It’s a challenge, focusing on staying fit the healthy way. Numerous fitness and nutrition centres have set the pace for the health industry to grow at a rate of around 2% per year, but these have yet to make a mark and change the sedentary lifestyles of people which leave them prone to diabetes, heart and bone disease. These diseases are now seen in many people in urban India who are above 25 years of age.
At the end of the day, nutritionists and fitness centres have limited scope. They can only engage with your health in as much as you let them. Of course, they try to motivate you, but they can do this only up to a point. A lot depends on you and your attitude towards a healthy lifestyle.
There are three types of mindsets that keep people away from taking a step towards a healthy lifestyle:
The “definitely, maybe” attitude: You have definitely decided to become healthy but keep postponing the day when you will start implementing the changes. It will be the first Monday of every month and...that Monday never comes.
Don’t waver: Eat healthy every day, not just during a diet.
The “It’s just one life...” attitude: So why bother? You believe that this soup, salad and exercise routine is just too restrictive. The health craze is a fad that is bound to get shelved sooner or later. After all, people you know have managed to stay healthy on a paratha, pastry and party-till-you-drop lifestyle.
The “It all comes back again” attitude: It is better to stay fat than diet and exercise. After all, once you stop the diet, the weight will all come back with a vengeance.
The real problem lies in the fact that most people with these attitudes take health for granted. As long as they don’t fall sick, and feel that they have the energy to carry out daily tasks and are productive, they don’t realize the danger they could be in.
The fact is that health is much more than an absence of disease. The absence of disease is a state that even a morbidly obese or diabetic person can maintain. Insulin injections control his blood sugar, statins his cholesterol, and beta blockers his blood pressure. In fact, this can be maintained even as you continue to gorge on creamy desserts and bunk workouts. However, not taking care of your diet and avoiding exercise can eventually lead you to a state when simple forms of action such as climbing a short flight of steps will be a struggle. And climbing a flight of stairs easily is the least that a healthy person can do.
Make the right choices
To be healthy requires solid and consistent effort. To stay healthy is a dynamic process and this dynamism is inextricably linked to the regularity with which you accept good food choices and partake of challenging exercise.
When you eat foods that improve the health of all of your structures, organs and tissues, it affects their function positively. When you exercise with intensity to improve circulation, stamina and muscle memory for quicker and faster movement, you improve the health and power of every one of the 10 body systems—circulatory, nervous, digestive, integumentary (skin), reproductive, urinary, respiratory, skeletal, muscular and endocrine (hormonal). Healthy diet choices and regular workouts ensure that all systems of your body connect efficiently with one another.
Wishy-washy attitudes that put off becoming healthy for another day, that question the need for healthy foods and exercise for healthy living, that confuse living well with unhealthy lifestyles, and that lack the courage to exercise and eat healthy every day need to be dealt with. You have to be determined, like your body, which makes a monumental effort 24x7 to stay healthy.
Fortunately for you, your body works without a break; and if you’re careful, it won’t go on strike.
Madhuri Ruia is a nutritionist and Pilates expert. She runs InteGym in Mumbai, which advocates workouts with healthy diets.
Write to Madhuri at email@example.com