Let's face it, corporate desk jobs pay a lot, but sometimes, all that money goes into buying food. As the culture of eating out grows stronger in urban Bangladesh, it gets more and more difficult for us to stay fit. Even finding time for exercise is a problem in some cases.
Given how we know that absolutely avoiding an indulgent lifestyle is easier said than done, we can at least balance things out in our bodies' favour by keeping a brief period of time dedicated to exercising or working out every day. Maybe you have to sacrifice watching a TV show and use those 30 minutes to work out, but it's worth it. You don't have to religiously gulp down some fruit smoothie and go to the gym every day at 6:30AM. Set some time aside for jogging, and you'll see it making more difference in one week than cutting down carbs for a month. To make life easier, it doesn't even have to involve running; walking at a medium pace of about 6-7km/h for 3-4 kilometres at a stretch, can take you a long way towards gaining a healthier body and heart.
“Recently, there has been a notable rise in peoples' inclination towards buying treadmills for homes for quick and easy access to cardio,” says a salesman from Body and Sports, Banani branch. “As for people who find cardio tiresome or redundantly exacting, leg presses, chest presses or stationery cycles are more popular as these can be easily placed at a corner in home for quick workouts in free time.”
Getting fit will fix your sleep pattern and your physical health will become sound and sturdy. Besides these evident physical benefits, mental health visibly improves with exercising. Sartaz Bin Mustafiz, a 21-year old student started going to a gym at a time when he wasn't in his best form, both physically or mentally. For the last two years, he has maintained his exercise routine. “Going to the gym has affected my lifestyle as a whole. It's not just about hitting the weights at the gym; it's everything that's associated with a healthier lifestyle,” he says. “For example, I try going to sleep early so that I don't wake up late and feel exhausted throughout the next day. Now I prefer to walk than take rickshaws. I dedicate a certain amount of hours every week just to work on myself. When I see that work pay off, it gives me a sense of entitlement and motivates me to do more. Exercise works as my motivation in everything I do.”
If you're still concerned about how you can find time, Syeda Shams Arefeen, a 38-year old woman who loves hitting the gym as well as working out at home, has some suggestions for you. “It heavily depends on your mind-set, willingness and your priorities. For those who make fitness a part of their lifestyle, like brushing teeth or Facebooking everyday,it becomes a recharge-therapy for going through life on a daily basis. Of course, there are days when I am too tired after managing work and home to exercise. But as a whole, after the last 17-18 years of having made fitness a part of my life, it has become almost an addiction for me that I'm very happy with.”
All of this will go down the drain though, if food-habit isn't properly regulated. You don't have to completely abstain from restaurant food, but put a cap on how many times you will eat out in a month. Try to eat fresh, home-cooked food, and drink lots of water. All these combined with patience and perseverance to keep going at it day after day is sure to bring out that sound body and sound mind you have always pictured yourself in.
Eshanee is a junior at IBA, DU. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.