The popular saying "health is wealth" gives a large meaning to our life as health is considered the most valuable and precious for every individual. Good health means not only a state of absence of disease in the body but a complete physical, mental, social as well as spiritual well being of an individual.
A healthy environment facilities good health but it is the unhealthy environment due to over population, excessive industrialization, air and water pollution etc. that is threatening the life with many dreadful disease. In the contemporary India many people have been gripped by the clutch of disease like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, AIDS etc. although people of ancient India were said to be relatively healthy. At present people are suffering from various mental disorders also because they are racing blindly towards fame and having only one aim in life that is to achieve the big status in society.
Today competition in each field is so intense that nobody can escape from the hectic schedule of life. Earlier, a few decades ago, people used to work differently, enjoying the different color of life. But it is noticed now that people are working under stressful condition and without satisfaction, which is detrimental to their physical fitness. As a result they are suffering from many disease.
Physical fitness is very necessary for a healthy and tension free life. Physical fitness includes diet, exercise and sleep. These three basic things have their own importance in each individual's life and everyone should be sensible with regard to these for a healthy life.
Diet is the kind of food that we take. As our life depends upon it we must know, how much to eat and when to eat. Therefore, one should "eat to live and not live to eat". Whatever is pleasing to your eyes, whatever is pleasing to your tongue and whatever you feel pleased after eating may be taken as long as your digestion, body weight, strength and activities are normal. Diet should be simple and light rather than heavy, but it should be always rich and pretentious. Fruit must be supplemented with the meals
Those who take fruit and fresh vegetables in diet enjoy the longevity of life, good health, agility in activity, spirituality of mind and humanity of outlook. a diet rich in fruits and fresh vegetables lowers the incidence of disease such as cancer, diabetes, cataract, heart attack etc. Fast food and soft drinks should be strictly avoided although every individual has his own requirements.
Dietary habits of childhood are difficult to change afterwards. So mothers should refrain from overfeeding their children. Some important tips of good eating habits are (1) make breakfast the largest and dinner the lightest meal of the day, (2) be a nibbler not a gourmet, (3) eat your salad before your eat the meal, (4) don't starve yourself and overeat subsequently, (5) fast food and canned food are costly both for your pocket and your heart, (6) yellow orange and green vegetables and fruits add life to your heart and (7) as age advances eat less and exercise more.
Activities requiring physical effort is called exercise. Exercise are generally of two types, light and heavy. Exercises are done by turning, bending and stretching the body keeping in mind the structure of the body. An ideal exercise is the one which facilitates the movement of each and every part of the body. Walking, running, cycling, playing, swimming, gardening, skipping, weight-lifting and yoga are some common forms of exercise which keep someone fit. But going to gym for exercise is a fashion now.
Basic Metabolic Rate increases if a person exercises. As a result the absorption of digested food increases. Exercising also burns the excess fat in the body and improves the functioning of vital organs. Regular exercise reduces the excessive body weight as well as the danger of high blood pressure due to obesity. Deposition of syrup lipids in blood because of extra fat can also be reduced by doing regular exercise. It makes the heart more active and reduces the incidence of coronary heart disease. Regular exercise also tones the muscles and removes the wrinkles on a person's face. Exercise is essential for both obese as well as weak people because it results in the loss of calories ultimately reducing the weight in case of obese and results in the weight gain in case of weak by increasing the appetite by stimulating the digestive system.
Yoga and meditation increase energy, give freshness and infuse new confidence in a person.
Sleep is the physical and mental state during which nervous system undergoes an active reorganization rather than real inhibition. The requirement of sleep varies from one age group to another. Every part of the body relaxes during sleep but organs like heart, kidney, lungs and the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) remain active. In children the requirement of sleep is high, around 12-14 hours and the normal adult requires 7-8 hours of sound sleep daily. However adults nowadays are sleeping less because of busy schedules, night shifts and late night parties.
Physical well-being wholly depends upon a sound brain as all activities of our body are controlled by the mind. Any disturbance in the mind will disturb the body giving rise to various abnormalities. So a sound sleep is must for a healthy person. Some useful tips for it are - (1) before going to bed get rid of your stress by meditation, 92) don't' sleep during the day, (3) perform physical and mental work to get some sleep, (4) do your exercise regularly, (5) drink warm milk and avoid spice food before going to bed.
The quality and not the quantity of sleep is important, although 8 hours sleep is necessity for sound health.
Thus, balanced diet, regular exercise and sound sleep are the prerequisites for sound physical fitness and physical fitness is the key to a productive and successful life.