When we talk of fitness ,the images that people tend to perceive are usually that of fancy gyms, professional workout gear or a bunch of youngsters pursuing a sport.
When the Prime Minister of India Shri.Narendra Modi ji launched the ‘Fit India Movement’ it was with the intention of getting the entire nation into living a fit and active lifestyle, irrespective of age or status. He further enhanced this initiative by talking to several experts who have each adopted and promoted different facets of living a fit life. They all agreed unanimously that staying active is imperative for a strong mind and healthy physique.
What was unique about the Prime Minister’s interaction with these fitness enthusiasts and influencers was the relevant topics which he discussed with each of them.
With Paralympic Gold Medalist Devendra Jhajharia he spoke about the kind of fitness required for speedy recovery from an injury. Afshan Ashiq, a footballer who also trains young girls in the game was asked about the kind of mental agility and physical flexibility fitness she requires as a goalkeeper.
Milind Soman spoke at length about how fitness can be achieved within a small space at home without the need for expensive gear. The Prime Minister also used this opportunity to praise Milind’s 81 year old mother who runs marathons barefoot while clad in a saree. Her fitness includes doing 15 push ups per day.
With Virat Kohli the conversation went along the lines of stamina and endurance required for a sports player in the global arena. The importance of doing a disciplined fitness regime is vital, he said, to allow the skill to shine.
Swami Shivdhyanam Saraswathi from the Bihar school of yoga is a highly qualified academician. He not only teaches yoga as a means to stay fit but educates about the nuances of yoga for both mind and body wellness.
The most light hearted but thought nurturing interaction was with celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar and her passion for focusing on native foods for leading a fit life. The Prime Minister reminisced about diet during his childhood and agreed with the importance of adding haldi to the daily diet. He even spoke about his own special recipe for a 'moringa paratha'. Drumstick leaves now sold in the form of moringa powder is indeed a superfood. The drumstick tree is like the supreme healer because it possesses incredible properties which can strengthen every part of the body.
Moringa leaves in both fresh and powder form can be easily added to various dishes. October is the time for eating a variety of tubers and yams. Add finely chopped moringa leaves to yam cutlets or sweet potato parathas with your favourite spice powders like garam masala or methi masala and cook it on a cast iron tava with ghee. Eat it piping hot with a little pickle on the side and it will be an unforgettable meal, perfect for the overcast weather. It is not the calories but the understanding of a local diet which can help with weight loss as well as be able to satisfy food cravings.
Inculcating good habits in youngsters is a parenting goal. When it comes to fitness, inspiration or motivation can also happen in the reverse manner. The Prime Minister’s appeal for a fit India is also to the youngsters, to coax their parents into beginning a fitness regime.
Fitness is nothing but leading an active lifestyle, far removed from a sedentary desk job or slouched in front of the television. When a family pursues an activity together, whether it is playing a sport, going for a walk, skipping, dancing or even sharing in household chores, it goes a long way in creating a bond. Cleaning the store room; sweeping the garden; cooking together can also be a family activity and not merely the duty of the women folk. There are so many positives involved in a family or community embracing fitness together.
Fitness is something which has a different meaning for every individual. For some it may mean climbing mountains or running a marathon while for others it may be just as crucial to climb a flight of stairs without faltering. The important thing is to never give up and to allow the human body to be agile in limb and joint. As Rujuta says counting calories is not the route to weight loss or fitness. As our elders would say, “Eat happily, don’t count the number of rotis you ate”.
The Prime minister also quotes Swami Vivekananda who said “Strength is life, weakness is death”’ Mental health is another indicator of physical fitness. An active body gets the endorphins flowing which allows thoughts to flow easily and keeps the stability intact.
Another very important objective of the Fit India movement is for each one of us, as fellow Indians, to get out there and motivate or help whoever we can around us. It could be by; lending our time, knowledge or any other contribution which will have a direct impact on health and well-being.
In doing so we can together empower a nation towards a Fit India. The advantage of having technology is that there are innumerable fitness videos on Youtube which go from a light 7 minute stretching workout to an intense 1 hour cardio. Whichever way we look at it, there are no excuses for putting off adding exercise to our day.
Time waits for no one person! We need to decide, make a plan and get started. It’s as simple as that. Fitness can start in very simple ways in your kitchen. In the process of doing so you will be amazed to see the many positive changes which happen alongside getting fit.
We’re in this together. The Fit India movement is ours to embrace! Let’s get out there and make a difference. A few weeks back, we had shared the real story of Jayanand's fitness journey - one of our customers who decided to dump a life of lethargy and sedentary choices to get fit at 40! Check it out it here.
To sum in the words of our dynamic PM’ “A FIT INDIA IS A MORE ‘HIT’ INDIA !"