthy body comes in all different shapes and sizes.

The top tips I would give for someone struggling to workout would be:

  • Focus on your mind first. Let’s find things that make you feel happy and good.
  • Let’s find a form of movement that makes you feel strong and builds confidence.
  • Let’s set positive affirmations that you must tell yourself every day.
  • Get a personal trainer. This is someone who will motivate you, ensure you are doing things correctly, hold you accountable, and also help you achieve your goals.

Could you suggest a 10-day fitness challenge that would help beginners get more involved in workouts?

Here is a great full-body workout as a 10-day fitness challenge for beginners to get involved in workouts:
Few things I would focus on: 
  • A full-body workout with compound exercises, which means both the upper body and lower body are involved in each movement.
  • Using your own bodyweight initially for weight-bearing exercises.
  • Doing a circuit of 4 exercises and then repeating the circuit 3 times.

Here is a great full-body circuit:

Knee bends with straight arm overhead lift – 10-12 repetitions

Squats with angel arms – 8-10 repetitions

Wide squats/Sumo squats with goal post arms – 8-10 repetitions

Lateral lunge with opposite arm reach and rotation – 10 repetitions to each side

Image Courtesy: Instagram - @radhikasbalancedbody