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Fitness for the confused teen

Sirjee

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It is a tricky age to be in, points out author of the recent bestseller — Figure It Out, Namita Jain. “Between 13 to 19 years of age, not only is an individual’s body going through a number of changes, one is also rather confused about the very idea of fitness,” she says.

For someone who has already published a book on fitness for kids, one handy book for teenagers was an idea Namita had been toying with for quite a while already. “I work with the Bombay Hospital in Mumbai and have found that an alarming number of teenagers have so many misconceptions about fitness. So when the young adult section of Penguin Books commissioned a diet book for them, I set one entire year aside to ensure my book would speak to every kind of teenager,” she says.

On a larger scale, Jain believes that teenagers tend to showcase a variation between two extreme kinds of behaviour.

“For teenagers today, the biggest source of entertainment is eating out. Andwhen they are out, you can’t expect them to pick a salad for themselves when they can opt for pizzas, samosas and what not. While on one extreme, you have teens battling on the fringes of obesity because of unhealthy eating habits as well as lifestyles, there is another extreme that includes teens who will not eat anything, hoping to look as skinny as the skinniest model on television.Another issue has to do with the fact that teens depend on a lot of hearsay and end up following the wrong kind of diet plans which can harm their health in the long run. There have been young boys who have consumed a variety of protein shakes without even knowing why they are taking it. They are at a stage in life when they are rebellious and do not want to listen to advice from parents or elders. The book, therefore, features 51 chapters that talks about a variety of related issues, without talking down to the reader. I have used a lot of real-life case studies which show that fitness and a healthy diet plan can be a possible option for youngsters,” she explains.

But do teenagers today really take the trouble to pick up a book like this and read? “Keeping in mind the short attention span teens have, the content is short and quick. I have tried to ensure that the writing is not boring. It includes a bit of humour and I hope that it is inspiring too. I also believe that if it is good enough, if not today, they will pick up the book eventually,” she says.

With none other than Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone and sports star Saina Nehwal supporting the author and all that she has written, Namita admits, “When you have an icon supporting you, it always creates a bigger impact. I had sent across the drafts of my books to both Deepika and Saina and they both believe in balance and moderation when it comes to diet and fitness. There’s nothing drastic and definitely don’t aim towards achieving size zero or any such thing.”
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