Highway to health: Physical well-being as an integral element of a happy family

-Attributed to Ms. Chandrika Behl, Director, Exhibitions India Group

Traffic has been a cause of concern for delayed meetings, missed family functions and many late-night dinners, no one predicted in the long run it will become a health hazard. We are now accustomed to bear the noise pollution of honking, and car fumes are slowly killing our lungs. What we are missing in the bigger picture is how the modern-day family is now starting to compromise big on health issues living their ‘Modern Pizza Life’. With more working parents these days, the children are perpetually stuffed with chips and ice-creams lying around the house, completely couched in front of the TV.

Welcome to the modern family.
The constant rhetoric of a fast-paced life and resultant health issues may seem clichéd, almost banal, but the truth is, it cannot be stated enough. In our quest to live so many lives simultaneously, we are not actually ‘living’ even one of them, we are sprinting from one to another. While the parents are juggling jobs, household responsibilities, EMI hassles, familial and social courtesies etc., the children are handling the pressure of trying to be a Sachin Tendulkar on the field, a Dali in painting classes, and Ustad Zakir Hussain in instrumentals, all rolled into one. All of this continuous running around is bound to take a toll on one’s health.

While the normal ‘play’ time for children has been replaced with umpteen classes and a few breaks in front of a gaming console, parents who work in the corporate set-up almost always end up returning to their homes at a time when there’s nothing much left to do crash sleep. It is almost as if every second of our lives has a purpose attached to it, and laboring over something that has no real pecuniary advantage such as ‘exercise’ or a nightly stroll.

lt always ends up taking a backseat.
Fortunately, however, everything is not as dismal as it may sound. There is a rising awareness, especially in urban centers, about the aforementioned problems. Parents are actively taking charge of the qualitative health aspect of their family. Many have also begun to understand the fact that it is through them that their children will be encouraged to inculcate a sense of balance. A disciplined life with a proper time-table for everything helps in developing lasting virtues of punctuality and health very early in the kids.

While it is important to create a routine for the children to follow, parents need to lead by example. The best way to get children to do anything is by participating with them in those things. In this capacity, the mother of a household plays the most important role. She is the one whom children look up to and imbibe most of their habits from. Modern-day moms need to maintain healthy food habits and create paths for children to follow same. It is important for a mother to include physical activity in daily schedule for herself as well as the kids. Replacing the weekend movie ritual with a walk in the park followed by a healthy smoothie somewhere is a great way to help children in perceiving exercise as something to be enjoyed. From burger to broccoli, influencing your child’s tastes and preferences without being unnecessarily aggressive or authoritative is a trick every mother learns through experience.

On a personal front, couples, specifically working couples need to figure out ways to accommodate exercise schedules in their daily routines. 30 minutes to 1 hour of any intense physical activity, from dancing to Bollywood tunes to extensive cardio at the gym, keeps your body working in perfect condition. This also leads to reduced risk of diseases, more energy, more productivity and development of a positive spirit. With higher energy levels, you wouldn’t need to postpone dinner date anymore on account of being tired! Happier and energetic parents mean a happier and healthier family.

The wellness and beauty industry in India currently stands at Rs. 61,534 crores with a CAGR of 14 per cent. An increase is awareness can be noticed by the proliferation of gyms, spas and health studios across the city. The transformation towards a healthier lifestyle comes more as an informed decision rather than a knee-jerk reaction, which ensures that it will grow into a habit.

Kids, on the other hand, need to be attracted back again to the playground. Popular carnivals and events around the city are also great places to take your kids and rekindle their relationship with the outdoors. As a mother myself, I always ensure that whatever activity my child is indulging in, it should be based on two priorities, their health and happiness.

We all have contributed to the decadence of the city’s and our health, and it’s time we set the wheels in reverse. The need to remain healthy is not a fad that can go away after a point. It is a commitment towards one’s lifestyle, which demands sacrifice, but the returns far outweigh them. For a future generation to fully enjoy the world rather than worry about trying to find breathing masks early morning, adopting a good lifestyle with emphasis on organic food, exercise and tons of activity is not too much of an ask.

Highway to health: Physical well-being as an integral element of a happy family