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Vidula ChopraVidula Chopra-Rastogi was born and raised in Mumbai, and after completing her graduation in Commerce, she shifted base to New Delhi. She has worked for various magazines and publishing houses like Femina, Bride & Home, IndiaParenting, has written numerous articles over the years, and has done endless research on a wide variety of health and other lifestyle issues. Vidula now lives in Bangalore, where she works remotely as editor of IndiaParenting and will henceforth, contribute to Koramangala.com.

Any comments or suggestions can be sent to vidulachopra@yahoo.co.uk

Do You Play A Sport?

When Sridhar Bhandary started developing a generous middle age spread, his wife kept pushing him to exercise. He resisted it for a long time, saying he was just too tired when he returned from work - which was, to be fair, entirely true. He would reach home and collapse in front of the television, going immediately into zombie mode.

Then once, when a friend from out of town who was staying at Bangalore Club invited him for a game of tennis, Sridhar reluctantly agreed. The next day, after work, although he was exhausted, he met up with his friend at the club. They played a few vigorous rounds for around an hour, and after a shower, to his surprise, he felt completely invigorated and ready for a night on the town!

Most people are apt to believe that they will be too tired to workout after spending an entire day at the office. Nothing is further from the truth. Office wears out your mind, not your body. On the courts, in the gym, in a pool or on the fairway, your mind switches off, and your body does all the work. It has been rightly said that sport is a form of meditation. When playing tennis, that nasty conversation you had with your boss melts into oblivion. And if it pops back into your head, simply picture his face in the tennis ball, and... smash! Feels good, doesn't it?

Start today!
It is never to late to learn a sport, and although chances of winning the Wimbledon are slim if you take up tennis in your thirties, that's not to say you will not become good at the game. Take up a sport; it doesn't matter if you have never played it before. If you are regular, within two years you may be quite a player to reckon with - at least in your club or sports complex, and this will provide you with many more years of fulfillment, not to mention good health and a fit mind and body. Two years may look like a long time today, but time flies, and before you realize it, you'll be playing like a pro.

Make the investment
If you need to invest in the sport, like perhaps purchase a racquet or a set of golf clubs, you may be tempted to borrow or hire the equipment first before making the investment, just to see if you like the sport and are likely to stick with it. The downside of this strategy is if you haven't plunked down money, you know you can drop it at any time. A good option would be to try out a couple or three sports, see which you like best, and then make the investment without further ado.

Don't expect instant improvement
Realize that you will not enjoy a sport until you are somewhat good at it, and improving takes time and dedication. As long as you don't expect to be smashing aces all over the court within a week, you're not going to be disheartened. Expect slow progress, stick with it, and you will be glad you did. Like I said earlier, don't give yourself a timeframe of a few months; give yourself two years.

Get motivated!
We all understand the value of exercise, but the best, most focused and successful of us lack motivation when it comes to sweating it out. Here are some tips to help you get motivated.
 •Invest in a wall calendar and circle the days you play in a prominent colour. Aim to get in more and more days each month.
 •Try and get a friend to work out with you, so you can motivate each other and get going.
 •Join a class, or take up coaching. Request your coach to call you if you don't call him. Fix up coaching sessions at least 2-3 times a week.
 •Don't think of exercise as something you will do in your free time. Make it a priority. Exercise is not an option.

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