Exercise To Up Your Health

Anjumol K JUSTIN responds to ThinkWellness360 questionnaire.

Your view on beauty?

Beauty, for me, lies, as the legendary Greek philosopher Plato said, in the eyes of the beholder — this age-old ‘maxim’ says it all, yes. But, there is more to beauty than beauty alone. The great Hollywood actress and humanitarian, Audrey Hepburn, put it aptly, “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and, for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

Your ‘take’ on fitness?

Fitness is just not something that should be incorporated to reduce weight, or ‘up’ your muscles. It is something that should be programmed into — or, ‘wired’ to — your regular routine. Its practice helps your body to get into shape, just as much as it helps you to ‘fine-tune’ your mind. Thomas Jefferson articulated the idea best. “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” This translates to doing exercises and sticking to a regular routine, come what may.

Your view of health and wellness?

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how important health and wellness is for our being. Health, in my view, does not necessarily mean that you have to lift a 100kg of weights at the gym, or run for 15km everyday — it entails integrating a few simple exercises into your daily routine to ‘work’ on your body. Stephanie Murdock, Executive Director of Occupational Medicine and Employee Health, Sanford Health, in my view, defines the idea succinctly, “Health refers to a state where the physical body is free from disease, while wellness refers to the overall balance of a person’s physical, social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, environmental and occupational well-being. Wellness is achieved when someone strives for balance in their life by constantly making choices to further their health and fulfilment. Wellness has a direct influence on overall health.” She also adds, “Wellness in the workplace improves employee health and improves an organisation’s bottom line. Creating a worksite culture of health and wellness boosts and maintains employee morale, improves the lives of employees and helps drive an organisation’s overall success.”

Your ‘take’ on work-life balance?

We have seen a number of young people suffering from — or, succumbing to — heart attacks, lately. This is extremely sad. The reason is obvious. Most health issues are on the ascendant now — the trigger being excess stress and anxiety, as also depression, primarily because a healthy work-life, or life-work, balance is difficult to maintain today. ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ is more than appropriate in these turbulent times. There’s no point in being Jack and/or invite the stressful ‘time bomb’ to tick in our psyche. It is time one learns to set everything right to the best extent possible — something which we can fit into our daily routine and bring about a sense of harmony, or balance — not just in life, but also work, and vice versa.

Your mantra to beat stress?

As a practicing physiotherapist, I think you would sure know my answer. Exercise. Exercise. Exercise. There’s, of course, no exercise that fits all. To know what suits you best, it’s imperative not only to figure out the most suitable fitness routine, but also something that ‘fits’ you and your body. There is nothing a good session of exercise that ‘fits’ you and your biology can’t do. Exercise reduces the levels of your body’s stress chemicals — adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ chemicals — the body’s natural pain killers and mood elevators.

ANJUMOL K JUSTIN, BPT, MPT [Neurosciences], is Head, Department of Physiotherapy, Saishree Hospital, Pune. A Pilates instructor, advance fitness and gym instructor, power yoga, aerobics and spinning instructor, among other things, Justin also holds the Assist World Records for ‘The Most Number of Webinars by an Alumni.’ She lives in Pune, India.

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