Metroplus

Stand for your fitness

Mujtaba  

His head begins to throb as he stares at the files piled up on his desk. The pain slowly spreads to his arms, shoulder and back. Rajesh knows he is experiencing stress and having a problem coping with the pressures of daily work.

Rajesh is not the only victim of sedentary lifestyle. There are many persons falling prey to the risks of long hours culture.

More and more evidence is surfacing about the high risk run by those still at their desks late into the evening. Our bodies are built for motion and not to be couch potatoes. Is there a way out?

“Yes. Simple, natural and inexpensive interventions can do a lot to help,” says Mujtaba Hasan Askari who has been successful in reducing medication and getting control over diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol.

Modern day lifestyle itself is fraught with a lot of health issues. And for office-goers caught in the 9 to 5 work schedule the risks are even greater.

Long commute time, working indoors in artificial lights and extended work hours further heighten the risk. If inadequate sleep, consumption of high fat and high sugar processed food are also taken into account, you have perfect recipe for disaster.

Short bouts of sitting allow the body to relax and rejuvenate, but remaining seated for longer duration can spell trouble for ones health. The ideal thing is to move and sit intermittently. Just walk down to your colleagues instead of communicating with them through SMS or the intercom.

Latest research shows that it is possible to lower the blood sugar by 2 to 5 per cent if one sits for less than three hours a day.

For many, cutting down the working hours may be difficult but they can reduce the amount of time spent sitting down.

A food and health activist, Mujtaba has succeeded in getting a handle over his health problems following simple techniques.

He has cultivated the habit of working in a standing position. To enable this, this he has made a small wooden platform over his table where he keeps the laptop and works standing.

He also keeps dumbbells ready at hand for a quick workout. “The moment you stand all cellular activity starts and within minutes your body burns glucose and triglycerides,” remarks Mujataba who also runs the Helping Hand Foundation.

Intense physical activity is the next best thing to do. Either hit the gym or park and concentrate on strengthening core muscles around the pelvis and abdomen. If there is a lawn in the office, try to walk barefoot as this helps absorb negative ions from the earth.

“It is the best source of anti-oxidants for the body,” says Mujataba.

Other things he suggests are getting adequate exposure to sun for the Vitamin D. One can create a safe D spot in the office which allows enough sun and daylight to stream in. Vitamin D is essential to improve bone health and control blood sugar.

Making conscious and wise food choices is equally important. As a first step one should try to eliminate processed food and go for food which is real, wholesome and natural. Adding small portions of raw food like nuts, seeds, vegetable juices and green tea can be of immense benefit.

Sound sleep and reduced intake of medication will make a further difference.

The bottomline is tochange your lifestyle and engage with nature, quite the way your ancestors did.


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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 3:02:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fitness-at-your-workstation/article7739124.ece

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