top of page

In Conversation: Sumaya Dalmia's Fitness Mantra!

Fitness today is a way of life more than just being about weight loss. People are moving away from unhealthy living to adopt a healthier and fitter lifestyle. With an increasing number of gyms, studios, and diets, its time we actually take note of what the right way to fitness is. From keto diets to intermittent fasting, and from pilates to boxing, healthy living is the new IT thing.

Well first, we must address the usual thought that thin people are always fit. It's time to bust this myth cause being thin is no indicator of leading a fit and healthy life. A skinny person may not be as fit as someone who indulges in regular exercise and has adopted a healthy and nutritious diet.

More and more people today are fitness conscious, which leads them to adopt a healthier way of living. Regular exercise is one of the key factors along with a healthy, balanced diet to begin your fitness journey. With that being said one must also not ignore the fact that fitness is not just physical but mental and emotional wellness is quintessential. So while we're in the quest to becoming fit we must ensure all are fitness parameters are in check.

The idea of constricted gyms routines have become passe and there's a revival of ancient forms like the traditional act of yoga, with new twists.

But some questions are always re-curring and daunting - how long should you work out for? How does one burn calories? Is there any sync between sweating and calorie burn? Should women lift heavyweights? We caught up with Sumaya Dalmia, a fitness enthusiast is also the proud owner & founder of Delhi's first state-of-the-art personal training studio, which focuses on customized fitness routines with a complete focus on individual lifestyle management under the brand 'SUMAYA' ( located in South Delhi. Being a wellness and fitness pioneer in India since 1997, Sumaya answers all our questions.

What inspired you to become a fitness enthusiast?

I have always been into sports all my life, I love the adrenalin high. I have competed at a national level for both Track and field and Swimming. While I was completing my BA in Economics from St Stephens College in New Delhi, I Stumbled across a Reebok ad (1997) to train to become a trainer with South African Master trainers. I did that workshop and then there was no turning back. I went on to do a Masters in Sports Science, in the UK and from then I decided to pursue this professionally.

What is holistic fitness?

Holistic fitness is a broad term and may mean different things to different people. For me, it means " for all aspects of your life to be in harmony". Emotional, mental, physical and spiritual. Exercise is just a small aspect of it, but what exercise does do, is it helps to channelise your energy. The endorphin release helps you feel better and in control of your being, which in turn gives you mental clarity and emotional stability.

A quick fitness routine you can do at home without any equipment.

For a good routine, all you need is your body weight, you and a mat. Any bodyweight routine that incorporates basic functional exercises like the Squat, plank, push-ups, pull up, lunges with some cardio in between like skipping, mountain climbers, etc will do the trick. Make a circuit of all exercises to be performed 15-20 reps and repeat 2-3 times and you've got yourself a killer workout.

How much time should one devote to exercising every day and how many times a week?

In my view, something is better than nothing. Even if it means half an hour a day or one hour 3 times a week. You will reap benefits all you need to be is consistent. if you miss a day do a small 15 mins stretching session on your mat at home. There are many videos available online and chose one you enjoy to make up for sessions you've missed.

Does sweating help burning calories? If yes, how? If no, could you please explain the process of calorie burning? Sweating is not a sign of excessive calories burnt. It actually is a sign of how soon your body heats up and sweating is the body's response to keep body temperature in control. Sweating does cause fluid loss so one may weigh lighter after sweating excessively but that weight will soon balance itself when you replenish the lost fluids. Calorie burning depends on many factors: how much muscle you have, what your resting BMR is, What your training program is, How much you're eating etc.

Women should not lift heavyweights. Myth or Fact. Why?

Women need to build some muscle to improve bone density and muscle tone. Due to excess estrogen women tend to lose muscle tone very early on. Weight training helps with improving muscle tone and skin texture. Heavy Weights is a matter of choice. If you enjoy being competitive there is no reason why should not lift heavy.

The average fat percentage a woman or man should have in their body? For women, anything between 18-25 is healthy for mean 16-22

Describe your fitness routine?

I like to mix things up. I do functional sessions twice a week, I walk/run 3 times a week. I'll do yoga every now and then and weight training at least twice.

Tell us about your daily diet? I am a careful eater, I am largely gluten-free. I use brown rice/ red rice or quinoa as my grain. I eat a lot of vegetables. nuts, healthy fats like avocado, nuts, peanut butter, etc. I focus on my protein intake and largely get it from fish and eggs.

Five things your gym bag? Water, towel, hairbrush, gym gloves, benetint from benefit for that workout glow.

Your fitness secret? 

Consistency and to train injury-free by focusing on form.

Cardio or weights?


We think it's time to do away with an unhealthy lifestyle and start adopting healthier living. Visit Sumaya at The Lodhi to begin your fitness journey.


bottom of page