Here’s why you should make a conscious effort towards leading a more healthy life

How often have you heard the term “fitness freak” or “health nut” used to describe someone who is interested in fitness or is looking to get healthy? A few years back this used to be true. People were either uber interested in fitness or they lived normal lives. That is, you were either consciously healthy and fit or normally healthy and not fit. Today, it’s not quite the same really.

Let me explain. A few decades ago, before pesticides were a part of produce, before chickens were mass produced, before cows were milked till they dropped and before food manufacturing and marketing companies started making billions at the cost of consumer’s health, normal was not bad. It was pretty good actually. A normal person ate mostly home cooked real food, did something physically active multiple times a day, was protected from chemicals in food, slept a good seven-eight hours and, in general, did most things that would promote healthy living.

But is that the case today? Well, absolutely not. A normal person today eats predominantly foods that are skinny in nutrients, hardly does anything physically active, is exposed to hazardous chemicals in everything from food to water to air, lives with a chronic sleep deficit and, in general, is forced to live doing things that are sure to harm her/him in the short or long term.

Not convinced? Let’s take a quick look at what “normal” really is today.

Normal is...

- becoming diabetic at the age of 45.

- gasping for breath after climbing two flights of stairs.

- popping antacid pills five times a week.

- craving candy at 4 p.m. on a random Tuesday.

- eating low-fat, sugar-filled cereal for breakfast while believing you’re doing something healthy.

- living a life that is filled with stress.

- being on medication for hypertension or PCOD or both.

- living with a sleep deficit and recurring headaches.

- being overweight.

- not being able to tie one’s shoelaces without sitting.

- falling sick at least once every year.

Normal is unhealthy.

It’s unfortunate, but true. And there is only one way to fight this. You don’t have to become that so-called fitness freak or health nut. Just care about your health. Understand what goes into your mouth. Move as often as possible. Say no to pesticides. Keep sugar away except for celebratory occasions. Play a sport or exercise consistently. Don’t store processed foods. Eat real food. Choose organic.

It matters less how many healthy changes you make in one go but it matters much that you stop being normal and take the first few steps towards health. With time, you will only understand health better and each step towards health will help you take bigger and better steps.

But one way or the other, take that first step. Make a conscious effort towards leading a more healthy life. Because today, moving forward is the only way to not move backwards.

(The writer is a certified nutrition and fitness expert.)

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