Fitness – Key To Survey

Enter the date of the first test at the top and the results of each activity beneath the heading: FIRST SURVEY.

Take your second test three months later and enter the date as also the results beneath the heading: SECOND SURVEY.

After your second survey, award yourself with:

extra 5 points for each activity where you have improved(+5).

subtract 5 points where you haven’t progressed(-5).

zero where there is no change (0).

Symbolically, fit is only an alphabet away from fat. It is symbolic because ou remove the common ‘a’ and replace it with that special ‘I’. ‘I’ as in me, myself, as in individual.

The ‘a’ in the word ‘fat’ could be:

A three-packs-a-day smoker,

A between-meal-times-and-while-watching- TV snacker,

A nervous type who cannot sleep at night,

A person whose weighing scales groan every time he steps on them,

A diabetic/heart patient, etc.,

A depressive,

A stressed-out person,

A drinker of alcohol,

A non-active couch potato,

But by getting into the fitness lifestyle the ‘a’ vanishes from ‘fat’ and is replaced by a healthy glowing ‘i’ as in FIT. Watch the ‘I’ emerge…

I don’t need those blasted cigarettes.

I do not feel hungry all the time.

I can sleep soundly.

I can take my weight without that shrinking feeling.

I have controlled/banished my illnesses.

I feel light and joyful.

I can relax without worrying.

I don’t need to drink to unwind.

I feel active and energetic all the time.

The changing of ‘a’ to ‘I’ is a gloriously fulfilling process. However, if you are over 35 years of age or have any medical problem, remember to check with your physician before embarking on an exercising programme.

If you have answered the questions in the ‘How Fit Am I?’ personal survey, you would already be aware of your health and fitness level. But you would like to know a little more, wouldn’t you? For example, what happens inside your body? So, let us get an understanding of his marvellous mechanism that Nature has gifted all of us with.

Lung power

At birth, every one of us is pronounced to be ‘alive and kicking’ the moment we draw our first breath and bawl our lungs out. It shows how vital oxygen is to us. To stay alive, we need a good dose of oxygen to stream through our lungs. It is the foundation required for our body-conditioning.

So far, you may have thought of your lungs as a pair of bellows that help you breathe. Now, let us see what happens when you inhale. Your lungs process the air. To give you an analogy Рbefore cooking, you take a cupful of rice. You clean it by separating the grain from the tiny stones. Then, you take the separated grain and put it in the vessel for cooking. Similarly, your lungs separate the oxygen from the air (which includes nitrogen and other gases like carbon monoxide) and send it through your body. The pure oxygen is absorbed by your red blood cells into your haemoglobin and these little sponges of oxygen bob in your bloodstream. Your bloodstream is like a great river coursing through your body, carrying these oxygen sponges to the tissue. (Tissue is muscle, bone, nerve. A group of cells form a tissue, and a group of tissues form your organs ­heart, lungs, stomach.)

At their destination, these sponges ‘squeeze’ out the oxygen and reabsorb the waste carbon dioxide from your tissue. They bob back to your lungs from where the waste gas is expelled.

Your fitness depends on your lungs’ capacity to process air. The more air your lungs process, the more oxygen you will get into your tissues and the more efficiently will your body work. Aerobic exercising does precisely that – it increases your lungs’ efficiency and helps them ‘suck’ in more oxygen into your system.

You will now understand why smoking is so harmful to your health. When you smoke a cigarette, you inhale carbon monoxide which in normal circumstances would be filtered out by your lungs. The act of smoking is like an underworld don sending his gun-toting thug Рcarbon-monoxide ­into your home. The thug (carbon monoxide) terrorises your chief security guard (your lungs) who is forced to let him in. This killer gas reaches your blood cells and grabs the haemoglobin in a paralysing grip. This way, he stops the oxygen-rich haemoglobin from reaching your tissue, and impairs your body from working efficiently.

However, the good news is that by stopping smoking, your body can recover and regain its normal efficiency within a few weeks unless, of course, it has scarred your heart in the meanwhile.

Aerobic exercising not only strengthens your lungs but also expands the space around them thus allowing them to expand more and process more oxygen.