Modern Lifestyle-Becoming a Trap of Disorders
Modern lifestyle can be described mostly as a way of living with comfort, with low to no
physical activity, prolonged sitting, untimely and insufficient sleep schedule and excessive
consumption of junk or processed foods
Revolutionary inventions due to industrialization and advanced technology over time made
us adapt our behavior to live with ease. We have quick, wide access to delicious mouth-watering
high trans fats or processed foods rich in salt, sugar, fat, carbohydrates and refined starch.
Technological devices facilitate every action or need of humans like ordering food, performing
- bank transaction, booking travel tickets, interacting with people on videos to reading books,
playing online games, etc. in seconds. This is slowly molding us to always function being seated at
Habit of everything being within the reach of fingertips has made current generations lazy and
inactive. with rising pollution, chemical exposure, lack of consumption of healthy meals and no
habit of regular physical activity or exercises, today we are prone to lifestyle diseases. These
mainly include obesity, blood sugar, joint and skeletal problems, hormonal disorders (thyroid problems),
metabolic diseases, hypertension, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, nerve damage with
A survey report that around 75% of the population is affected by lifestyle diseases wherein
an alarming 70% of urban population are overweight or obese. Isn't it ironic that the inventions and
facilities discovered to make humans faster, ahead and live in comfort, are now becoming
the drivers of inactivity and laziness,forming a trap of dangerous diseases? Here's exactly where,
fitness comes to the rescue! A fit, healthy body prevents development of a lot of diseases and disorders,
This article addresses what exactly is fitness, the activities which help to keep the body active, fit and healthy
along with citing the importance of preventive healthcare in maintaining fitness.
Fitness A Road to a Healthy Body
Fitness is an ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and presence of mind, without getting tired often.
Any kind of physical activity during the day, right from waking up early or exercising is termed as physical
fitness. Mental fitness is equally important as it helps to perceive life head on, with the right composure
and mental space to undertake daily tasks. Human body needs a fitness regime, followed systematically or
unknowingly that helps to remain active.
Recommended Fitness Activities
Boosting metabolism, it helps control obesity, improves mobility and overall balance
These keep non weight bearing muscles and fit, improving endurance, muscle strength, lean body mass, and flexibility
Help maintain the right posture, improve physical and mental strength along
with balance and flexibility.
Training a specific muscle group with weight machines, free-weights strengthen the core, bones and
muscles, helping lose weight,staying fit, boosting energy, improving balance and benefitting heart
health. E.g.: step Squats, jumping jacks, hip bridge, pilates, etc.
Unhealthy Lifestyle and Diseases - The Link
Lack of sleep and binging on processed foods can impact the body processes of digestion,assimilation
and absorption of nutrients, causing acidity, indigestion, constipation and weakness. Those working
overtime or in night shifts or have late night parties face a disturbed biological clock causing insomnia,
loss of appetite, headache, hypertension, mood fluctuations, irritability and body pain. this alteration
in the circadian rhythm can reduce immunity, increasing chances of lifestyle can cause bad posture
obesity acne and other secondary health conditions like obesity induced liver, kidneys, bone or
To assess body's health at any point of time, one must be aware about preventive care tests
which provide information to detect any early indicators of any disease/disorder.
Preventive Care Tests: Key to Safeguard Health
The old adage, 'A stitch in time saves nine', signifies well how crucial prevention is to fight health
conditions. Instead of battling painful symptoms, a safer step towards a healthy body, taken ahead
of an impending disease is preventive care.
Preventive healthcare focuses on taking preventive measures to safeguard health and lead a healthy
lifestyle, even before the disease strikes. To remain 'disease-free', this pre-patient care involves
understanding the state and requirements of body with potential health issues before one falls ill. Containing a series of Diagnostic tests, preventive
care helps determine the overall wellbeing of body by analyzing levels of biomarkers like hormones.
Analyzing the family/medical history or any early symptoms, a head-totoe preventive health
checkup involves blood and urine tests for early detection of abnormalities in the body.
Consultation from health professionals helps to monitor health status and spread of disease.
Early detection at early stages helps treating/curing disease efficiently.
Manages health issues with lesser-medications, dietary/ lifestyle changes and exercises.
Provides early opportunity to adopt better lifestyle/dietary habits.
Lesser money, energy and suffering compared to detecting health issues at later stages.
Helps predict future health complications effectively.
Manage Lifestyle Diseases
Undertake regular physical activities like walking, jogging, workout or play a sport.
Rigorous fitness exercises and workouts must be done under professional guidance
supported by nutritionist's advice.
Consume green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale; grains like legumes, fruits and dry fruits.
Take small meals over the entire day instead of binge eating.
Limit intake of high fat, calorie,sugary and salty processed foods, like fried or sugar loaded foods.
Choose healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, etc. when hungry instead of consuming junk foods.
Always spend some time with yourself to reflect on the day's activities.
Perform Yoga and meditation to develop focus, physical and mental strength.
Practice stress management sessions to practice mindfulness and develop mental strength
to cope up with life's pressure.
Limit intake of excessive alcohol.
Avoid sitting for longer hours, take breaks and perform stretching exercises in between.
Abstain from smoking, tobacco and drug abuse.
Stick to a timely sleep schedule and get around 6-8 hours of sleep osteoarthritis by 83%, heart diseases every day.
Make sure one does not faint due to burn out (stress) or deficiency of essential
nutrients such as vitamin, zinc, etc.
Choose exercises which are comfortable, effective and easy to do for you.
Stay hydrated by drinking water, fruit juices, etc.
Undergo regular preventive healthcare checkups to analyze body's health and detect any
How effective are Exercises?
Physical activities done daily helps one to stay fit which is medically proven to lower
the risk of type 2 diabetes and color cancer by 50%,osteoarthritis by 83%, heart diseases and
stroke by 35%, and depression, dementia as well as early death due to lifestyle diseases by 30%.
One has to be careful of what they consume and the kind of lifestyle habits they follow, or
else they can end up feeling weak and sick. Pay attention to changes taking place in
the body as lifestyle is restricted to become healthy. Awareness on diagnostic tests is must as they are
the best way to prevent a disease from affecting us. Timely regular from affecting us. Timely regular
overall fitness level but also body's endurance and resilience profoundly. Sticking to well-defined
fitness regime is the key for a long healthy living while keeping lifestyle diseases at bay
Stay Active, Stay Healthy
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Fit as a Fiddle: Benefits of Physical Exercise
Being sedentary has become "normal." Today, a modern human has the luxury to ask
why walk to a nearby place at walking distance when an auto is available! Why climb
stairs for few floors when there's lift? We live in a time, where everything is accessible.
We don't have to catch our prey or avoid being a prey like our ancestors. Our jobs have
minimal walking involved and mostly require us sitting at desks, clicking mouse buttons,
tapping keyboards. A sedentary daily life disconnects our focus on the relationship between
our body and movement. We remember our body only when a disease strikes. We have
evolved to walk upright to move fast, efficiently and conserve energy. With activities like
walking, climbing, lifting, etc., our body is designed for movements. If movement is essential
for survival, why do we see movement as a chore now
Movement of limbs, head and neck by doing certain activities that require physical effort
to maintain health and be fit, are known as 'exercises'. In this fast pace era of technology,
where exercises are as easily available as that yummy pizza delivery at the touch of fingertips,
we prefer to focus on the latter! Motivated folks exercise regularly while the rest ignore
or find excuses to postpone it as future New Year resolutions.
Exercises are important for everyone regardless of their age, body size and shape. Yes, even
for those who are slim and feel fit. Physical inactivity is so common in India that 54% people
remain inactive while less than 10% engage in physical activity. Sedentary lifestyle and long
periods of inactivity can increase the risk of obesity, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular diseases,
Arthritis, etc. Exercises are essential to maintain healthy weight, build muscles and bones,
reduce stress and pain; and improve breathing, organ health, sleep; prevent diseases and
Benefits of Exercises
Mental Health and Exercise
A 10-30 minute walk in nature, lowintensity aerobic activities, cycling, running, swimming,
dancing and strength exercises can improve mental well-being, acting as therapy for those
struggling with mental health issues. Regular physical activities improve mood, reduce anxiety
and stress, and increase brain's sensitivity to hormones that relieve feelings of depression.
Yoga relaxes body, improves breathing and blood flow, thereby building and balancing the
mind and body relationship
Physical Health and Exercise
Leading an active lifestyle is a must for diabetics as it boosts body's metabolism, lowers
high blood sugar levels and aids in weight loss. Timely intake of medications and following
a healthy diet is must. Exercises along with yoga asanas like Matsyendrasana (half-twist pose)
combined with Dhanurasana (bow pose), Vakrasana (twisted pose) enhance sugar control and
lower bad cholesterol levels.
Type 1 diabetics
Pay attention to insulin doses and blood glucose levels before and after any exercise, even if
it is just house work. High sugar levels need to be controlled by avoiding vigorous exercises and
low sugar levels must be prevented by having a pre-exercise snack or carrying a carbohydrate
food or dr drink (like juices, glucose drinks).
Type 2 diabetics
Together with walking/jogging, strength training
(lifting weights, working with resistance bands, push-ups, lunges, and squats)
are recommended to utilize body weight
Low-impact aerobics and strength training exercises (lunges, leg raises, push ups or using
weight-training machines) help to lead active lifestyle. These put less pressure on joints,
but increase muscle mass, heart rate, boost metabolism and burn calories. Patients with no
swelling in joints, can opt walking, while a stationary reclining, recumbent bicycle or a low-impact
elliptical machine are excellent for cardio exercises along with yoga poses like Pranayamas,
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) and Kapalbhati.
Aerobic exercises (like dancing, biking, swimming) which engage body's large muscles are
recommended. Activities like walking and stair climbing, resistance training (resistance
bands, pushups and situps) boost overall health. Meditation and yoga poses (shoulder stand,
fish pose) increase strength to fight illness, foster calmness and improve psychological balance.
Moderate intensity exercises like brisk walking, bicycling, water aerobics, dancing high
intensity exercises like running, speed bicycling, treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary
bikes and strength exercises improve blood flow, strengthen heart and help ward off heart
diseases and stroke.
High cholesterol levels can cause obesity and cardiovascular diseases. They can be controlled
with certain exercises which lower body weight and bad cholesterol levels like 30 minute
moderate exercises like walking, jogging, biking and gardening. Flexibility exercises like stretching
(warming up), aerobics (boost heart rate), strength trainings (build muscles), and yoga asanas
like Pranayama, Kapalbhati, Anulom Vilom are also recommended.
Arthritis and Osteoporosis
Living with constant joint pain and weak bones, exercises may seem difficult, but
moderate activities are necessary to prevent disease
progression and improve overall body function. Patients with mild to moderate pain
should do gentle and active range of motion movements, and even low-impact activities
like walking. Stop in case of pain and avoid joint-taxing workouts. Warm-up with mild
stretching exercises, deep breathing and long stretches always, to avoid muscle cramps
and joint ache.
Exercises are for every age
Body is strong overflowing with energy and speedy recovery. Lead an active lifestyle
with all types of physical activities, yoga, sports and exercises to boost metabolism,
strength and maintain bone mass.
In 30s and 40s
As lean muscle decreases and body fat increases, metabolism slows down. Do regular
walking/jogging with focus on strength exercises to maintain good metabolism, following
a healthy lifestyle and taking good rest.
50s and beyond
Body aches, hormonal imbalances and medical conditions can make one quit any physical
activity. It's still advisable to follow doable physical activities (like walking), stretching and
balancing exercises, and yoga regularly along with ample rest to stay healthy..
Never underestimate the power of your will and body. Do not let your age, gender and medical
conditions weigh you down from living an active lifestyle..
Enjoy exercises in daily routine,For a long healthy living .
Exercises - Boosting Mental Health Too
Physical illness- Visible, so cured. Mental illness- Invisible, so ignored? It exists and is harder to bear.
Don't be biased, Break the stigma about Mental Health
India is the most depressed country in the world states World Health Organization (WHO)
A National Care of Medical Health (NCMH) study showed that at least 6.5 % of the Indian
population is suffering from some or the other form of serious mental disorders, with no
rural-urban differences. These statistics are alarming and what's worse is the number of
sufferers keep increasing
Various mental health related conditions include, frequent and extreme anxiety, hopelessness,
Depression, panic attacks while clinical mental health related diseases include schizophrenia,
bipolar disorders, etc. With India's first mental health action plan, National Mental Health Policy,
it is a new feat that mental health disorders are given importance finally. One such fun yet life-saving
activity, known to always enhance physical health and fitness has been elucidated in this article which
has plentiful benefits to boost mental health, just by practising regularly
Exercises- How do they benefit the brain
Exercise increases blood circulation to the brain and stimulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal
axis and stress-response systems of the body. Regions of the brain which control mood and motivation
(limbic system), memory formation (hippocampus), mood and motivation and stress response (amygdala)
get stimulated. They also increase the production of endorphins and endocannabinoids, which belong
to the brain's reward system and the feel-good hormones, serotonin and dopamine. Together, these
promote changes in the brain's neuronal circuits, increasing metabolism, oxygenation and blood flow
in the brain while suppressing pain, diverting the mind from negative and sad thoughts, providing
Exercising Can Keep Mind Fit By
Calming anxiety and negative mood.
Improving self-esteem and confidence.
Improving memory and cognitive function.
Reducing chronic stress,overthinking and nervousness.
Providing better endurance.
Reducing tiredness which increases mental alertness.
Increasing energy and stamina.
Reducing cholesterol and promoting heart health.
Increasing brain derived neurotrophic factor which helps to reduce risk
for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.
Boosting hormonal systems, overall metabolism, functioning and coordination.
Types of Exercises to Do
Simplest, mostaffordable, low-intensity exercise that keeps the body active, improves
the cognitive function, attention, memory and processing speed. A 30 minutes to 1-hour
walk at manageable pace is recommended every day especially in the morning to achieve
its maximum benefits. It encourages positive thoughts, improves alertness, reduces stressful
emotions and reconnects one with their surroundings. It helps to deal with panic attacks while
making bones and muscles stronger to respond during events of stress.
The age-old practice of our country exists deeply rooted in the culture. They help stretch and
form mind-body connection. Mind slowly detaches itself from complex thought patterns and
depressive symptoms, intense overthinking practices. Various effective poses to be done every
day based on instructions include suryanamaskar, downward-facing dog pose, pranayama
(breathing exercises), chair pose, boat pose and forearm plank, etc.
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It is very effective to boost mental health even if done daily for around 10 min. Releasing
endorphins, it provides the soothing touch of water on the body, making one feel lighter,
refreshed and more positive. It helps promote the growth of new brain cells which breakdown
patterns of chronic stress. Continuous movements like swimming improves the blood flow to
brain, supplies oxygen, glucose and nutrients and also protects it from harmful toxins.
Cycling to nearby places or workplace various times a week can improve mood, reduce anxiety,
and help handle stress more effectively. It also improves reasoning, functioning and problem-solving
skills. With happy hormones secreted, it gives mental clarity, boosts confidence and resilience.
These are physical exercises that use weight or some form of resistance to induce contraction
of muscles to build strength, endurance and muscle size. These rev up body's Metabolic,
prevents anxiety from escalating in mind while developing one's resilience to stressful situations.
It also improves sleep in chronically anxious people which helps to manage depression, anxiety
and mental disorders. e.g.: push ups, planks, pilates, dumbbell row, hamstrings, squats, bench press, etc.
Exercise Interventions in Mental Health Disorders
Based on an individual's capacity and health, doctors devise an exercise regimen with time
intervals. Regular exercises will not only improve the overall fitness level but also one's
endurance markedly. Key to achieve good mental health is by sticking to a well-designed
regime of exercises and following it over the long-term. Too much of anything has dire
consequences, it holds true for exercises too! When done in moderation, balancing it throughout
the day along with intake of healthy and timely meals with ample sleep, exercises sure work
wonders for keeping the mind at ease