Fitness is the key to a long and happy life
Modern lifestyles are cruel on our bodies and minds. Make fitness an integral part of your life to stay happy and healthy.
There is no gainsaying to the fact that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Our thoughts and actions are linked to the state of our bodies, and vice versa. If we are in a bad mood, we binge on junk food and sweets. The human mind associates pleasurable food with an elevated mental state. Hence, if sweets, colas and pizzas are our favourite food, we tend to be in a better mood when we consume them. Read More
However, all of this unhealthy food begins to accumulate in our bodies in the form of fat. Diabetes, cholesterol and heart disease are the first effects of an expanding waistline. Soon, our weight begins to increase, our joints become painful and walking even short distances makes us out of breath.
Not only does the body suffer externally, internally too our systems bear the brunt of our unhealthy lifestyles. Sleep patterns are disturbed, we develop gastric infections and soon, our immunity is compromised.
Fitness is a key factor in our overall happiness. Where our umpteen cups of coffee and cheesy pizzas may give us momentary happiness, fitness gives happiness for life. A fit body is less prone to disease and illness. Fitness also improves our body’s responses to food and lack of rest: our metabolism is high and we are able to regroup quickly. However, there is no short cut to achieving true fitness. It is a long road with many speed breakers, but the end destination makes the effort worthwhile.
Get up and move. Fitness begins with measured activity. Enrol in a gym and diligently follow the trainer’s instructions. Motivate yourself with realistic goals: instead of aiming to lose 10 kilos in a month, aim for three kilos. Setting achievable goals will keep you motivated. If you find working out at a gym boring and monotonous, go swimming or take a Zumba class to burn calories instead.
Watch what you eat. People mistakenly assume that a thin body is a fit body. It is wrong to starve oneself to lose weight; it ruins the digestive process and actually reduces the chances of losing weight. Instead of starving oneself, it is advisable to eat small home cooked meals every three hours and intersperse them with exercise.
Monitor your sleep. A research report compiled by the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School cites problems associated with lack of sleep as ‘stress, lapses in concentration, heightened risk of disease, spikes in blood sugar level, and elevated blood pressure’. Adults require seven to eight hours of good quality sleep every night. It is important to fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
Make time for rest. Some people go to extreme lengths to achieve perfect bodies, while others work long hours at office hoping for a promotion. Both lifestyles are dangerous and can cause a burnout. Every fitness expert will tell you that an hour of intense daily exercise is enough, with one rest day in between. Similarly, taking the weekend off to do nothing will help you de-stress from work pressure. Your body will tell you when it needs to rest – listen to it and do what it says.
Take vacations every six months. A vacation can be a trip around the world or an overnight trek just outside the city limits. A change of scenery is important for physical and mental fitness. It helps to reconnect with our friends and family and keeps our anxiety and exhaustion in check. Travel also broadens the mind and makes us more inquisitive about the world, thus keeping us young.
Thus, fitness is not just important for good health, but it also helps infuse new life in us. Stay fit and focussed and you will always stay happy.