The human body is the beginning and the end, without a healthy, fit body our lives are reduced to series of medical woes. It is also what we tend to take most for granted and neglecting. But taking care of marvelously engineered body is a priority and not an option.
Health is wealth is an old adage that we hear and spout so often that it has lost any significance for us. Until that sudden, unforeseen visit to the nearest doctor. And at that point, it is already too late. In an age of consumerism and conspicuous consumption, health is an anomaly. You can’t buy it. At any price. Health is defined as the condition of a person’s body or mind and it has to be nurtured and maintained in a continuous process that affects all aspects of your life or, to use a new age term, lifestyle. That is a lot easier said than done in today’s world and the lifestyle generated by that world.
The modern lifestyle brings with it its own baggage: stress, tension, work environment generated problems – posture, carpal tunnel syndrome, noise, pollution, etc. Each of these, minor irritants in their own right, contribute their bit until the aggregate is greater than the parts and unfortunately we tend to realise this only when it is past the point of no return. The picture of urban health is a grim one indeed. But, before you decide fatalistically that since you are doomed anyways, might as well as have fun and reach for that cholesterol clogging, calorie laden meal and decide to skip the walk to watch your favourite telly soap, consider the fight back options. The range, variety and possibilities will delight you.
Eventually it all boils down to food-the fuel of life. Food affects our health in the most primary way, being the basic building block. A change in food patterns and a mismatch between the food pattern and the lifestyle being lived is the biggest culprit. From the fundamentally active, physical lifestyle of the earlier generations, the urban world has become a sedentary space. We no longer have the time or space to burn our calories. Long working hours, urban traffic and urban housing conspire to keep us seated for the larger part of our lives and the result is weight gain. Eating healthy is the easiest step to health. It does not mean starving yourself or denying yourself. It simply requires switching to healthier options. Opt for whole grains to refined ones. Use cooking oils that are naturally fat and cholesterol free such as Olive oil. And remember the basic equation: what you eat should not be more than what you burn as body fuel.
If lifestyles have changed so have the fitness options. Some are your everyday, basic variety. Where possible, opt for the stairs rather the elevators. If it is short distance and there is a proper walking path, use two feet instead of four wheels. Your health and the environment, both will benefit.
The gymnasium, your friendly neighborhood variety or the super trendy multinational variety, fondly abbreviated to gym, has evolved a lot from the original Greek model. Then it was a place to develop the mental faculties alongside the physical prowess of young men. Today, half the tradition is upheld with gyms having become the altars where the average man and woman shed copious quantities of sweat and cellulite to appease the gods of health and musculature. The options are innumerable, from ancient techniques such as Yoga and Tai Chi to modern corruptions such as Krav Maga and Kick Boxing, from gleaming edifices to technology such as treadmills, nautilus trainers to cross trainers to dances as a fitness fountain, the gyms cover the horizons. Well trained acolytes, otherwise known as trainers are always on hand to not only help but to custom design a training program that is ideal for your body and your problem areas.
The other route to holistic health is the more luxurious spa route. Traditionally spa stood for a route to health that was dependent upon nature’s gifts in the form of geysers or hot water springs where the water and mud are saturated with minerals. Drinking of these waters, bathing in them, mud baths and body wraps help in improving health directly by curing certain kinds of diseases and indirectly by making up certain kinds of mineral deficiencies and by detoxifying the body. Spa treatments today are a continuation of the same principle. Massages that use aromas to address health concerns, skin treatments that seek to undo the damage of pollution and urban living, and a holistic assessment of body are some of the hallmarks of spa treatments. The focus is less on the physicality of the body and more on the internal health of the body.
Or you can have both. The Addiction gym and spa chain perfectly combines both, luxury alongside fitness facilities. Catering to lifestyle pressures, gyms and spas offer innovative features such as flexible timing and customized training programs.
Ultimately, health is in the hands of the self. Not all the trainers of the world or massagers or chefs of the world can give you good health unless you want it yourself and are willing to burn for it. They can only make the path smoother and the targets more achievable. If you take your health seriously or want a perfect body or to increase your stamina and endurance, it is time for you to sit down and make a choice. Choose a path that appeals to you and then stick with it. Remember, the healthier you are the more you will enjoy your life.