Don't let fitness kill you!

Don't let fitness kill you!


Just today I read about a television actor who had cardiac arrest while on a treadmill and died. He was all of 38. Apparently he had a heart condition that he had kept hidden from his gym. It is bad enough to lose one’s life due to lifestyle diseases; it is worse losing it trying to overdo fitness. Yes, the crazy six-pack and washboard abs generation is going all out to get that elusive shape. Fads, starvation and overexercising are some of the unhealthy short cuts taken. Women want to slim down to fit into a particular dress at a wedding rather than for upping their stamina, energy or flexibility. It is very sad that instead of health, it is looks that is the ultimate goal. I hope it serves as a wake up call for all those who are insanely obsessed with what they think is fitness.

That is not to say that one must let oneself go and become fat. But in maintaining a healthy body weight, it is important to first understand one’s own body and its health issues. Before starting any fitness program, it is important to get a complete health check done to know your health status. Consult your doctor if you suffer from any diseases and ensure that your trainer, nutritionist and gym are aware of your conditions and customize your fitness regimen accordingly. If you are planning to just hit a gym without guidance and without your doctor’s knowledge, it is quite possible that you may end up doing more harm than good.

Another very important aspect when exercising is hydration and nutrition. While you must not exercise on a full tummy, you must not be starving either. Having something an hour in advance should be fine. Carry a water bottle with you and after exercise do eat something nutritious. I read somewhere that one loses more weight or burns fat on an empty stomach. That is clearly rubbish. As a matter of fact, our diet should be more for days when we do more physical activity whether exercising, sports or tending to a little baby. The only way you will lose weight is if you eat sensibly and eat loads of nutritious food. Consult a dietitian to help you out. Please don’t rely on newspaper columns or magazines; they are not meant to be used as a basis to chalk out your fitness program, neither is a session with your gym-going friend. What works for them may not work for you. So, the sensible approach will be to get professional guidance especially if you are a beginner.

Yes, obesity is a huge problem facing the world today. And staying fit is absolutely mandatory from a health standpoint. Respect your body. Recognize its shortcomings and strengths. Don’t weaken it and punish it by embarking upon yo-yo diets and crazy gymming.Do it the right way!

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24 thoughts on “Don't let fitness kill you!

  1. Recently I heard a pencil thin 9-year-old refusing to eat rice because she would put on weight. Needless to say I went into shock 🙂
    Sometimes metabolism, genes, body structure all play a role in putting on weight. Better to be aware of it than to be hyper and exercise to the excess

    1. Oh gosh, what kids are going through is something else. This obsession with looks; I wish it could translate into healthy living in some way.

  2. enlightening post Rachna. My brother’s friend died due to liposuction. He went for a horrible short cut as exercises were not helping him 🙁 sad that ppl dont understand their body . Incidentally I wrote a similar but opposite post today how ever I mentioned what you wrote some where in my post !
    Obesity kills but over obsession with figure may also kill. Good post
    my post if u have time –

    1. Thank you Afshan! And something similar happened to the comedian Vivek Shauq who died after getting his liposuction done. Here is a link to that news
      I feel sorry for those in showbiz. They have a compulsion to look a certain way at whatever cost. We have heard of models eating toilet paper to stave off hunger to stay a certain shape. Really sad!

  3. Too many rules around exercise – don’t eat before, don’t eat after, don’t have empty stomach, don’t bathe before, don’t bathe after – makes it tough to manage with rest of schedule.

    1. Actually no. Just don’t do something intensive when you are unwell or tired. Also don’t workout on an empty stomach. I enjoy brisk walking and take care to keep drinking water and eating properly. Of course, with age we have to be more conscious of our bodies.

  4. Oh dear…who is this fellow who died?
    I must say, I sometimes go a do silly things in the gym…like running 5 miles for really no reason at all. I must control such urges.

    1. Rickie Here you go This guy is an actor called Abir Goswami. He starred in a few movies too. You can see at this link
      And, I do hope when you say crazy things, you mean in jest. I brisk walk 5-6 kms. daily and have been doing it for many years. But was never a fan of intensive gymming. What matters is not overdoing and not hiding health issues from your trainers. I am sure you have none. Take care.

  5. This post was so needed. In our zeal to loose weight we tend to go overboard. And as you rightly say, the focus needs to be on enhancing energy and flexibility and not just in shedding kilos. We should never ape anyone. Every one needs to design his or her own fitness regime.

    1. Thank you Ruchira! I wish all of us including the teens understand this. Because peer pressure is really making them do crazy things especially girls. We are so obsessed with losing weight that jeopardizing our health in the bargain might be easily overlooked.

  6. That was truly tragic. True, have seen quite a few people who are so obsessed with the muscled look or some unrealistic weight loss goal. And in the process, they are willing to do anything even at the cost of harming/damaging their bodies…

  7. I think knowing what your body can and cannot do is important. Very pertinent post. I saw a mother of a teenaged daughter talking about how her daughter wants to diet to look perfect.

    1. Yes Jas! Sometimes we end up doing irreversible damage to our bodies. It is very sad. Even adults hardly know much and just push their children into dieting at the cost of their development and growth sometimes.

  8. What some people are doing to et into shape is quite stupid.There is no science in it.
    Gym SPA etc can only help,but,real issues have to besorted out at home with diet and on the walking track.
    Try it…I am saying this with personal experience and I know I am resonably healthy.

    1. Exactly Chowlaji. Eat nutritious food and do moderate exercise. I am saying from personal experience as well :). As we age, we must recognize that we can’t stress the body too much.

  9. oh gosh! How tragic! I often wonder about people’s common sense when I hear these stories though! Why don’t we listen more to our own bodies?

  10. Very useful information, Rachna for youngsters, esp. Eat well and work out well. No junk food. Home food is better. Yoga is best for maintenance if you are to skip strenuous exercises for any reason! For me, walking and yoga helps a lot.

    Staying slim without stamina is useless. The 38 year old who died must have been eating wrong foods. Feel sorry for people like him.

    1. Thank you, Sakshi! I think becoming slim is an international obsession. It has not left our kids and teens untouched. I really wish the brand ambassadors of beauty would do their bid in promoting health and fitness. Hopefully, we can educate our kids about these pitfalls if no one else.

  11. Nowadays youngsters are such fitness minded they are scared to have sufficient food for their body. They just have little if we ask why they answer diet. Their mindsets must change and thanks for sharing enlightening post.

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