Exercise holds the key
"When we construct a house, we plan according to our capability. In the same way, we should plan our fitness also. One should know his/her capacity and capability before starting fitness exercises," says Dr. Hareesh, Secretary, Mysore Orthopaedic Association.
People these days are becoming more conscious about their health and about how they look and the result is that more people are flocking to fitness centres to get that dream body. Film stars sporting sculpted bodies have been an inspiration.
Contrary to common perception, it is not necessary to go to a hi-tech gym and work out on the Nautilus machine at all. A long brisk walk or yoga and even free-hand exercises are enough to stay in good condition. Dr. Hareesh, Secretary, Mysore Orthopedic Association, said that it is very vital "to go for a complete fitness training which takes care of all the aspects of keeping a body fit, beginning with proper diet and the kind of exercise that is suited to one's physiogonmy."
"Very few people know what their fitness level is and what they need to do. It is necessary to consult a physician before staring on a course of exercise particularly if one is over 50 or if one is suffering from heart-related ailments," says Dr. Hareesh.
While the doctor will tell you how much you can exercise, the fitness trainer will tell you what kind of exercise you can take up.
Regular fitness workouts will not only help you get that toned body but will also help you develop resistance to a host of illness.
Some of the benefits of a fitness regimen are: lower body weight, increased immunity to ailments, burning body fat, more stamina and more energy. Another benefit is muscle tone which means that your muscles are firmer, leaner and hard !
The young and the elderly will both benefit from an exercise regimen. Latest research has proved that even the very old can walk and do simple exercises to keep from being plagued by old-age related problems like loss of mobility. Even those suffering from chronic illnesses can significantly improve their life-style by exercising everyday.
"Exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and blood pressure. People who are active have a better longevity quotient than those who are inactive. But one should also know their capacity and capability before going through all these exercises. It is always better they approach a doctor to know their capacity," says Dr. Hareesh.
Dr. Hareesh also says that exercise without a prior medical check-up may lead to exercise related injuries. Recreational sports that do not involve any major activity are safe and do not need a green signal from a physician. "Once we start fitness or exercise reghimen, intensity is very important, it has to be gradually increased and the body should get toned up for the exercise. Patients suffering from arthritis or weak bones should avoid jogging and other strain-inducing exercise and follow light exercise. Crash dieting is not good and neither should one use magnetic belts," he added.
"Before starting any exercise, warming up for minimum of five minutes is very much necessary, which can be achieved with moderate continuous movement as in walking, slow jogging or bicycling. The aim is to increase blood circulation and prepare the muscles for stretching. Similarly after ending the exercise routine, one should not forget to do warm-down exercise which is just like warming up exercises," added Dr. Hareesh.
He also says that the best all-round exercise is swimming along with yoga and pranayama. One can have an improved respiratory capacity and muscle tone.
"Through regular exercise one can reduce the weight, blood pressure, sugar level and cholesterol. One should devote at least 150 minutes per week to keep themselves fit. Each day through brisk walking or just walking one can lessen 3 to 5 calories and before doing or going to any sort or exercise."
Exercise helps not only the body but also the mind. It helps in keeping mental equanimity besides lessening the chances of cardiac problems, reducing the symptoms of menopause and keeps a check on cholesterol, says Dr. Hareesh.
If the aim is to have a fit body and not a heavily muscled one then ordinary free-hand exercise will do. In fact yoga in its different forms like Power Yoga or Dynamic Yoga are just as good for getting that lean toned body and glowing inner glow.
One important benefit of exercising regularly will be a reduced medical bill or in many cases no medical expenses at all! A good toned body enhances one's self-esteem leading to better mental health. In fact little or no recreational activity may lead one to drugs and anti-social activity.