According to Lord Buddha, “To keep the body in good health is a duty… Otherwise, we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”
Friends, some things in life are priceless, and cannot be purchased. Health is one of those precious things.
Simply the possessions of money or other things do not make a person rich. It is good health and fitness which makes a person rich and happy, both physically and mentally.
But unfortunately, we are so busy in our rat race to earn material wealth that we ignore it. We forget that if we are not fit and healthy, we will not be able to enjoy the wealth gathered by us.
“If we fail to make time for our health and fitness, we lose the benefits of health.” – Health Booster.
In this article, we shall discuss how fitness can help to manage the chronic diseases.
Why do we call Health our Richest Possession?
Health is the most important and long-lasting wealth. In our daily life, we meet many people who don’t have much money, but still, they are happy and satisfied. They love their life and enjoy good health.
On the other hand, we meet people who have tons of money, but still, they live in fear, stress and unhappiness.
Money is equally important. And it is a source to remain in that state of happiness for sure. But, if we maintain our health and work on our fitness, it will stay with us in future. Whereas, all other things never remain stable.
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Are Health and Fitness the same?
Many people believe that health and fitness are the same. Though, they are linked to each other. But, to be healthy and to be fit are two different things.
A person can be totally healthy, but not fit. Or you might be fit but not healthy.
For example, if an athlete or a bodybuilder looks strong without a trace of extra fat over the body, it does not guarantee that he/she is healthy.
In fact, these two terms feed each other. You get healthy by improving your fitness. And you promote your fitness by getting healthier.
Fitness: According to WHO, fitness is the ability of the body to perform muscular activities satisfactorily. Its five components are:
1. Muscular Strength
2. Cardiovascular Endurance
3. Muscular Endurance
5. Body Composition
- Muscular Strength: It is defined as the amount of force a muscle can produce while doing any work.
- Cardiovascular Endurance: It is defined as the ability of the heart and lungs to provide oxygen to the body during workloads.
- Muscular Endurance: It is defined as the ability of the muscles to perform continuously without getting tired.
- Flexibility: It is defined as the rate of mobility of our joints or how easily our muscular joints can move.
- Body Composition: It means the percentage of fat, muscles, bone according to body height and weight.
Health: It is defined as the overall well-being of the person. It involves complete physical, mental and social well-being.
How is Physical Fitness Achieved?
Generally, Physical Fitness is achieved by:
- Proper Nutrition
- Physical Exercise
- Sufficient Rest
1. Proper Nutrition: Just like a car, our body needs fuel to run. Good Nutrition plays an important role in our fitness. What we put into our body will determine what we get out of it.
Healthy food choices make a difference in our lifestyle. A healthy diet includes the right amount of proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fats.
“If there is any deficiency in food, the body will fall sick.”
2. Physical Exercise/ Physical Activity: Physical Exercise is the best thing we can do to remain fit. Staying active is very important.
“If we use all parts of our body in moderation and exercise properly, the body becomes healthy and well developed. But if they are not used and left idle, the body is liable to disease.”
It does wonders to our fitness.
3. Sufficient Rest: “Rest a while and run a mile.”
When we do not treat our body right, it lets us know. Rest is equally important to the body as nutrition and exercise. Our body is fed in the kitchen and built in the bed.
Rest is the time when the Immune System of our body repairs the tired muscles. If we do not rest properly, it affects our physical as well as mental performance.
Why being fit helps you manage Chronic Diseases?
Chronic Diseases are the major killers in today’s scenario.
Today, 95% of all the Chronic Diseases are caused by food choices, nutritional deficiencies, and lack of physical activity.
It does not seem odd if we categorize “Chronic Diseases and the Young Generation” because, not only adults but, children are also are suffering from terrible diseases like Diabetes, Depression, Obesity, etc. Due to the unhealthy lifestyle, drug addiction, fast foods, etc. the younger generation is also at the risk of getting a chronic disease.
So it becomes critical to discuss how to tackle this situation even if we are not suffering from any disease. Because “Prevention is better than cure.”
Balancing what we eat and our physical activity are the keys to manage any chronic disease.
Let us cast some light on how to manage chronic conditions by being fit.
Today, heart disease is a very common cause of death. Heart arrests, high or low blood pressure, etc. are very common today. So it becomes essential to take care about the fitness of heart.
How Physical Fitness Manages Heart Diseases?
Exercise, a part of physical fitness, is a miracle for heart patients because:
- It strengthens the heart.
- It lowers the blood pressure.
- It burns off the stress.
- It boosts the mood.
- It helps to manage the heart disease symptoms and stop it from getting worse.
Cardio Exercises make your heart beat faster and lowers the blood pressure. It increases the level of good cholesterol.
You could walk, jog, dance, skate or bicycle, depending upon what your doctor approves.
Type1 and Type2 Diabetes, both are chronic diseases.
In Type1 diabetes, the body does not produce Insulin.
In Type2 diabetes, the body does not respond to the Insulin.
How Physical Fitness Manages Diabetes?
To manage Diabetes, we need to balance what we eat and drink with physical activity. If we stay fit and active, we’ll be able to control our Diabetes better.
Aerobic Exercises are good for people with Diabetes. It burns the extra calories and improves the blood flow.
It makes the blood cells to use glucose more effectively.
Regular walking is the best and easiest way to control diabetes.
It also prevents the risk of heart diseases.
Obesity happens due to energy imbalance; too many calories in but too few calories burned. Obesity gives rise to diseases like Diabetes and Heart Diseases.
Unhealthy foods, lazy lifestyle, genetic factors are some of the causes of Obesity.
How Fitness Manages Obesity?
Physical activity is the best way to burn calories and reduce weight.
Fast Walking, Jogging, Swimming, Tennis, etc. are some of the moderate exercises for obese.
Regular exercise is needed to reach the desired fitness.
It is a brain disorder that destroys memory and thinking skills.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Physical fitness helps to manage brain disorders by keeping the blood flowing. It also increases the chemicals that protect the brain.
Regular exercising benefits the brain, improve memory, reasoning and thinking skills.
How Physical Exercise Manage Alzheimer’s Disease?
Aerobic activities like running, swimming are the best for the brain. It increases the heart rate, and the body pumps more blood to the brain. Aerobics improve brain power and boosts IQ level.
It regulates the blood-brain barrier. It is a group of blood vessels which controls the circulation of blood to the brain. It allows nutrients to pass to the brain and make sure that the toxins stay away.
Arthritis is a severe disease which causes pain and swelling in the joints. It decreases the range of motion.
How Physical Fitness Manages Arthritis?
Exercises like swimming, aerobics, chair exercises, etc. have various benefits to people who have Arthritis.
It builds the muscular strength and improves the posture.
It eases the pain and stiffness in the joints.
Tai Chi is an excellent exercise to improve the flexibility of the muscles.
Apart from these diseases, fitness helps to control other problems also:
- Some weight-bearing exercises increase bone formation.
- It enhances the sleep and cures Insomnia.
- It raises the self-confidence and lifts the mood.
- Running and Aerobics manage Disability in older adults.
- Regular exercises can reduce or manage your medication doses.
Word of Caution
- If you are suffering from a disease, it becomes important for you to talk with the doctor before starting any exercise. The doctor will guide you about what type of activity is the best for you.
- Set multiple small goals and be regular to achieve the desired fitness. Exercise does not mean to exhaust the body.
- Don’t forget to warm up the body before starting any exercise.
- It is important being consistent. Because, when we begin to slack off, those health benefits start fading away.
Some Steps to Remain Fit
- Wake up early in the morning.
- Whether you choose Yoga or any other form of exercise, spare at least 30 minutes daily for this activity and stick to it.
- Avoid highly processed foods.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Improve the quality of your thoughts.
- Decrease the intake of alcohol and say no to drugs.
- Minimize the consumption of fast food.
- Stay positive. A good mental attitude is necessary to stay mentally fit.
- Avoid toxic foods, drinks and thoughts.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Never skip breakfast or other meals of the day.
- Try to avoid stress and mental tension.
- We should go for regular check-ups at least once a year to make sure that everything is normal.
- Laugh. Laughter is the best medicine.
- Avoid the unnecessary use of modern gadgets like mobile phones. Instead, try to spend time with nature.
Health is a product of physical as well as mental fitness. A person who is fit can live his life to the fullest.
It’s amazing that at present times, when so many gadgets, devices, are available, one of the best ways to manage the risk of chronic diseases is still free of cost, natural and is available to most of us. Even if we don’t have any disease, it helps to promote healthy living.
Nowadays, people have such a busy schedule that they don’t have much time to devote to their physical fitness. People involved in corporate work have to move very little and perform their task only by sitting. People engaged in long-term sitting jobs should spare at least 30 minutes for regular exercise. It’s not that hard to find time for fitness.
When we are young, we don’t realize the importance of being fit. Because during young age, our body is capable of dealing with all physical and mental stress. Since we don’t bother to take care of our body, there is no insurance for middle age or old age.
Remember, staying healthy is insurance to be self-dependent.
Always remember the six best doctors which all of us can afford:
- Fresh Air
- Balanced Diet