Importance of Physical Fitness

The importance of physical fitness cannot be stressed enough by health experts and those who’ve changed their lifestyle around for good. Learn why you should consider the same, and why this is crucial for your well-being.

Wonder why health-conscious people pay so much attention to their regular workouts and their diets? Well, if you have been ignoring the advice of others on the importance of physical fitness and are reluctant to give up your sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits, it is time to wake up and smell the coffee.

What is Physical Fitness?

Physical fitness is defined as the state or condition of being physically sound and healthy, especially as the result of exercises and proper nutrition. It is, thus, a state of general well-being, marked by physical health as well as mental stability. Physical fitness is not just about having a lean body; it is about having cardiovascular and overall muscular endurance, as well as a strong immunity system, and most importantly, a satisfied and happy state of mind.

Why Do I Have to be Physically Active?

Physical fitness is one of the most important things in life and one of the most valuable assets one can ever have. Health is one of the pre-requisites for a happy, well-balanced life. There are several advantages of being physically fit; here is how physical fitness helps you in the long run:

Cardiovascular Endurance: Cardiovascular endurance is nothing but the measurement of your heart’s strength. It also implies the ability of the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues and to remove wastes. Physical fitness helps you achieve cardiovascular endurance and helps to increase the oxygen flow to all the body muscles.

Muscular Strength: A balanced and regular fitness regimen helps to increase the ability of muscles to exert force and sustain contraction. In short, to put it simply – a regular workout will make your muscles stronger and thus, increase your overall strength.

Self-Confidence: When you look good and you feel good, it is obvious that you have no inhibitions and insecurities to bog you down. A healthy mind and a healthy body are a big boost to your self-confidence.

Flexibility: A regular workout session will ensure that you move your joints and muscles to their fullest extent and hence, it will increase the flexibility of these joints and your overall body. Flexibility in body movements is achieved only through physical fitness.

Body Composition: One of the indicators of physical fitness is a balanced and healthy body composition. Minimum level of fat and maximum level of lean mass is a sign of a healthy and fit body. The lean mass includes muscles, bones, vital tissues, and organs.

Beautiful You: Exercise and overall fitness helps detoxify your body, and thus lets your skin breathe. It also helps to tone your body and thus enhances your overall appearance. So in short physical fitness keeps you beautiful and glowing.

Healthy Mind: A healthy mind dwells in a healthy body. Any exercise included in your fitness regimen, will lead to the production of endorphins in the body. Endorphins are chemicals that make you feel happy and hence a healthy, physically fit body is always accompanied by a healthy mind.

Drive-away Illness: Yes, it is true. Moderated and balanced workout in a fitness regimen helps to boost the immune system of the body. Fully functional and strong body immunity means that your body develops the strength to ward off diseases and infections.

So, in short, to have sense of satisfaction in your life – it is not just the materialistic things that you need – it is your own physical fitness, which will help you in the long run. A disease-free healthy body and mind are simply priceless. So, the next time you skip breakfast to rush to office or don’t find the time to exercise owing to your busy schedule – think about this. Live your life to the fullest, but more importantly, live it wisely and invest time in your own health.

Home Gym Systems to Stay Fit

More than half of the India’s population is suffering from diseases like diabetes on account of sedentary lifestyle and dearth of physical activities, obesity, stressful jobs leading to hypertension, consumption of fast food and above all crazily idolising so-called celebrities from the Bollywood and sports arenas. In such a scenario of limited recreational facilities, the sole remedy lies in pursuing a fitness regimen on a serious note. So much so real estate developers highlight the provision for a gym in the brochures of their grandiose plans.

But the moot question remains as to how many can afford membership of a gym in the neighbourhood or at a swanky club? By and large, one doesn’t have liberty to exercise at free will here since the members have to abide by assigned timings. Meanwhile, the health conscious among the younger generation, both men and women, have become aware on the ways and means for vital fitness. And this is achieved by procuring suitable home fitness equipment of reputed make. Incidentally, many of these systems could be bought through online transactions either directly from the manufacturer or through the franchised outlet.

A leading Indian company engaged in marketing these systems, having its head office in New Delhi and branches in cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata and Mumbai, has a wide range of international brands to choose from. Some of these are:

  • Life Fitness
  • Body Craft
  • Hammer Strength
  • First Degree
  • Gym-80
  • Ivanko
  • Pavi Gym
  • Fitvibe
  • Celebrate Life
  • Power Block
  • TRX
  • Tomahawk

Reportedly, the first named Life Fitness is the world’s leading brand and this company is the main distributor in the Indian sub continent. The products, they are categorised by their relevant applications like Cardio under which Treadmills, Elliptical Cross Trainers also known as X-Trainers and Life Cycle Exercise Bikes in upright and recumbent versions are available. Each one is classified in tune with the specifications. In the Strength category, Home Gym systems are offered. All these have designed consoles for modern day IT gadgets numerous other features.

When one intends to buy gym equipment, these aspects must be borne in mind. The first and foremost is the budget as to how much money has been kept aside for this. Secondly, ascertain the credibility of the company or the dealer. Although online deals have become the trends of the day, it would be ideal to visit a showroom and choose the systems personally. It is also advised to try out the various models for a first hand experience.

If it is a franchised outlet, the modes of after-sales service must be clarified and confirmed from the manufacturer. There have been instances of the seller backing out as and when occasions of trouble shooting arise on the contention for a manufacturing defect, the dealer is not responsible.

Initially, the services of a certified fitness trainer may be retained to learn novel exercises and how to perform them. On this score, informal chats with fitness trainers, dieticians and physiotherapists of established gyms would be a boon in the long run.

How Mental Health Affects Physical Health

There is an inextricable linkage between your physical and mental health. A slight shift in the well-being of one of them is bound to affect the other. This article discusses in detail the connection between mental wellness, its effects on the physical health of a person, and the importance to maintain a balance between the two.

According to The American Psychological Association, if you are mentally ill, your physical health will also show signs of distress. Similarly, if you are physically feeling down and weak, your mental health will also be affected. Thus, there is a strong connection between your mind and body, which affects your overall well-being.

Many people still tend to ignore the plain truth that our body’s physical health is interlinked to our mental health, and both cannot be separated. A decline in one of them causes disruption to the other. Whenever you are stressed, disturbed, or feeling emotionally low, you suffer from physical ailments that make you inactive and unhealthy. There are hundreds of studies that have demonstrated this strong connection. Researchers at Bangor University in Wales had this to say. Participants who were mentally fatigued prior to doing a difficult exercise test got exhausted quickly, as compared to those were relaxed before performing the same physical exercise text. Thus, resting before a big day of physical activity is definitely going to help you last longer through the day.

Effects of Poor Mental Health on Your Physical Well-being
» According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, poor mental health reduces the immunity of your body, making you more vulnerable to physical ailments.

» Lifestyle changes have increased stress, and other mental health problems are taking its toll on the overall well-being and health of the population. Stress has been linked to many diseases and physical ailments. Negative feelings as well as poor mental health aggravates any physical discomfort experienced by the body.
» Stress, anxiety, and depression can lead to hordes of disturbances in your physical health, such as sleep disruptions, digestion problems, back pain, headache, fatigue, etc. Stress hormones are released in the body, which may increase blood pressure and trigger anger, aggressiveness, fear, or any negative feelings. If this continues for a long time, the persistent high level of stress hormones in the body causes changes in the brain chemistry. This could culminate into heart diseases, stroke, sleep problems, headaches, and other chronic illnesses.

» Obesity is prevalent among children and adults alike, which makes them inactive, lazy, and more vulnerable to various diseases and infections. Again, if you are physically unfit, your mood changes, which makes you irritable and cranky and affects your general well-being and health.

» Intense emotions, breakups, loss of a loved one, etc., make you feel low. These stressful situations leave you depressed. If you bottle up your feelings, they tend to come out in the form of aggression, anger, rejection, etc. A person with a mental health condition is more likely to indulge in risky and unsafe actions, like substance abuse, violence, self-destruction, or suicide.

» According to the Harvard Medical School, pain is depressing, and depression causes and heightens pain. People with chronic pain are thrice at a risk of developing a mental health condition and those suffering bouts of depression are three times more at a risk of developing continuing long-term pain.

» Research has also shown that a mental health condition aggravates the physical disturbances and vice versa. It is a vicious circle, which can be broken with the right attitude and necessary treatment to overcome both these hurdles. Getting treated for only one of these may not help.
Hence, it is very important to take care of your emotions, and preserve a balance between your physical and mental health.
Maintaining a Balance Between Mental and Physical Health
» Taking care of yourself is vital in the first place. Our body gives out signals to convey that all is not well with it. Look out for these signs. Do not ignore them as they are ways of communication between you and your body.

» Venting out your feelings and indulging in an activity to relax and soothe your nerves is extremely essential. Exercising and yoga are ways through which you can keep stress at bay. Exercise reduces stress, increases blood circulation, and improves immunity.

» Studies were conducted on elderly adults who are physically fit and compared to those who were less fit. According to psychology professor Art Kramer (who led the study), “The higher fit people have a bigger hippocampus, and the people that have more tissue in the hippocampus have a better spatial memory.”

» Crying is also an excellent way of dealing with stress, grief, and other negative emotions. The emotional tears contain higher amounts of the stress hormones, which are eliminated from the body. This is the reason why crying makes you feel good.

» Indulging in your favorite hobby, like reading, traveling, trekking, cycling, etc., which you thoroughly enjoy doing, will help keep stress at bay. It will help you relax and rejuvenate.

Therefore, your mental health also plays a critical role to keep you physically fit. Keep a positive attitude. Learn and inculcate effective ways to cope with the negative feelings, and adopt a healthy lifestyle, which will not only improve your overall health, but will keep you fit as a fiddle to overcome all the obstacles in life.

Mental Health Therapist

The responsibility of a mental health therapist is to ensure the mental and emotional health of his patients. The therapy may done in different formats such as individual, group, and family. The following article provides information about the various tasks of a therapist and the things a person must consider before going to a therapist.

Mental health therapists are trained professionals who counsel individuals, families, and groups to identify and work through the problems that a person is facing. These professionals help their patients deal with stress, substance abuse, addictions, low self-esteem, and grief. Some of them even specialize as marriage counselors and career counselors. These professionals work with other mental health specialists like psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, and school counselors to promote emotional and mental health of their patients.

Job Description

These therapists work though observation, interviews, and tests, to gather information and identify the problems of a person. Based on their observation they decide the right type of therapy for the person. These professionals counsel their clients and help them make informed decisions about themselves, their lives, and their relationships. They help their patients to analyze their problems and address various issues. These therapist also carry out mental health evaluation and risk assessment of their patients when required. They also monitor the treatment of their patients by maintaining accurate records and documents.

Mental health therapy is a holistic approach that takes into account a person’s external and societal influences, while also considering his physical and emotional health. To fulfill the requirements of the job, one first needs to get a master’s degree in mental health counseling with a certification or license in a specialty like:

Educational, school, or career counseling
Rehabilitation counseling
Marriage and family counseling
Substance abuse counseling

Most of the master’s degrees are a two-year program. Apart from this, the person is also required to complete an internship during this period. This internship involves, working with people and gaining hands-on experience in the field. For better career opportunities, one may get a doctoral degree in mental health counseling or related field.

Choosing the Right Therapist

Mental health problems often stem from deeply personal and often painful episodes. Due to such a personal nature of the problem, it is very important that one is careful while looking for the therapist. Refer to your physician first to confirm that the symptoms are not caused due to a medical problem. Getting referrals will be a great help in finding the therapist. Ask your friends, family members, or medical health professional for reference. While you consider a therapist, be sure to check his certification. Also, confirm if he has relevant experience in treating people with problems similar to yours. Go to him only if you are satisfied with the findings.

According to a survey done by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, in 2007 the median salary that mental health counselors earned was $36,000. The highest earnings are made by those who are self-employed and work in well established practices. It takes almost 5 years for mental health therapists to develop a private practice after getting a license.