Sunday, May 06, 2007

Article - Fitness - Prime Time

Prime Time

TRING!! Alarm clock goes off -- Open your bleary eyes and stare at the ceiling. Inhale and reconcile yourself to another working day. Exhale. SIGH! Good Morning!

Stumble out of bed, enter wash area and stare at self in mirror. Note woebegone expression, “curvier” curves and telltale bulges. Nothing a little workout can’t repair. “But how am I going to find the time to exercise?” you ask yourself.

Time. Is there enough of it to go around? All of us are time-bound. Finding time to exercise and stay fit seems an absurdly Herculean task in today’s steely, corporate world. Whom do you blame for your poor fitness levels? Your boss? Aha… an all-time favourite – the blameworthy employer! You could also blame the endless office hours, “family pressures” and lure of heavier pay packets. The bottom line is “I can’t find time to exercise”.

If we stopped to think about it, almost every successful executive or industrialist we might have ever heard of or known, has the kind of daily schedule that could never include time for exercise. Yet ignoring fitness and self-grooming is one thing you could never accuse them of. They do not find time to exercise. They make the time to keep fit and healthy. What could be the use of power and money if you cannot enjoy it? Subconsciously, I bet they have asked themselves this question, which is why we never find them in danger of bursting from their suits!

At the risk of bordering on morbid, a phrase comes to mind – “Death is a great leveler”. Well, so is time. All of us get the same amount of time … 24 hours everyday. Nobody gets more, nobody gets less. Obvious and interesting. Speaking of levels, even those who run countries set aside time for exercise. Surely, we “lesser mortals” can turn our backs on everything else and mosey on to a gym close by for a quick 30- minute workout? We could if we wanted to. Nobody is actually going to miss us for such a brief period!

If you are an early bird, you get the worm…er, I mean exercise, out of the way early in the morning. However, being an avid (!) late riser, I used to think that if you cannot exercise before 7 a.m., you could not exercise at all. After 7 a.m., I would blame the “pressures of life” for coming in the way of exercise. That attitude together with regular, ingenious excuses for late-nights-leading-to-late-mornings was a convenient state of being until the weighing machine showed alarming figures. It actually hurt my eyes to read the figures on display between my toes.

That is when I learned that exercising everyday is important, period. That was the end of my rambling excuses. If I wanted to, I would exercise – late or early or midday even.

Here’s another reason to find time off your busy schedule to ‘shake a leg’: In a world made of steel and stone, impressions mean everything. Intellect is paramount and so are your personality, posture and gait, which exude your confidence and force of impression. While ‘all brawns and no brains’ cannot make headway, it is always impressive to behold someone who is fit and toned (unbidden, the show ”Baywatch” comes to mind!) and so my inference is that an intellectual mind sitting atop a fit body is everybody’s dream.

We would n’t say that it is necessary to have bulging muscles and a concave belly, but we would say that if you exercise your body at least one tenth as much as your brain, you have got it made!

Sujata Tarakesan.

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