Becoming the man your grandfather was…
An urban man’s guide to fitness
Now here’s something we have all experienced with disturbing regularity. After a long tedious day at work, you drive home through nasty traffic only to realize that you forgot to buy groceries. So instead you decide to feast on some takeaway food which you know for sure will wreak havoc on your stomach the next morning. And by the time you are done cleaning up after dinner you are too tired to do anything more than doze in front of the TV screen and eventually fall into a fitful slumber.
This is the story of every man living in the city and while women too face many similar issues, the problems we shall be discussing here are rather unique to men. And the key to understanding the biggest problem of all lies in the age-old adage – ‘they don’t make ‘em like they used to’.
Simply put, the modern man seems to be a far weaker creature than his forefathers which is rather puzzling considering all the advancements in medicine and healthcare. However, this only seems to indicate that as we move towards better health facilities, we are also moving away from natural wellness. We still possess the same strength and vitality as our forefathers, but we seem to have lost the knack of accessing it. Maybe it’s time to go back to the basics.
Men have evolved with stronger bones and well-developed muscle mass. Man earned his metaphorical bread first by hunting, then by cultivating crops and finally by producing goods in industries. All these activities involved plenty of physical labour. As the ages passed – our necessity to have as strong a skeletal system reduced – today we make a living out of sitting around in a workplace all day. However, as we entered a service based industry, our daily labour evolved into a more mental rather than physical kind.
Studies prove that exercise is critical in combating bone issues like osteoarthritis, a complaint many urban men develop over the years. The body needs to be in a constant state of activity to maintain peak physical levels. Taking the stairs, walking or cycling to work, simple yoga exercises which can be done during the work day itself are just some of the ways one can achieve this goal. In order to maintain long term strength of the bones, one may look at consuming tablets of supplements containing Hadjod for bone strength.
While the Internet is flooded with a number of diets, the one which shall work the best for you is the diet you are genetically predisposed towards eating – that is comprised of the stable food of your land and your culture. Maintaining a steady diet of local, staple foods cooked with a minimum of oil and fats is the key to a healthier body. Your system genetically craves these particular forms of nourishment and no matter how many pizzas and burgers you ingest, nothing will satisfy your body the way a nice home cooked meal will satisfy you.
The same goes for medications. Popping pills like paracetamols and antibiotics to see them through the day, is a modern remedy that relieves you for a short period. With Ayurvedic herbs and formula like Ashvagandha, Amalaki, kapikacchu and Chyavanaprasha supplements, we can still take a step toward a sustainable diet that builds our resistance to the daily aches and pains and yet maintain optimum levels of strength and vitality.
Sometimes we need to go back to our roots while keeping pace with the world at the same time. And with such a rich tradition of yoga, spirituality and Ayurveda, we are already well equipped to work our way towards a stronger body and hence a stronger mind.