Why is it important to stay fit and healthy?
Time and again we have been hearing that it’s important to be fit. But why? What does being fit mean? Is it if I am a certain weight I am fit, and my friend weighs more than me so she is unfit? Is it that I am vegetarian so I am fit and the other person who is a non-vegetarian is unfit? Is it that my food choices are better than the other person so I am more fit? Is it that one exercise and runs so he is fit?
Let's understand the meaning of being fit.
Being fit means the person is physically capable of performing and enjoying the daily activities, without any risk to diseases, he/she is emotionally stable and mentally strong and balanced. It is very important for a person to be physically, mentally and emotionally fit to lead a happy and healthy life. Physical fitness can be different for every individual. For an athlete, it’s a different level of fitness expected, for an actor or actress its different, for a doctor, a teacher, a corporate executive its different. To a large extent, it depends on our mental state as well. Whatever is said and done, it’s very important to have a minimum level of physical fitness.
These are some of the ways to achieve physical fitness:
A daily routine of your favourite workout, it may be online yoga, any sport, walking, running jogging, dancing, cycling or working out with weights and machines.
Eating fresh, seasonal, nutritious meals
Avoiding excess of sugar, salt, fats, processed and refined foods
Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol
Keeping your body hydrated
Doing mindful breathing ( pranayama)
Spending quality time with your loved ones
Reducing your screen time
Mental fitness is as important as physical fitness and should not be neglected. Mental fitness means keeping your brain health in perfect condition, this can be achieved by following these :
Exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes each day (yoga should be the preferred mode of exercising as it has immense benefits for both physical and mental health)
Keep challenging your intellect and memory by learning something new
Take time off and just do nothing and relax yourself. Make a schedule of relaxation along with your work
Indulge in your hobbies more often
Take care of your physical health like diabetes, heart diseases etc which impact mental performance
Do brain exercises
Eat whole grains and leafy greens and dairy to boost Vitamin B which is essential for brain health
The mind and body are interconnected. The more you keep your body physically fit the more you become mentally agile. Physical activities release endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in the brain.
Here we have seen how important is an exercise for our physical and mental health, we now see the role of Meditation on our health.
Meditation is very beneficial for reducing stress and controlling anxiety. This also helps in enhancing self-awareness, keeps the feeling of kindness and gratitude in our heart and thus helps us stay calm and grounded. When we meditate we are able to ignore the negative sensations of stress. Meditation is a simple technique, which if practiced for 10 to 15 minutes a day can help control stress, decrease anxiety, improves cardiovascular health and achieve a greater capacity of relaxation.
Keeping yourself fit also implies that you are doing all the right things for your body and mind which will help in :
Building up the body’s immunity against infections and contaminations
Having a strong body will reduce the risk of lifestyle disorders like diabetes, hearing ailments, obesity, hypertension etc.
A fit body heals faster in case of any wounds, accidental injuries, etc.
A fit person recovers faster from any other kinds of diseases
A fit person values health and happiness in life
The general life expectancy of a fit person is more
A fit person passes of healthy genes for the healthier next generation
A person physically and mentally robust will be able to be more productive and creative
A fit person is able to perform all the activities and pursue all hobbies and interests
A fit person is able to work better, earn better, and have a better lifestyle
A physically and mentally fit person values their relationships better
If you value your physical and mental health and fitness now, your chances of getting diseases in older age reduce like dementia, osteoporosis muscle loss etc
If you work towards your fitness you will have glowing skin, a balanced weight, your appearance will be great which will give you a lot of confidence
A fit person is a blessing to society at large.
As it is very clear from above that being fit is so important for everyone and we must put in effort towards our fitness and health. We must spend time with ourselves, for our wellbeing, we must exercise every day, we must consciously eat nutritious meals, we must follow good sleep practices, we should follow a routine and have discipline in our lives, we can indulge and satisfy our cravings for things but in a controlled and disciplined manner. We should meditate, we should pray and be grateful for everything we have and value that, we should help people around, we should take care of those in need, these small deeds will give a lot of happiness in the heart and boost health automatically.
We don’t really have a single reason to justify that keeping fit and healthy would have any disadvantage or problem. Right from childhood, we need to inculcate the importance of fitness and good lifestyle along with exercise, mediation, balanced meals and good sleep so that the child grows into a healthy adult with lesser chances of having any diseases and disorders, this will be accepted by a child only when they see their parents follow these good habits, thus it's our duty to keep health and happiness of ourselves and our family as topmost priority and in spite of our busiest schedules take out time for other activities to keep us fit and happy.
Travelling with family also gives a great opportunity to bond together on a walk, trek, cycle, swim, explore, eat, dine and relax. Some activities like planting your vegetables and fruits also give a great chance to have a beautiful bond with your family along with providing you with fresh and healthy food options. These activities rejuvenate not only your body but also your mind and give you fresh energy to pursue your life routines.
It is very important to be fit and healthy in today's world where we hardly get pure food, we are exposed to so much of pollution in air and water, we are exposed to lots of chemicals around, our body’s general resistance goes down over a period of time with such exposers. Its for us to take control of our health and happiness by doing lots of pranayama, exercise, meditation, and follow few age-old practices which have been going around in our families and are very specific to seasons and availability of the region. We must look around for these and start to follow them again with conviction.
We are on a constant quest for happiness and keeping oneself fit and healthy physically and mentally is very important to achieve that.