Why Fitness?

The human body is designed to be physically active. We have however, over the course of years reduced our physical activity to the bare minimum with the advent of new-age gadgets to make daily living more convenient. Now more than ever before it is absolutely imperative that every individual participates in a fitness program in order to combat this sedentary living coupled with unhealthy eating.

The reasons are several -

• There is an increasing level of sedentary behaviour, especially in the work place.

• Increase in TV watching time.

• Reduced levels of daily physical activity and mobility.

• Increased use of automobiles, mechanical help for physical work which in turn reduces our need to move and be physical.

• Increased use of the Internet and computer, which again encourages sedentary behavior.

• Absent or inadequate structured exercise on a daily basis.

• An increase in quantity and reduced quality of foods consumed (packaged foods, added sugars and other additives, soft drinks, fast foods).

• Reduced intake of fiber, fruits and vegetables which have been replaced with sugary foods filled with additives and preservatives, refined flour and oil. (hidden unhealthy fats due to processing of meats, canned foods etc)

• Inappropriate and abundant intake of refined carbs like highly polished rice and refined wheat, across social classes.

• Inappropriate and abundant consumption of unhealthy fats from deep fried foods using reused and highly refined oils.

• Increased intake of animal fats that are saturated and prepared in ways that further increase their fat content.

As a result of all the above we find that there are several negative health effects for the people in our country. India is now the diabetic capital if the world. In 2007, 40 million people were diagnosed with diabetes and it is estimated that this figure will rise to 70 million by 2025. One in every 5 diabetics in the world is an Indian. (Diabetes Atlas 2006, International Diabetic Federation)

Increased incidence of heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, cancer, depression and obesity have been observed to be increasing exponentially especially in the urban areas. All the above are the result of changing lifestyle and health for the worse despite a better economy, better jobs, lowered maternal mortality and better facilities for living. In the race to live and experience the good life, we have neglected our own health. Ironically without good health all else, including money and property become redundant.

The need arises therefore to improve health, wellness and quality of life for everyone. A simple measure to achieve this is to include at least one hour of regular exercise into ones day.

The benefits of exercise go far beyond just weight loss:

• Reduces incidence of heart disease. Improves condition of cardio vascular and musculoskeletal systems.

• Reduces incidence of lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension

• Better control of already developed lifetstyle diseases.

• Improved quality of life by improving self esteem, self confidence and increasing the sense of awareness of ones health and wellness.

• Reduced incidnce of obesity which itself is the cause for many of todays illnesses.

• Reduces and treats depression, low mood, anxiety.

• Controls menaupausal symptoms in women.

• Reduces eating disorders and mood disorders in teenagers.

• Inculcates a sense of dicipline which permeates every aspect of life including work and relationships.

• Better mobility and level of independence in seniors who regularly participate in a fitness program

• Better management of stress.

Dr Sheela Nambiar MD,
Obgyn Fitness Lifestyle Consultant NAFC (USA)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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