What's less hurtful?
This nutrition, fitness and health domain is a gala affair that packs in more fibs than realistic and constructive education; what’s even worse is the ever-changing misinformation. When change chimes in, controversies tend to get even stranger; however, they all agree equally to the ill-effects of inactivity and smoking. And while people on either side of the Atlantic may waste time haggling and dickering over which one is worse, we Indians have taken tackling them with an approach that’s horses for courses and often determined by their most jaded history.
Blame it on our elder generations or those above, the seed of being inactive is sowed right in our childhood. This is the time when the studying devours the better part of a child’s day once past three years; it seems the parents always consider the gargantuan loads on their back to deliver enough exercise hauling them back and forth from the school.
Then, there are the games, which now need being defined under completely different parentheses. It’s for sure moving the mouse or the joystick doesn’t involve too many joints or require putting in too many muscles and once these kids are on the verge of graduating to adulthood, munchies and colas give way to tobacco and beer. This is when the body gets its alarms ready and it’s only a matter of time before they start going off; it occurs when the body can’t go along anymore with all the garbage being dumped into it. But mostly, we don’t understand the situation and end up missing something or the other, flying blind on how to suppress the occasional hiccups, which can be anything from the term in its literal sense (caused by indigestion) to any disorder (e.g. obesity, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s etc.) with a sluggish metabolism as the root cause.
Smoking has a reputation that precedes any discussion on it. We all know about it but seem to be more interested in meeting Jimmy Riddle or eating baloney sandwiches when it comes to putting a stop to it. However, what we don’t get is: Smoking makes the metabolic rate go down the same way as a sedentary lifestyle does, which suppresses the immune and lymphatic systems, elevating the chances for quite a few disorders of which, diabetes and cancer are the most common.
But wait, there’s a hidden side to it. Cigarettes consist gluten; the glycoprotein that gives cohesiveness to dough. Gluten makes tobacco more addictive and is also the most common form of gum used in rolling it. More than 50% of the population is gluten intolerant though without any overt symptom, which is even worse. The gluten starts autoimmune responses in the body, turning the immune system against it and flattening out villi, the minute hair-like projection on the intestinal mucous membrane through which, nutrition is absorbed in the body. As a result, the body weakens and the constant abuse may transform into intestinal or colon cancer. Read about it elsewhere? Sure, obesity often brings same results.
“What else? Just start pumping weights a bit.” Oh yes, being dead is the best to avoid all the risks and pain, but that’s beside the point. What we are discussing here is reversing the situation and letting the lucky few – not still affected – know ways to dodge past a strike of ill luck. Here’s how:
Start cutting down on caffeine and nicotine. The ideal way to do this is drinking one less cup or one less drink and smoking one less cigarette for 3 days; 2 less till the 7th day and so on, till they reduce to nil on the 20th day. This is when you start feeling a little restless; not to worry, it’s just your nerves waking up from an induced stupor and becoming active on their own. This is also the right time to start moving around a little bit. Start with just 5 minutes of aerobics (remember school P.T?) and brisk 10 minutes walk every morning, from the 3rd day onwards of quitting. After this come dietary changes to detox the body prior to proper exercising and things, but that’s an entire new chapter to be opened elsewhere, some other time.