The Fit India Movement

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Image Source- Mashable India

PM Modi on the occasion of National Sports Day launched the ‘Fit India Campaign’ to improve the fitness levels in the country. It seems fitting that this movement is launched on the occasion of Dhyan Chand’s birth anniversary to promote the importance of health and fitness in the daily life of Indians. 

The Medical Necessity
India is already known as the Diabetes capital of the world. A whopping 8.7% of the Indian population already suffers from the disease. That comes up to over one hundred million people already affected by a disease they now have to live with for the rest of their lives. 11% of women and 15% of men are also suffering from Hypertension. These eventually lead to cardiovascular diseases, stroke, cancer, and obesity. 
Since the 90’s the number of deaths caused by Non-Communicable Diseases from 37.09% to 61.8% of all deaths in 2016. India also has chronic kidney diseases as the 8th leading cause of death. All of these can not only be treated but also avoided by doing regular exercise and building up a solid foundation of functional fitness.
The Solution
“A few decades back, a normal person would walk 8-10 km in a day, cycle or run. But with a more engaging relationship with technology, physical activity has reduced. We walk less now and the same technology tells us that we are not walking enough,” Modi said during his speech. If you look at it objectively, it makes sense. We as a people, in the last 50 years have become increasingly lethargic and sedentary. You don’t have to take our word for it though.
Dr Milind Watve is an evolutionary biologist of good renown. 6 years ago, he wrote a book called ‘Doves, Diplomats and Diabetes’. In this book, he explored the correlation between behaviour and Type-2 diabetes. Now, this may seem complicated but the main concept is that we evolved from the caveman to a more civilized world, however, our bodies have been trying to catch up to our changing lifestyles. This is not helped by the fact that we seem to have accelerated our civilization process in the last few centuries. 
Our bodies have been left floundering and catching up with the consumption of changing food groups and changing lifestyles. Rujuta Diwekar is a nutritionist who has extensively advocated consumption of native grains and pulses as a means to combat such lifestyle disorders. The Fit India Movement has been built on a solid foundation. Now, we need to only actively participate in our own sakes. ‘Only’ participate, two very simple words; a good thought blended with seemingly hard execution.
The Movement for more Movement
Fit India movement is not just an encouragement for everyday people to get moving and exercising. It is also celebrating the achievements of athletes and sportsperson and look up to them as role models. PV Sindhu and Hima Das have been winning laurels for India and deserve more recognition than just forwarded messages and statuses. It is necessary to look at maintain fitness as a means for a physically and mentally healthy life. It is not about developing super-toned bodies but it is about training your body and mind in a way that whatever your shape or size be climbing a flight of stairs or exerting a little extra does not leave you too uneasy. The Fit India Movement is more geared towards acting on fitness rather than just talking about it and treating it as a fashion statement. 
The Fit India movement, however, is not a government scheme. The government plans to play the role of a catalyst and let the movement take on a life of its own. The UGC has already notified Universities to prepare for the Fit India Movement. It seems we will have to wait and see what is in store but I’m definitely starting my warm-up though and so should you.

- Written by Nachiket Bhushan Kondhalkar

- Edited by Maitreyi Mehndiratta

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The Fit India Movement The Fit India Movement Reviewed by EMN on September 03, 2019 Rating: 5

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