SUMMER’S FITNESS RESOLUTION, A GREAT TIME TO START OFF THAT MUCH DELAYED FITNESS RESOLUTION. WELLNESS PROVIDES YOU WITH SOME OPTIONS ON HOW TO DE-STRESS…
IT’S that time of the year when the wind cries freedom. Time to unwind and de-stress after the hardships endured in the exam hall.
Unfortunately for today’s technologically advanced generation, de-stressing includes spending an alarming amount of time staring directly at either a TV or computer screen. The concepts of healthy exercise and fresh air have now been replaced with graphic cards and rabid role-playing games.
A concerned Deepa Agrawal, mother of a 12-year-old says, “My son is crazy about his Play-station 2 and spends the entire day playing a game that involves frenzied gun fire.” Apart from the violence and the profanities that the game subjects her son to, Agrawal is concerned about his health.
Spending incessant amounts of time indoors can lead children and teenagers to problems such as bad eyesight and obesity. These create a domino effect producing many other health complications. According to a study conducted by the American Obesity Association, childhood obesity can lead to perilous conditions such as asthma, diabetes (type 2), hypertension and sleep apnea.
Dr Anand Sajnani, a pediatrician and father of a 16-year-old opines, “The TV screen definitely does more harm than good. The allure of a computer game is so magnanimous that the child develops a peculiar reluctance for the outdoors. Apart from the physical repercussions of idling indoors, belligerent games and programs can cause serious psychological effects.”
Justifying the magnetism of computer games, Sushmita John, a teacher adept at Montessori techniques of teaching believes that adolescents and teenagers share with young children the desire for novelty. “The novelty factor in video and computer games is very high. Relentless innovation in that area keeps children glued,” she says.
The answer thus evidently lies in re-inventing the archaic hide and seek and rejuvenating the mundane jogging and cycling. Here’s a look at what options you can consider this summer…
Most schools organise sports camps within the premises of the school. This is perhaps the most subsidised and convenient option.
Another equally excellent guild is the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). Most of them offer coaching services for basketball, skating, martial arts and table tennis for all age groups. Beginner and advanced level training is offered for each sport.
Local gymkhanas and private clubs are another alternative. Basic swimming, sculling, survival skills and water treading are some of the techniques taught at the beginners level in most swimming schools. The advanced stratum boasts of stroke mechanics, stroke drills and racing dives.
Invigorating sports such as basketball and swimming boost resilience and agility. Besides the physical benefits, sports also help in honing ones leadership skills, team spirit and confidence.
Join a sports club or camp to exercise dormant muscles Try adventure sports Dancing is also a good option The age old Yoga therapy always works Go trekking
Although most health centers and gyms do not cater to children below 16, all of them offer student discounts. Some gyms even have specially designed packages for adolescents.
Several health care centres design special programmes for children of all ages especially between 8-16 years of age. The activities are mainly designed to increase stamina and height hence no form of weight training is used. Kickboxing and rope climbing are also available as added options as these help develop tender muscles.
For those who adore Mother Nature, love the spirit of adventure or simply like roughing it out, tours and treks are ideal.
Nowadays adventure sports clubs also organise camps for children above 10. Their camps include activities such as rock climbing, rappelling and river/valley crossing as well as stargazing and slideshows on snakes and nature. The club is managed by Bibhas Amonkar, who manufactured the artificial rock climbing walls first time in India.
Hiking or trekking allows one to maintain the body in good working condition. It also helps lose those extra pounds and improve overall health. One also gets a chance to spend some quality time with Mother Nature thus also providing a mental health antidote.
The Internet is a great source for unearthing a plethora of alternatives. From scaling the peaks of the lower Himalayas to white water rafting in the Ganges, such trips demand a certain level of fitness and endurance.
Most of these tours are professionally organised, however it is imperative to learn about the team of supervisors, perhaps even meet them. Prior thorough research about the institution is an added advantage.
Dancing is another form of exercise that breaks the barriers of traditional fitness concepts. Newman D’silva, an instructor at Shiamak Davar’s Institute for Performing Arts (SDIPA), regards dancing as the best form of exercise. He says, “Dancing contrary to popular belief requires a lot of stamina; it also increases dexterity and grace. Dancing makes the body supple and draws out every ounce of energy to shape and tone the body.”
Yoga as a form of exercise has increasingly gained popularity among the younger generation. Many young people these days are following the yoga routine beginning with the Pranayam. And it helps too as many would tell you. Divij Durve, a 19-year-old engineering student, vouches for the changes that yoga has brought to his life. “Yoga has definitely improved my health. My sinus and other minor health problems are also under control. I used to get really stressed out during my exams; yoga has improved my concentration and has helped me to cope with the pressures of studies.”
Fitness is a continuous phenomenon that creates a significant impact in our life. Services that advocate fitness are available throughout the year; their effectiveness however depends entirely on the individual’s zeal and affinity. Even after the holidays, all these activities can be actively undertaken as hobbies. They will stimulate a healthy approach towards life.