A continuation of the conversation between Elisa and Jasmin, two sisters living in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Elisa, the younger sister, is concerned about her weight, especially after being teased by girls in her eleventh standard class. She becomes very self-conscious and turns to her older sister Jasmin for help and support. Jasmin, who is home from college, follows a regular exercise routine, and as a result, is physically fit. In this conversation, Jasmin educates Elisa on the importance of exercise.
Elisa: I heard that exercise helps prevent diseases. Is this true?
Jasmin: It is true indeed! See, you know something about working out! Our bodies are meant to move. They actually crave exercise. It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases. It can also delay the aging process.
Elisa: I think this is all the motivation I need to begin a strenuous workout routine. I want to start keeping fit. I'm tired of feeling down about my image and listening to the stupid comments of the girls at school. We'll see what they have to say when I lose weight and look like you.
Jasmin: Once you begin exercising regularly, you will discover many more reasons why exercise is so important to improving the quality of your life. It reduces stress, lifts your mood, and helps you sleep better.
Elisa: That all sounds so good! And you said that it will keep me from looking old right?
Jasmin: I think looking old should be the least of your worries. You are so young. But yes, exercise can keep you looking and feeling younger throughout your entire life.
Elisa: When I pass by the park and see people exercising, they look so happy. Do you think exercise will make me a much happier person?
Jasmin: Scientific studies have proven that regular exercise promotes a general feeling of well-being. This usually manifests by you feeling much more relaxed and happier during your daily activities. A good workout or game of tennis always lifts my spirits.
Elisa: I think I will be much happier when the kilos start to fall off. You know I haven't always been fat. This just happened in the last two years.
Jasmin: You are not fat! You are just a little overweight. When you're exercising regularly and your body begins to display the positive effects of your exercise routine, your confidence will increase and you will have a more positive self image. Exercise also prevents depression.
Elisa: Ok I am ready to begin an intense workout schedule. I will go to the public gym four days a week and play tennis with you for two days. I will put myself through boot camp training. This will surely help me become fit in no time!
Jasmin: Ok slow down just a minute ma'am. You are a beginner, so you must start slow and gradually work your way up to a longer, more rigorousworkout. Three days a week is realistic, safe, and effective for right now.
Elisa: I see. Well if my schedule is just three days I will work out longer and harder so I can get the most out of these three days.
Jasmin: That won't work either. Consolidating a week's worth of intense exercise into three days is not good for a beginner. People often assume that more is better but this is a misconception. Doing too much too soon or performing intense exercises on a daily basis will have deleteriouseffects.
Elisa: I'm sorry, what kind of effects? Your vocabulary has really grown in your college days.
Jasmin: Deleterious; effects that can harm you in a subtle or unexpected way. These could be muscle and tendon strains, loss of lean tissue, and fitness-level plateaus.
Elisa: You know so much! That's so cool! You might consider working as a fitness trainer in your free time. I will gladly be your first student.
Jasmin: That is an interesting idea. I will continue with my usual program for the summer. You should definitely join me. We can start by going to Kidwai Nagar Park to do some yoga and stretching exercises tomorrow morning. We'll go to the gym when you're ready.
Elisa: Can we also go to Mahatma Gandhi Park for tennis and swimming? Swimming is good exercise too, I think.
Jasmin: Sure it is. Let's first set some goals for you. A sensible goal could be losing one to one and a half kilos per week. We can draw a chart and record our exercise sessions. This will keep us informed of any insufficiencies in our routine.
Elisa: Thank you Jasmin! You are always so levelheaded about things. I'm ready to put a hundred percent into our exercise program. I just hope I can keep it up after you return to school at the end of the summer.
Jasmin: If you want to lose weight and stay in shape you don't have a choice. A stop-start routine is not only ineffective, but can cause injuries. Being consistent with your exercise is probably most important to achieving positive results. Be sure to remember that ok?
Elisa: I sure will! Before this conversation and your kind, insightful words of support, my day wasn't going so good. But now it is! Thanks again Jasmin!
Strenuous - Requiring or showing great energy and effort.
Manifest - To show something clearly.
Rigorous - Very strict and demanding.
Consolidate - To join or combine together into one thing.
Misconception - A wrong or mistaken idea.
Deleterious - Harmful often in a slight or unexpected way.
Subtle - Hard to notice or see: not obvious.
Plateau - A period when something does not increase or advance any further.
Insufficiency - Not having or providing enough of what is needed.
Levelheaded - Having or showing an ability to think clearly and to make good decisions.
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