Keeping fit: Tough, but not impossible

As per the latest report from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 13.5 crore Indians are obese, 7.2 crore are diabetic and 8 crore are struggling with hypertension. Realising the need for a fitness movement, the Fit India Movement was launched on August 29, 2019 by Prime Minister Modi. Although the PM emphasised that Indian culture has never been indifferent to physical fitness, today, the situation is not quite the same. Today, technology has hooked people to their gadgets and prevented them from engaging in physical activities. There are several other challenges that plague the implementation of the Fit India movement. 

Challenges

1) Only 54% of Indians are physically active. Currently, people from different walks of life complain about serious health conditions like thyroid, arthritis and cardiac diseases at a very early age. Even people in the age-range of 21 to 36 are falling prey to such diseases. Renowned medical practitioners suggest patients make a habit of running or jogging early in the morning.

2) A large part of staying fit is eating the right kind of food. Physical trainers at any gym will hand over a diet chart at the beginning of any fitness journey, confirming the role of diet in attaining desired levels of fitness.

However, having a balanced diet is not easy, people need to be alert while purchasing daily supplies for cooking. It is important to discuss the condition of people living below the poverty line. Due to a lack of choice and minimal access to resources they are bound to eat limited cereals, making many prone to disorders related to poor diet and malnutrition like Kwashiorkor and Marasmus. Government bodies must think about ways to reach out to sections of the society that cannot afford dairy products, fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.

3) Data from the National Health Profile of 2017 established that only one million doctors are available to treat a population of 1.3 billion. Only 10% of doctors provide services to the public health sector. India’s public health system is experiencing a major crisis. Although the government has launched the ambitious Ayushman Bharat Yojana, there is a dire need to make an attempt towards allocating medical services to people in need.

It is also equally important to make investments in health infrastructure since sharing beds and overworked doctors cannot pave the way to success of India’s health campaign. Shockingly, according to a WHO report, 31.4% of ‘allopathic doctors’ in the country are educated only up to class 12 and almost 57% of doctors don’t have a medical qualification.

4) “To start with a fitness routine is easy but sticking to it is not,” is a popular adage. This is where the role of a personal fitness trainer becomes important. Fitness trainers are certified professionals and fitness enthusiasts who have developed the zeal to keep others healthy. After the launch of Fit India Movement, the demand for personal trainers has risen in big towns and cities of the country.

There are several international chains making their way to the Indian market that have increased the demand for trained instructors in the field. Do we have enough trained professionals is the big question now. When fitness is being emphasised globally, it is important to realise that India is lagging behind in the number of qualified trainers, resulting in poor fitness practices among people. 

Simple tips to keep fit 

1) Give up on habits of smoking and consuming alcohol. Try to start by limiting your daily intake.

2) Switch to fresh and healthy foods. Substitute packaged food with fruits, vegetables, cereals and dairy.

3)Make sure to give at least one-hour exercising. Take up jogging, walking, running, cycling, going to the gym, doing yoga or dancing.

4) Get accustomed to a healthy daily routine that fits your work schedule, and do not quit in the absence of motivation.

The aim of keeping the entire country fit might sound difficult due to the presence of some major hurdles but it is not impossible to achieve. If we start to breakdown existing hurdles one step at a time, we will be able to achieve our goals sooner or later.

(The writer is the founder and director of Srauta Wellness) 

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