NIKHIL A JACOB
Industrial revolution 4.0 has set in, the age of Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and Internet of things (IoT). Fancy gadgets and modern softwares are taking the world by storm. Developing nations like as of India, Brazil, Indonesia etc., are leaving no stone unturned to keep pace with this fast tracked environment.
But as life gets easier by the day, we are being accustomed to a more sedentary lifestyle, coupled with increased health consciousness; the reason precisely for the incessant sprouting of Gyms, Heath and fitness bars and diet clinics. But the question is, why do we exercise?
As the saying goes, ‘exercise is to the body, what thinking is to the brain’. We are definitely pondering a whole lot more than olden times, quite evident by the strides of technological advancements achieved in such a short span of time. Albeit this has been at the cost of diminished physical activity, as about everything is accomplished with the aid of a smart gadget, sitting on a cozy couch. Pretty much how I am typing this article!! No you didn’t just read it wrong, I am typing it, rather than penning it down, as that would save me the physical strain of visiting a post office to post it to TNV. I would rather e-mail it. Case in point.
Back to the topic, why do we exercise? The closest explanation would be that we exercise just to make up for all that loss in physical activity, caused by our sedentary lifestyle. A repercussion of our own actions. Down the line, we haven’t made our life any easier, if not more complicated. We still need to burn those calories, the same calories we burnt doing normal life chores. Only difference being, now we do it by means of fancy workout patterns, a trainer bossing over and a big fat cheque down the drain.
That being said, it is really worth it? If yes, if we keep exercising the way we do; how long and how intense should we workout? Myths debunked in following paragraphs.
Yes, it is worth it, because returning to an old fashioned world away from e-mails, online banks and e-shopping sites would be blatantly foolish. So we need an alternate way to burn those excessive calories as human body is designed to stand, not sit. But this shouldn’t be solely achieved by killing ourselves in the gym rather balanced out with a diet intake and that’s too just a little surplus to fuel out sedentary world. That surplus is needed for growth, repair, development, thinking and the still excess should be shred in the gym, with minimal and quick workout.
Maybe, I just gave away the answer to question number 2, that is, how intense should we workout? Further elaborating, a ‘one size fits all’ approach isn’t quite the magic formula when it comes to achieving personal fitness goals. Be it weight loss, weight gain, tummy tuck, lower body fat reduction, enhancing or losing the gluteus and chest, losing the love handles, the cheek fat or neck girth (Yes, these are the usual requests that I have received, unusual ones are best left unsaid). In all the cases, it is quite a cliché but I m forced to reiterate on the fact that it is 70% diet, 30% workout, 50% patience and 50% perseverance. Yes! You need to put in your 200%.
As you noticed, just 30 of the 200% efforts you need to put is based on workout, in non-mathematical terms, it means you need not kill yourself in the gym or spend hours on the treadmill or break bones trying to jump around. You just need to eat just as much as your daily work demands, and work out just as much as your personal goals prescribe. Workout to achieve exhaustion of the target muscle group and not a complete physical drain. Draining yourself everyday will not just undo your efforts but also make you hate visiting the gym in the long run.
Exercise variation, common demand to keep changing workout routine like seasons is another whole topic that I will deal with the next time, until then, keep realistic goals and expend your energy judiciously. Diet, patience and perseverance is the key. Think straight. Stay fit. Stay strong. Stay motivated.
The writer is a physical instructor, Heathedge Gym and Fitness, Taliegaon.