(By Ritika Dureja Bajaj)
One of the important days celebrated in India is National Sports Day on 29th August every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of the hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand. What makes this day all the more special is the objective behind this day- To stay fit and healthy. Thus, making us realize the importance of fitness in life.
But halt here, fitness in what sense? Is it only catering to physical aspect of fitness? Most of us relate with only physical fitness when we talk of sports or any physical activity. But think for a while, if this correlation is really complete? Well, fitness is amalgamation of one’s physical, social, emotional and psychological wellbeing. Which means that the sports we play or any physical activity we entail in is impacting all these areas of our life.
Though physical activity increases our stamina, enhances our endurance and makes us active, it all reverberates by strengthening our mental health. Mental health encompasses our cognitive, behavioral and emotional wellbeing. Which means that the extent of our mental fitness is dependent on how we process information and behave or experience emotions as a result of it. Now you must be thinking how exercising strengthens our mental health?
Well, exercising releases endorphins (happy hormones) which can lift up our mood. So having regular bouts of exercises can keep us calm and in our lifted spirits. As a result of which it improves our self- esteem, helps us develop resilience and manage mood swings at preliminary level. This would in turn help us strengthen our relation with our self and with others keeping depression and anxiety at bay.
The theme for this national event as ‘Fit India’ is so apt during this pandemic when we all are experiencing mental fatigue. This is further resulting in severe mood swings causing tiff in relations, inducing fear of unknown or uncertainty and curbing our decision making by escalating self- doubt. The only way to pull through is either physical activity or some sports. Instead of seeing it as a challenge or excuse to not fit it in the routine, breaking it down to the bite size tasks is important.
Choose from any physical activity as per your liking and feasibility, just start doing it. You may not have motivation to do it, but still you can make it a habit. You must be thinking how can it be done? Think of your usual every day behaviours and use them as your trigger. For instance, every time you’ll wash your hands you will jump/ do push-ups 3 times. Similarly, every time you’ll sip water you’ll do high knees 3 times. You may think of more such small repetitive behavior of yours and attach a small work out with it. Gradually you may increase the number and slowly it will become your habit. This ways it will seem more simple and accomplishable thus, acting as a reward for your brain.
We neglect health not because of lack of motivation but because of not foreseeing its impact on us. To accomplish anything in life, health is the propeller of our boat. Without it, this boat will not sail through. Maintaining health, both physical and mental will have twin advantage. It will not only make you happy, rather free you from mental clutter thus, enhancing your thinking capacity and creativity which are pre-requites for being successful in life. Thus, one can finally say, “Fitness begins with strong mind and brain which further elevates our capacity to handle challenges and flip it into a beautiful experience. To embark this journey, step up to take that first step of physical activity.”