Fit, Fine and Happy

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“Give a man health and a course to steer, and he’ll never stop to trouble about whether he’s happy or not”-George Bernard Shaw.

With the increasing consciousness among people to stay fit and lead a healthy life, more and more people are adopting healthier food habits and a healthier lifestyle. We are in the midst of a paradigm shift, which is probably the reason for the increasing sales of eateries such as Subway which offer low-calorie food alternatives. We often come across various restaurants and eateries today which have ‘healthy eating’ as their primary focus. Gone are the days where ‘taste’ was the only criteria.

‘Health’ and ‘Hygiene’ have become the two new popular entries that have made it into the list. Recently, on a visit to Bangalore, I saw various start-ups that work solely on providing healthy, hygienic food and I was surprised to see how reasonably well they were doing, considering the fact that it has been less than a year since they had been involved in this highly-competitive and cut-throat food industry.

This change in trend is a welcoming one and will help check the problem of obesity, among other health related issues that have been on the rise ever since the origin of the concept of ‘junk food’. No, it will not solve the massive problems that fast food brings along with it in one go. Life is not that simple! But yes it will definitely keep a check on the ever-rising health problems that arise out of poor eating habits.
As much as I’d enjoy continuing my praise for healthy food and the benefits that come along with it, there are some points that I think need to be mentioned here. First of all, it is very important for us to understand what is healthy for us and what is not. We need to sit down and figure out what works for our body and what doesn’t. It is famously said that our body tells us what it needs the most. So take out time and listen. Secondly we need to understand that excess of everything is bad – be it too strict a diet or too lazy an attitude towards what is to be eaten. it is a matter not only of ‘what’ is to be eaten but ‘how much’ is to be had as well. Another important point that is of concern is that many teenagers today associate healthy eating with ‘no eating’ or ‘negligible eating’. I hate to break it to you but this is complete Bull-Shit! Everyone’s body requires a basic amount of nutrients and vitamins for healthy functioning. So messing that up can be dangerous on way too many levels. So eating, and eating well, is definitely of utmost importance. Skipping your meals, not such a good idea! Instead if you want it to be healthy, manage your meals in a healthier way.

You don’t even need to make huge changes which end up being difficult to manage in the long run and bring you back to square one. Something as simple as avoiding three large, heavy meals and instead having five-six smaller ones with appropriate gaps in between can go a long way. This helps in better digestion of food whilst providing your body with energy throughout the day. Also, never ever ever EVER skip breakfast! After all it is the most important meal of the day and this is what will provide you with the energy to kick start the day. Look around you and invariably you will see that people who insist on breakfast are far healthier than the ones who skip it.

Also you need to ensure that you have a light dinner. It is always better to sleep sound with a lighter stomach than to keep tossing and turning in bed all night with a stuffed one. Remember ‘Breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince, and dinner like a pauper’. We all have heard this old adage literally all our lives, but the question is how many of us actually follow it?
Another factor in our lifestyle that affects our health is the amount of physical activity we indulge in. With each passing second, technology is making us more and more lethargic. We seem to shy away from anything that requires us to get up from in front of our TV screens or laptops and actually do something. How can we expect to have a healthy body and mind with this kind of attitude? What our generation needs to do is stop being so passive and take charge – if not of anything else at least of ourselves! Just a little bit of focus, a little bit of time devoted to ourselves. Even simple steps taken in the right direction can really help us – a little bit of physical activity, say morning or evening walk; a little thought before we order that combo of a large burger and fries; a little determination to not just look slim but to actually feel healthy and fit. Remember the point is fitness, not being a thin bag of bones. So take charge, eat healthy, stay happy, and stay fit.
Remember what Buddha said, “To keep the body in good health is a duty… Otherwise we shall not be able to keep our minds strong and clear.”