Fitness is the only Miracle drug we know!
It is said that if there is anything close to a miracle drug in this world — it is fitness. Every year, countless studies keep piling on with further confirmations of the health benefits from even very moderate but regular exercise. Everything from reduced risks of variety of diseases, to better mental skills to reduced stress/anxiety to longevity and so — the list seem endless. It almost doesn’t matter what is the mode of exercise. One can play a sports regularly, go for walks, do Yoga, weight training, combat sports or any other fitness regime that involves making the muscles work, burning some calories and getting the heart rate higher.
For me the fitness journey started almost 15 years ago where after starting to see the signs of weight gain that starts to happen in late 20s for most people — I felt that I need to do something. So I enrolled in a local gym and started doing standard cardio and weight exercise and I instantly I loved how it made me feel. Over a time, it has become an auto-pilot activity where I just can’t seem to function without regular exercise. The type of fitness I follow keep on changing from year to year — but for me it is foundation that supports my work and lifestyle in a big way. Whenever I start the day with good workout — I feel nothing can get me down, I feel relaxed throughout the day and look forward to doing my best in every activity.
It seems that what modern science is confirming has been very well known to ancient cultures. In “The Republic” — Plato recommends strong foundation of athletics training for young boys (which, of course is equally true for girls!”) before they are ready to start learning about sciences and philosophy. Yoga, Tai Chi are both examples of ancient traditions honoring the important role of exercise in our pursuit of higher levels of wisdom.
Now we know that our modern bodies are outcome of roughly 200,000 years of evolution where our lifestyle was almost unchanged for 95% of this period. This lifestyle involved continuous movement for foraging food, hunting/gathering, manual work every day just to get by. Even after the advent of agriculture — the need for physical labor didn’t change much and majority of people were dependent on some kind of manual labor for their living. It is also understood that our minds mostly evolved in a way to enable our bodies get more efficient in movement and physical work so essential to our survival. In other words, we have the mind/body designed for continuous movement which is what we did for 99% of our existence as Home Sapiens.
Industrial Revolution changed all of that. Suddenly machine, gasoline and electricity can do all the work that required human labor in the past and we can now get by sitting at our desk all day. This is not congruent with the internal design/architecture of the body. Body runs on the principle of “use it or loose it”. Our entire biological make-up doesn’t function well in a sedentary lifestyle as it wasn’t designed for it and we pay the price for this in all kind of physical and mental ailments.
It is incredible how a small investment of even 15 minutes of physical activity can do wonders for our health. There is absolutely no excuse for anyone to not find time to go for a short walk, do some Yoga at home, try running or playing some sports. There are, of course more advanced form of training available in high-intensity-interval-training (HIIT) that is completely transforming the fitness business in the world. It is immensely powerful in building strength/endurance and also boosting overall health. Athletes around the world use HIIT as an essential tool in their toolkit to achieve great performance. It is time that everyone who takes their health seriously make a commitment to take small steps for regular exercise in a format that suits you and stick with throughout the year. The benefits will slowly add up and leave you in significantly better long term health, not to mention feeling a bit high that will give you extra spring in your step and more energy for what is important in your life. Here is wishing everyone a great fitness journey in 2017!
(Article by Mr. Mukesh Bansal)