In a Perspective (Not from supply chain, from personal fitness)

    Once in awhile, Nature throws us a loop that puts things in a real perspective. The current COVID – 19 threat is one such way by which mother nature lets us know despite all technological achievements, we are still mere mortals whose existence can be put to a threat in a matter of a week by an invisible microorganism/virus.

    When we faced with such a situation, so far unnoticed factor-like physical fitness may well be the slim differentiator between life and death. Being in peak physical condition (as allowed by one’s age) may well give the additional percentage of survival for all of us if we are unfortunate enough to be confronted with such an event.

    This thought urged me to take the liberty of putting in a few words that do not directly connect with Supply chain but do have a tremendous impact on our lives.

    In my travels in India and outside of India, I have always been struck by the fact that most Non-Indians / foreigners seem to be endowed with a leaner or more muscular build than us. Stepping on our soil, I had observed and understood the fact that for us prosperity is always accompanied by a considerably thickening of our waistline and belly fat. Many of us amble rather than stride when we walk. The moment we can afford it, we hire a driver to take us around in our expensive car rather than experience the joy of driving the same ourselves and so forth.

    In short, we just do not consider physical fitness a priority in our lives. Oh, there are excuses aplenty, travel, time etc are generally common. This is indeed an irony when we know that two of the most ancient and enduring fitness disciplines have roots here.

    One we all know is Yoga but another lesser-known discipline was evolved in India by a priest Ta Mo who later became known as Bodhidharma and spread a discipline in China the world knows as Kung Fu. This also evolved first as a fitness discipline involving breathing and slow movements to tone up internal organs and later evolved to its martial form.

    Coming back to fitness, it occurs to me all of us owe it to our selves and to our family to spend time on getting fit and also inculcating this discipline in our near ones too.

    Fitness is not just taking a walk after dinner. It means you need to put your body to a test and push your limits to a possible extent. This only helps to reap the benefits. Once you begin to do it regularly, it becomes part of your life and stands you in good shape and health for lifelong (pun intended).

    In my own case, my fascination with fitness began quite early in my childhood as I was to start with a small child often bullied. As I was always fascinated with Martial arts, I yearned to learn the same for long. However, as I grew older I kept telling myself that I was simply too old to get into these activities. On my wife’s urging that I join my son (who was already training under a sensei), I enlisted with great hesitation at the age of forty! Believe me, it was a humbling experience to be taught this art by people about half of my age. At the age of 45, I qualified for the brown belt that is a stepping stone to the 1st Dan or Black belt.

    Now after passing 10 years, I can claim to be fitter than I was in my early thirties!

    As seen above it is never too late to start. Age is not really a criterion for getting fit. I am giving below a few points in the fitness regime you may adopt:

    1. Before starting the same, it is advisable to get the advice of your doctor or get yourself checked if you have not really exercised for some time. This is not to say in you have a precondition you should stay off physical exercise but only that you should adopt an exercise program that helps your condition to improve.
    2. The second most important thing is that you need to move and sweat! When you sweat, you push your metabolism higher and also increase your heart rate. When you move you bring a majority of your body parts into play. Both benefit you greatly.
    3. Include some aspects of breathing in your daily exercise routine. It could be yogic breathing or the Chinese method or anything else. Breath or Prana or Chi is the basic foundation on which health is built. A Chinese saying lays down that a “healthy person is one who breathes well”.
    4. Finally, DO NOT GIVE UP. In most such things there is something called the “learners enthusiasm “ that helps us stick to a routine in the early stages, lasts about a month or two. It is in the following period that most beginners give up. In the next period comes boredom aches and stiffness, a part of our mind urges us to give up! Beware and continue!

    Remember fitness is not just for you but you owe it to your family so that you continue to be there for them in the best of health!


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