We all have to work with what Almighty gives us. Mentally, physically and emotionally, we are each blessed with strengths & weaknesses, and fitness is the key in harmonizing the body, mind and soul. Fitness distillS the impurities the world throws at us, much like the process that turns unhealthy tap water into distilled filtered water. It is this process that makes us so much stronger and better capable both physically and mentally. Fitness gives us the advantage of re-inventing ourselves as many times as we want. It keeps us young, vibrant and healthy. One cannot find excuses when it comes to fitness, especially when one has to put up with a highly stressful job that demands 5-8 working hours a day. It is very easy to blame one's hectic lifestyle for being non-exerciser/unfit by eating the junk food but the small choices we make every day by exercising that too with a balanced diet have a direct impact on our body and the way we look.
Let's be very clear that an injury does not grant us a vacation from fitness or exercise. There are also smart ways to keep exercising without aggravating the body part that has been hurt. More and more, doctors are moving away from recommending rest and towards encouraging injured patients to engage in physical activity. Take osteoarthritis for example; the most common form of arthritis, it affects almost everyone by the age of 50. Previously when a patient had a flare-up, we prescribed rest and medication. Now studies show that exercises that build muscle to help, support and improve joint function, combined with weight loss boost quality of life better that medication alone. Therefore, one can control pain with strength.
Studies have found that those who regularly exercise, walk or run, are 40% less likely to suffer from silent heart or brain strokes. Research also shows that regular workouts and exercises helps us to maintain better body composition (more muscle, less fat) which means lower risk of chronic diseases in future. Losing weight isn't easy, but keeping it off isn't too difficult also. Our metabolism downshifts and hormonal processes kick in to encourage our body to regain few kgs. People who exercise for 45-60 minutes a day successfully keep the extra kgs weight off. As long as we are not taking in more calories than we burn, daily exercise may remodel our metabolism, so our body burns more fat. It is true that as a society we are becoming more health conscious day by day and hence, we have a new-found love & affection for gym. But we are also earning much more than what we use to and have a comfortable life. Thus, there is a drastic decline in work-related physical activities now-a-days and if we want to change our body, we have to force it to come out of its comfort zone.
All movement matters even a simple morning or evening walk, sporting and gyming to burn calories, we no longer burn at home or at work. When we focus on what exercises doesn't do, we miss a bigger story that goes beyond our appetite and even weight control. Exercise pays off in ways that can't be measured on a Scale or seen in a mirror. In short, fitness means respect your body by exercising and your body will respect you by keeping you fit in return and as per the saying, "attitude determines latitude", the first shift towards fitness has to come from within.
(The Author works as Gym & Fitness Coach Kashmir University)