Thursday, March 27, 2008

PHILOSOPHY OF FITNESS

Amar Nath Mukherjee


It is extremely difficult for the people to put an idea into practice till the same is fully convinced and accepted in principle.

As such, philosophy behind fitness will have to be clearly understood so as to make it an integral part of our life style; in the absence of which we shall continue to be the victim of the multimillion-dollar pharmaceutical business cartel of the world. Basically the drug industry is an investment business dependant on the continuation and promotion of diseases. Hence in the final analysis it is found that our ”health illiteracy” largely contributes to our various ailments, premature deaths and incurable diseases.

In view of the above it is essentially important to get into the details of the fundamental principle of fitness, which is termed as its philosophy. Primarily the fitness - philosophy revolves around number of quarries regarding the physiological and physical activity of our body.

The following are the quarries, which need elaboration so as to comprehend the Philosophical concept of fitness.

Those quarries are as follow: -

A. What is fitness?

B. Why fitness is essentially required?

C. What are the physiological/ physical criteria of fitness?

D. How fitness is to be achieved?


What is fitness?


Any of our activity, which strives to make use of, our body parts to its optimum capacity available according to the age and one’s avocation. For example our body undergoes a gradual and progressive loss of its functional capacity, which can neither be stopped nor reversed nevertheless if we do not make use or avoid using our body to its optimum capacity we lose it even faster.

We have a large number joints to facilitate the proper movements of our body but by and large all our joints are not required to be used in our general day to day activity sequel to which our under utilized joints tend to become weaker and weaker, and at times, these joints get stiff and unable to move to the extent those are designed, consequently the muscle mass and its tone near the joints are gradually lost. Similarly, throughout the day we hardly require to take a deep breath or allow our heart to beat faster than its normal sequence, resulting which we gradually lose our lung’s air intake capacity; and when our heart is forced to beat very fast under a severe stressful condition i.e. under flight or fight situation, it conks out in extreme cases or prone to develop various problems.

Finally we shall observe that ageing and our inactivity largely contribute to increasingly intense malfunctioning of our body’s metabolic processes.

Therefore the fitness activity is that practice by which we consciously make use of all our individual body parts to their optimum capacity at least once in a day so as to ensure that those are not deactivated faster than our usual aging process mainly for their under utilization.

Mother nature is very strict in this respect, whatever she has given to us if not in use or underused she will snatch those without any mercy. It is always a “ use it or lose it” proposition.

Why the fitness is essentially required?

The moment we are born our body is continuously subjected to aging process. Under this process a small kid becomes a boy or a girl, gradually they become adolescent, subsequently become a full grown youth to finally become an old man or a woman. This aging process can neither be stopped nor can be reversed nevertheless this inevitable advance to our ripe old age can simply be slowed down and decelerated by our fitness activity, with the help of which one can remain trouble free from the usual ailments associated with our old age.

Moreover the body’s immune system will be working efficiently with the help of which we can ward off umpteen numbers of diseases in our lifetime. Our stress endurance level will also increase along with our fitness activity.

Therefore to respond to the query as to why should we remain fit, the answer is to decelerate the aging process, by which, we shall reap the benefit of remaining asymptomatic in spite of having our gradual degenerative physiological process as we grow old. Over and above with a low level of immunity in our body, due to the lack of fitness, we will not only be prone to various diseases but also our immune system becomes inimical to our body’s healthy cells attacking the normal tissues to destroy them and we suffer a large number of auto Immune syndromes.


Physical/Physiological criteria of fitness


A. One should have physiologically accepted norms of body

weight (Body mass index between 19 and 24)

B. The waistline measurement should be a couple of inches lesser than that of chest measurement.

C. All the major joints namely neck, shoulder, waist, hip etc should be adequately flexible.

D. All the muscles particularly back, abdominal, shoulder, hand and leg should be well toned.

E. One should not be gasping for breathing on small jogging or on climbing stairs.

F. Blood sugar level or Blood pressure should be either normal or
to be kept controlled to the normal level.

G. Regular bowel movement with formed defecation

H. Emotionally or mentally balanced so as to effectively handle the stressful situation.


How fitness is to be achieved?


To achieve desired fitness level the following workouts and the life style changes are imperative. We may define it as five subjects, which are to be taken care of. This is similar to our educational system wherein all the subjects will have to be passed so as to be declared promoted in the examination.

The fitness activity subjects are here as under: -

1. Cardio vascular conditioning

2. Stretching

3. Strength training

4. Relaxation

5. Diet


There are number of fitness exercise in vogue to maintain higher level of fitness but remember, no single type of exercise can cover the entire fitness subjects mentioned above.

Following are the various types of exercise, which are practiced by health conscious people.

· Jogging, Brisk walking Swimming, Deep and controlled breathing etc.

· Isotonic & Isometric exercise with instruments.

· Hatha yoga

· Calisthenics’

· Acupressure

· Tai chi

· Free hand Exercise

· Gymnastics

As stated earlier the benefits obtained in a particular type of exercise can not be derived by other type hence to achieve the over all benefit of the physical activity one must keep in view, the speciality of various work outs to incorporate judiciously so as to cover all the fitness subjects mentioned earlier.

For example brisk walking, jogging, swimming are excellent cardio vascular activity. About twenty minutes to half an hour should be devoted in this activity.

Hath Yoga is very good for stretching and selective circulation of blood supply in the body and also for flexibility. About ten to fifteen minutes can be devoted

Isometric and isotonic exercise are extremely good strength training work out. This activity is unique for maintaining muscle mass and its tone. About eight to ten minutes should be devoted.

Taichi mainly works on central nervous system and have a low influence on muscles. This exercise takes about one and half hours hence it may not be possible to incorporate in daily work out.

Free hand exercise is also for flexibility and over all blood circulation shavasana & dhyanasana i.e. corpse posture & meditation by which one can uniquely achieve a state of relaxation. In other terms the relaxation is an exercise in “ non- activity,” anyone who can master the art of relaxation remains relaxed in every stressful situation. If time permits twenty to twenty five minutes can be spent either early morning or in the evening on meditation for effective relaxation.

Therefore it is advisable to incorporate various type of exercise in our fitness activity schedule to cover all the fitness subjects mentioned earlier.

Daily workout of forty-five minutes covering all the fitness subjects is sufficient to maintain high fitness level of the body.

The last but not the least, our diet plays a very important part in keeping our body fit, our other fitness activity will go haywire if we indulge in indiscriminate eating habits. Hence balanced diet is essential for our body’s weight management.

To conclude I must say that every one of us wants a fit and disease free life as such we shall have to add power in our inherent will so that the desire can be put into regular practice, once we start practising fitness activity we need the dedication to sustain it and by which we shall be able to change our life style and this changed healthy life style will enable us to look after our body and mind in return our body will also look after us for our well being.



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1 comment:

harivansh said...

Have the privelage of being a part of the group which has been benefited with direct interaction and supervision from DADA as we call him .

Must say that it is difficult to find such rare combination of knowledge and selfless dedication to the cause of fitness.

Harivansh Singh
See you tomorrow morning