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Healthy Living

The Indian Physique and the Problem Areas

Ever tried to fit in to a pair of jeans you brought back from a trip abroad?. More often than not, they require some adjustment about the hips or waist and the length of the legs. It is apparent the Indian body structure is a little different from the Caucasian. Our frames are generally smaller, hips wider, and legs shorter. (This is a broad generalisation with shades within.)

Most urban Indian males tend to accumulate fat around the middle. Women have to wrestle with their bulging waistlines and hips. While men get progressively apple shaped, women get pear shaped.

Men are more comfortable with their flab. They feel that at a certain age and position in life looks do not matter. The question here is not of looks, but of health " .Condition of the abdomen is a key sign of physical fitness. A soft and pendulous abdomen is usually associated with poor circulation of the blood”, says our doctor. “ Organic endurance is exceedingly poor ... Excess fat puts a terrific overload upon the heart, as every pound requires about 4500 feet of blood vessels, with much more blood going to the fat rather than to nerves or muscles and vital organs…”.

The larger your waist line, the shorter your life-line! One statistic estimate states that if you are 10 lbs. overweight, your mortality rate goes up by 8 per cent; if 20 lbs. overweight, by 18 percent and so on.

Indian women need to tackle weight gain in areas such as the waist, hips and thighs. Rheumatoid conditions, arthritis, and varicose veins are common complaints associated with such weight gain.

Successive triumphs at Ms World competitions have provided role models for getting into shape (though this is not the same as being fit). The trend unfortunately is to look good with short-term goals. Most gyms in metros have either women who have been advised fitness regimens by doctors for certain conditions, or women who want to look good so they can get married. Very few enrol with the aim of keeping fit as part of their lifestyle. After a couple of kids women feel less motivated to keep fit.

Living in an overpopulated country, with limited resources to go around, is stressful. Much time is wasted in unproductive work. Long waits at smoky traffic signals and disorderly queues, battling with substandard services eat into our time. But it is important to know that keeping fit requires about twenty minutes of exercise each day and sensible meals. A good fitness regimen helps you cope with stress. After a draining day, exercise can actually rejuvenate you.


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