Frankly, that would be difficult to pinpoint with hundred per cent accuracy as it depends on your build and bone density. However, it is nice to have 'the ideal weight' as a goal to strive for. Which is why we have given a weight-chart for Indian men and women. Use it only as a reference point and not as an absolute bible. The main thing is that you should feel energetic and joyously alive all the time.
How fit are you? Your state of health and fitness, however, does not begin and end with our weight. How much you weigh is one more milestone on the road to health. This section of the chapter has been carefully designed to awaken you to your optimum potential- physically, mentally and spiritually.
Initially, medicine came into being when people fell ill. Something was required to make them feel better and, if possible, cure them. Slowly, the face of medicine took on a different hue.
Knowing that cures were available, people began to be rather complacent. The small voice of reason that said, "prevention is better than cure" was somewhat lost in the act of swallowing pills and undergoing surgery. Somewhere in this race for pacemakers, however, the insistent voice continued to speak out. And world over, a new awareness crept in which redefined life not as mere existence, but living.
Where health was seen not as an absence of diseases, but as a positive state of wellness. And where illnesses were viewed as the effects of a certain lifestyle, the result of this new thinking made such people believe that taking responsibility for their health lies more in their hands than with the family physician. Take the example of a friend of ours - a typical, urban executive who makes a living out of creative confusion. He is always living on the edge running late for an appointment, invariably scrambling to find a file, even as the telephone is stuck to the shoulder as a physical extension. By day, he chases future contracts before finishing existing commitments. By night, he chases highballs thinking that they can "unwind" him, since work flies at him like angry hornets disturbed from their hive.
Thus, his professional life is akin to a one-handed juggler trying to keep four balls in motion. In short, our friend is the kind of chap who makes the Tolstoy hero - out to claim all the land he can walk on - look like a stay-at-home. He is worse on his rare days off - haring off to a club, tearing off for a play, entertaining entertainment without end. Sure, the man has a lifestyle.
But the basic question remains: where is life? Is it any surprise that his medical bills are as high as his petrol bills? That brings us back to the fundamental question raised by the new awareness. Who is responsible for this man's health? He himself, with his chosen lifestyle, or his doctor? The prevention-is-better-than-cure banner can now be raised on the pillars of health bringing us to the seven key habits that most of us learnt at our mother's knee: Daily exercise Balanced meals Weight control No smoking Moderate or no alcohol Adequate hours of sleep An even temperament. Ask yourself. Can you honestly say that you subscribe to every one of these seven homilies? As an extra pay-off, we have found that fitness promotes a serene as well as an optimistic outlook releasing powerful healers like laughter.
Make no mistake. Life is not a lifestyle. Life is for living.
Living should be an art combined with the science of healthy knowledge to make life a continually uplifting experience. Since your health and fitness begin with yourself, we present a personal survey, a questionnaire that helps you find out how fit you are. Since every one of us is different from others, it was not possible to come up with a standard fitness survey. After all, we vary not only in age and gender but also have different kinds of body frames, bone density. Some of you may be exercising, some may have once exercised, some may never have.
The variables are too diverse. However, the best thing about fitness is that you don't have to compete with anybody but yourself. In the privacy of your room, you can set your own standards and try and improve upon them. In short, you have to measure up to your own expectations.
This personal survey has been designed to help you gauge your general fitness. To derive the maximum benefit from it, you should answer it now and repeat it after three months and, once again, after another three month interval. For, if after reading this book, you do launch into your own exercising programme and eat sensibly, we have no doubt that you will see a steady progress in your fitness and health. As you will see, one of the questions refers to your resting pulse rate. This is because your pulse rate tells you how fast your heart is beating while at rest. Later on, we shall explain the joys of pulse-rated exercises.
To answer this question, you will have to take your own pulse rate. It is easy. Use your index and middle finger - never your thumb which has its own beat to take your pulse. Place the two fingers either on your wrist below the thumb or at your neck below your jaw. You will feel your pulse throbbing. Use a watch with a second hand and count the beats for ten seconds.
Multiply that number by six. That is your pulse rate per minute. Example: No. of beats/10 seconds = 11 11 x 6 = 66 beats/minute = resting pulse rate.
This survey is divided into three parts. Personal: Part I is your personal record that will, in time to come, provide you with proof of how your fitness lifestyle has benefited you. Exercises: Part II is designed to show you how physically fit you are to meet your daily needs. Through this, you will know which areas need improvement. When you do these exercises, be sure that you are not straining yourself.
Even if you cannot do some of them, they will give you an insight into your physical fitness. If in doubt, check with your doctor before you embark on these activities. General: Part III consists of twenty-two self-assessing questions covering a wide field. For fitness and health do make a positive difference to your outlook and how you conduct yourself in dealing with situations. Please note that you can participate 'only in Part III without answering Part I or Part II and still get a fair idea of where you need to improve.
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