Being fit today is important than ever before. As we are advancing technologically, the need for maintaining one’s health and lifestyle increases. These days such is our dependence on technology that we prefer the escalators instead of the stairs and cars & bikes instead of bicycles. This change in our lifestyle can be attributed to the great technological advancements in various fields that have directly impacted our health and fitness. Obesity has become a major health disorder in our society. The problem of obesity is most common in teenagers. It’s not just India facing this problem; developed nations like the USA, UK are equally high in number of such cases. America has more than 92,000,000 cases of registered obese patients and India stands at number two position with 84,388,000 cases of obesity.
Meaning of Physical Fitness and Teenagers
Fitness basically means being fit and healthy. A person is termed a healthy when he/she is free from diseases and follows a balanced lifestyle. Teenage years are the most crucial in determining one’s growth mentally, physically and emotionally. These are the years that determine the health and metabolism for the coming years in one’s life. The technological advancements have led to reduced time for physical activities for the kids.
The importance of keeping fit
Parents, Government, School indeed have an important role to play in developing fitness habits in students but in the end, it’s the students who need to understand the importance of keeping fit:
- Improves concentration
- Increases mental growth
- Tones up the muscles
- Longer Life
- Better immunity
- Improves the quality of life
- Improves blood circulation
- And the best one is that we don’t have to visit the doctor often. No more medicines or injections.
Are the students at fault for the lack of fitness?
Kids today are so busy with their daily lives that they completely ignore the importance of fitness. It is not exactly the kids who are at fault. The pressure of studies is so much that one spends most of their time attending school and tuitions. The time devoted to playing outdoor games and doing exercises has reduced substantially. The reduced time of outdoor games is due to the invention of video games and the Internet. More and more children today are addicted to Social networking sites like Facebook, play games as a recreational measure and hardly go for any outdoor activities.
Countries like Japan are facing this problem where more than 90% of their kids are addicted to video games and the Internet. This addiction has a direct impact on the children’s health who eventually become overweight. The easy availability of junk food also adds to the problem. Junk food has zero nutritional value and has very high calories. This is the reason why the Indian government banned the sale of Junk food in schools a few years back.
Students tend to ignore the importance of staying fit in their day to day lives. One must understand that being fit has a direct relation with the concentration and mental growth of an individual. It is very important to ensure that one’s fitness is not compromised during the growth years.
Role of Parents in keeping the child fit
Being fit at an early stage of one’s life has become quite a task owing to the easy availability of indoor games like PS3, X-Box etc. Parents have a very important role to play in their children’s health. They need to keep the following points in mind while nurturing their children during their growth years:
- Ensure that the child has some form of physical activity involved in the daily routine. This could be as simple as walking back home from tuitions or school bus stop or going to the nearby market.
- Fixing the duration of video games/internet usage for every day and following a strict timetable will also help them learn about the value of discipline.
- Ensuring that the children eat green vegetables and fruits in at least one meal of the day
- Intake of Maggi, Pizza and Burgers etc. should be reduced and home cooked food should be encouraged.
- The breakfast should be made a necessary meal for the children.
Role of school in keeping students fit
Schools have a very critical role to play in this situation. Schools must strictly adhere to the government regulations of not serving junk food in the school canteens and cafeterias. They must regularly conduct workshops about the importance of having a healthy lifestyle. Physical education must be made a compulsory subject so that students devote time to physical activities along with studies during school hours. These days a lot of schools give a food chart to students and the students are expected to bring food accordingly. This chart includes vegetables, fruits and junk food once or twice a month.
Leading a balanced life
Students need to balance their schedule in such a way that their health is not compromised. As the famous saying goes-“Health is Wealth”. There is no point in studying the entire year for an exam when you fall sick on the D-Day. Studies are the most important element of a student’s life but so is fitness and health. Leading a balanced life will not only help improve performance at academics but will also help in meeting new people, making new friends, learning something new and the overall development of the personality.
Little efforts reap big results.
One can start by walking to the market, not using a lift, avoiding that burger when you go out, ordering juice instead of cola and much more. The best way to ensure that you actually follow a timetable for fitness is by involving your friends with you. This will not only help in keeping you fit but will also strengthen the bond you share with your friends.
As Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “It is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” It’s the youth and our lifestyle today that will determine our health ahead.
So pull out those running shoes, go for a walk, try new healthy recipes (your mom will surely love it), Make a timetable; do little things that count and can make a difference. Our body is a temple and should be worshipped because it is the only place we live in. Treat it with the respect it deserves and you are never too old or young to start. So why wait?