Friday, 16 April 2010

Put yourself first.

As the battle with the bulge continues and I pant away at the gym, I am becoming more conscious that as a nation too many of us are perhaps completely in denial over health issues; and more importantly, the wisdom of moderation regarding food and all else that comes into the "indulgence" bracket! This disregard for obesity can be so clearly seen where the host of at least two food programs on well know Indian TV news channels are over weight men who look like they will keel over and die of a cardiac arrest at any moment! How strange that we have obesity publicized in relation to food or is it perhaps that once again the idea of excess is somehow an acceptable equation with food? I don't know the answer but I do know I find it jarringly the wrong message for a nation.

I am consistently nagging our cook who loves to allow her wrist to dip just that little extra with the oil container! "Tasty" food in India somehow seems to add up for many as having to be oily and heavily masala-ed. People don't seem to get it right till they discover they have health issues that put the brakes on everything, and then better sense prevails and boiled and steamed becomes instantly adhered to!

Time, or rather the absence of it, is the common excuse that is glibly given in exchange to any enquiry related to exercise. Irregular work hours will be blamed on bad food habits, and junk food explained off as a "once in a while" whim. All this whilst the flab gets piled on, and we quiver and shake like a nation of jelly babies unconcerned about the truth.

My generation (I am 51), has come into the practice of health awareness more from a back door entry because the importance of fitness was not so emphatically obvious when we were growing up. Our own parents were far more healthy than us because their lifestyles were more simple. And so we sort of imagined health just takes care of itself immaterial of what we do in our lives! Today I am still sceptical as to whether we truly have an in depth understanding of health management because I see evidence that suggests otherwise. The fad seems more about weight loss than a holistic approach to nurturing the body so as to maximise its optimum potential.

From the fabrics we choose to wear, to the sizes of clothing that often constrict us causing headaches and digestive issues, to the hygiene we embrace, to the sleep patterns we follow, to the amount of hydration we take, to the quality of exercise we pursue, to the emotional needs we address, to the entertainment we provide for ourselves; and of course to the diets we formulate for our bodies - all this and more become the points of consideration we need to tie up if we are examining our well being in relation to our health.

No amount of money can ever buy us back our health once it deteriorates. Blood circulations slow down, and conditions of ill health that are not hereditary or congenital, are gifted to us by our own lack of caution. However hard you work in a day, a 30 minute work out (of any kind), will provide you something vital. The name of the game however in all this, is consistency.

In the last year I have lost many friends to conditions of health that could have been prevented. But being sensible is boring, but consider this: being dead leaves you with no emotion left at all!

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