Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

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Fitness is a buzzword nowadays, and we live in an age where everyone wants to be fit. A lot of Indians are hitting the gym with an aim of well-toned muscles and a lean six-pack, apart from staying fit and maintaining a healthy weight. With information freely available on the internet, people are also adopting to various types of diets. To act as a catalyst, various fitness apps on your phone, fitness bands, health startups and other technologies have been driving the market.

However, just because someone looks fit on the outside, does it mean that the person is healthy on the inside too? Fitness and health, though closely associated and often used synonymously, should not be confused to be the same. Even if you are fit, you may not be healthy. Why? – Read on.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

A slim and muscular body signifies that a person is physically fit. However, if the person is eating lots of unhealthy food and burning calories with a disciplined exercise regime to maintain their physique, or being a chain smoker or consuming high levels of alcohol, is not an indicator of good health.

Too much exercise is also not good for the body as it may lead to injuries, exhaustion, depression and anxiety, apart from possible cardiac arrhythmia or sudden cardiac arrest.

So how often should one workout? Studies have shown that 30 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity each day, totalling a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week with 1 days break, or a minimum of 75 minutes of intense exercise each week is ideal. Moderate aerobic exercise includes activities such as brisk walking or swimming. Vigorous aerobic exercise includes activities such as running and aerobic dancing. Strength training can include use of weight machines, your own body weight, or activities such as rock climbing.

Even in patients with pre-existing heart diseases, regular exercise is extremely important. Apart from making heart muscles stronger, it may also help patients be more active without chest pain or other symptoms. Exercise helps lower down the blood pressure, lower blood cholesterol levels, and help control the blood sugar, and in reducing weight – thereby controlling most major risk factors associated with heart diseases.

Along with regular physical exercises, nutrition plays an extremely important role in having a healthy heart. Healthy food choices can reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke as well as food related risk actors like obesity, high blood pressure and uncontrolled diabetes.

A regular exercise routine along with a healthy diet can substantially reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

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An Emergency Physician by profession; writer, musician, entrepreneur, sportsman and a poet by passion, Dr. Mohit Garg is currently working as Sr. Consultant & Head of the Accident & Emergency department at Gleneagles Hospital, Mumbai. Apart from his zeal to write, he is also passionate about academics and is involved in teaching activities to young doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. This website is a source through which he fulfils his talent to write, and also to bring about a social change for society & the medical fraternity.

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