By Samara Mahindra,
Founder and CEO of CARER program
We spend hours in the gym, running, playing a sport, desperately trying to be active all day every day in the hope of losing those kilos and inches around our hips and waist. The size zero figure has taken over our lives and everywhere we look, we are reminded of how being “thin” should be our one and only goal in life. So, we sign up at gyms and fitness centres, spend a considerable amount of time and money trying to achieve just that. If this is you or were you at some point, then I have some good news for you.
Movement and exercise is now proving to be one of the most important factors in living a healthy and disease-free life. Coming from a healthcare background myself and working closely with chronic ailments, especially cancer, we are noticing the major impact exercise and fitness plays in prevention and cure. Today there are studies that link breast cancer and colon cancers to lack of movement and high levels of fat in the body. It is said just engaging in some kind of physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day for most days of the week, can reduce your chances drastically from getting a heart disease, cancer, diabetes and so on.
The contradiction however lies in two things.
- Even though many people today are in the race to get the “perfect body” which I spoke about earlier, and this is resulting in many hours of exercise and movement, it is causing more harm to the body, than not exercising at all. The extreme pressure that fitness fanatics are putting on their bodies is causing extreme amounts of stress to the body, immunity and inflammation. All of which are major contributors for chronic ailments. Therefore, this in turn is resulting in young marathoners having heartaches or young women being diagnosed with breast cancer. Now this might not be the only definitive reason, however it’s a major causative factor.
- Which leads to the next contradiction, that more exercise is not better for you. The best exercise for you and your body might not be the one for someone else. We need to start realizing that our bodies are very different from each other. As they say one person’s food can be someone else’s poison, the same goes for movement and why should we believe otherwise? So, following a standard fitness regime will not work in the long run. Yes, you might lose weight, but is it the best and most efficient for you and your health?
Unfortunately for all those who don’t “find the time” to exercise, need to realize that they are increasing their chances of not only putting on tremendous amounts of weight which is resulting in high fat levels and obesity, but now very much increasing their chances of being susceptible to many illnesses. Therefore, I would suggest get up and move if you want to live because I can assure you this is more important than the hectic work life that you are engaged in.
What I find very interesting and shocking at the same time is that we Indians have such a reactive approach to healthcare and being healthy. When something serious happens to us, is only when we decide to do something about our lives and take the right measures. Unfortunately, this in most times turns out to be too late. We need to have a proactive approach to health, only then can we prevent many illnesses. Change your perspective and priorities and I assure you the time you give to fitness will be very different or those who don’t give it at all, will most definitely now “find the time”.