Definition of fitness is more than mere absence of illness and disease; it is a physical expression of vigour and vitality, being physically healthy and strong. It is the inner strength, a little extra stamina left in reserve to cope up with the last mile easily, even after an over dose of extra physical work. The three basic components of physical fitness are:
Suppleness. Strength. Stamina.
Suppleness: Suppleness means flexibility or mobility of the neck, trunk and limbs. The more supple condition body is in, the more it permeates to the easy movement of the joints without any feeling of tiredness. It is an important feature of fitness; it allows the body to bend, stretch, turn and twist right and left with ease and without the slightest of strain or sprain. Suppleness workout stretches and soothes various muscles that help working of joints.
Strength: Muscle power in other words is the strength of the body; this is the quality of being physically strong. Strength is an ability that one has to resist force or hold heavy weights without breaking or being dented. When muscles combine and continue to execute a ‘certain job’ it is the natural force and power that performs from within. The maximum strength, a group of muscles apply to an action, differs from person to person it is the quality and ability of a person that gives him an added advantage over the rest of folks around him. Fewer or additional strength is required for pushing and shifting of different sorts of jobs. More strength comes with exercising muscles against resistance.
Frankly, whatever your age, more resistance a muscle meets repeatedly when it functions, the more its individual fibre contracts and strengthens. Proper exercise and weight training strengthens body muscles that are regularly exercised against resistance respond by becoming bigger stronger and improved. Stamina: The most essential fundamental of fitness is ‘charged power’ Power that stays. Power that translated here would well mean stamina and endurance. It is the capacity to keep on going without gasping for breath or going weak at the knees. This is basically active involvement of whole body muscles. Jogging, running, brisk walking, swimming is best to enhance stamina because in their working, muscles need more supply of oxygen. That puts extra demand, not only on the heart, lungs and circulation but also the muscles themselves.
THE FAST FORWARD MODE
Some always seem to be in a great hurry. Relax, rest, slow down, are words those have no meaning in their lives, as if they never existed. This group of individuals is riding on the fast track on board the ‘The Rajdhani Express’.
Once I accompanied a visit to a big car showroom on the outskirts of city, on my friend’s request. Mr Fida Hussein Khan was soon busy; sales girl explained to him the advanced features that car was loaded with, fastest breakneck speed escorted with a fastest car cooling air-conditioner in its category, fastest pickup and the fastest acceleration and the fastest so on.
He curiously watched me from the corner of his eyes, took a minute off from the sales girl, approached and enquired the cause for my impatience, which he had precisely articulated. Honestly, I persuaded him to go for an economically viable, medium but a doable version. He laughed it off and said, “Oh! Well, then why buy a car? There are side street and walkways for the pedestrians, choose those, instead. Life is like a highway. Drive as fast as possible and maintain speed to the fullest because there were greater risks involved if you were slow. The car driver behind you might ruthlessly hit your car from the rear if you trek at a sluggish pace.” He had made his point; This ‘breakneck speed lifestyle’ where it is easy to speed up than to slow down, lots of people dispute that even if you apply some breaks, someone might bang against you from the rear, before you could realize what had happened because he too is driving in the fastest lane, on the same highway just as you are. Do you understand the complications?
God forbid, if someone should wakeup late in the morning or takes some extra time in the bathroom. The whole routine that has been itemized down to the very last second will turn upside down with a big Bang! Welcome to ‘ The Rajdhani Express’ I have revealed this expression to define our new mode of modern lifestyle. If you are busy full 24 hours of the day throughout the week, dashing from one destination to the next, polishing off one activity only to launch another, squeezing one more lemon into the already overflowing glass of soda. Welcome on board ‘The Rajdhani Express’ because then you are running this race. It is a non-stop race, an attempt to do as many things as quickly as possible and naturally all at once, even when you are on a holiday having fun with your family.
The ‘Number One’ cause for stress in most of the people is “not having enough of time.” This is not surprising at all; if you stop to consider the way many of us speed through our days, as if chased by some invisible ghost. Modern high speed and comfortable cars take very less time to reach from one destination to another. We have microwave so one does not have to wait more; lunch is ready to eat in 30 seconds! Then there are ATM cards for those who do not fancy to stand in bank queue or laptop that will take around one minute to complete the entire banking transaction. And do not forget programmable dishwashers and washing machines. You have all the ammunition at your disposal.
In theory this frees us from the burden of shopping, cooking, cleaning and finishing household jobs or visiting the bank and give us the luxury of thirty odd minutes more, everyday, but sadly it is not so. It does not work practically that way.
Sooner or later, the stress of speed shows. Perhaps you are already knowledgeable and conversant regarding the ugly effects of prolonged illness, hypertension, backache, spinal pains, and vertebra dislocation. Recently I came across an article in one of the leading daily newspapers in India. This supplement ‘Men & Women’ of the Sunday Chandigarh edition of The Times of India carried interesting article on film star Shah Rukh Khan by Geety Sehgal that has further cemented my point of view. The Mega Star says, “that his life is all about moving towards the future at full speed, without looking back, his attitude has always been to get the maximum out of life when he is not sleeping he is working and there is nothing like ‘hanging out’ for him and he have always been very aware of the fact that there are only few hours in a day and he has to experience everything in them.”
The fact remains, no matter, how fine-tuned your hasty schedule maybe, it is ultimately not a healthy one. Although people say that if they only had 27 hours in a day instead of 24 hours they would be happier and live much easily and comfortably. But they often do not realize that if they had those three hours extra each day, they would still manage to professionally fill them up with more stress than comfort. Migraine, food indigestion, weight gain, unfortunate-miscarriages, premature greying, hair loss, and the heart attack at young age. And so this race continues to the unknown destination, with the tank full, batteries over charged, and throttle to the maximum.
High anxiety causes a constant flood of Adrenaline, which delivers instant energy, but it can be highly addictive. Adrenaline is not meant for repeated daily use. Adrenaline is our body’s ‘emergency reserve’ quota. Its chemical properties give extra super human strength to lift the rear of car to save a kid’s life.
When you start using this unusual energy to sprint to the railway station for the morning train. It is already late by three minutes you run the last ten stretches, jump long and high enough to the roar of passengers and children, in a successful effort grab the coach handle and makeup for your place in the 9 ‘O’clock train. You have done it and you have become the hero. Right? No, Wrong! Experts say, that you will reach a ‘point of no return’ where you would literally experience the uncomfortable feeling of withdrawal if you try to slow down. In fact you would feel better keeping the adrenaline pumping. But your body cannot perform like that forever; after all at some point of time “you are going to crash……….head on”. Remember that.
When you talk on the cell phone, a cup of tea in one hand, you switch on the dishwasher, while waiting for a minute for the microwave, you check your e-mail. Food in one hand you would see the latest at the stock market. Honestly, you would not even do, the everyday morning thing, without the newspaper in hand.
Multitasking has become a new approach of life. People acknowledge that they cannot sit alone and watch TV; they have to be doing something or the other as to use the phone or send a SMS, because they say, “they get bored doing one thing at a time.” In some cases multitasking can even be life threatening. Talking on the phone while driving, for instance, quadruples your risk of having an accident. Really?
The truth is, being idle for a little while makes some people nervous. Latest stress disorder is the, “vacation anxiety.” What is that? Think about it when you are free. Many businessmen would routinely call their office and give the hotel phone number to their personal assistant, in case of an emergency. Oh, look here! They are supposed to be on a vacation. Let us see what happens, for such people, taking more than a couple of days ‘off’ (two days-three days at the most) breeds’ anxiety. An out of turn phone ring would panic them, something might have had happened back at the office, it would turn out to be a friends’ phone call, just to say ‘hello’ to you and your family.
Even, if you somehow manage to makeup to the beauty and peace of the lands and the beautiful mountain sites of Macleodganj [Dharamshala, Himachal Pardesh, India] it is a safe bet that there is a mobile phone neatly placed in your pocket, equipped to call you back at office in a three seconds notice flat. And you call this a ‘vacation.’ Forget it!