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Old 13th December 2018, 23:22   #76
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Default Re: Why are Indians so unfit?

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Originally Posted by avisidhu View Post
Felt the need to mention something I noticed and left me distressed.

As I was sitting in the lounge of Hyderabad airport last weekend, I started noticing just how fit male adults are. A cursory observation over the next half an hour was simply heart breaking. Not more than 1 in 20 males was what one would consider 'fit'. Protruding bellies, stooping shoulders, and lack of any spring in their step sadly defined almost everyone around in their 30s or older. Makes me wonder: where are the fit and dandy gentlemen supposed to be chiseled by all these Gyms and Fitness Centers in each nook and corner?

We are well and truly looking at a health related catastrophe in our country, the true extent of which is yet to be manifested once this population ages. We see to have failed in our transition from a food deficit society to one with options aplenty, and its a terrifying thought :(
What you saw in the airport lounge were the middle class & above, those with earphones plugged, smartphone totting, ola/uber riding, air conditioned offices sitting & bar hopping crowd. They are NOT representative of our populace & are a minority in our country. Perhaps if you had looked beyond the airport lounge, beyond the metros, into the small towns &/or the villages where the majority of our population resides, & who undergo great physical toil for their daily bread, you would've seen lean bodies, bereft of any flab, regardless of age. As I've mentioned elsewhere in this post, stereotyping an entire country based on the observations in a limited area is unfair.
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Old 14th December 2018, 00:15   #77
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Default Re: Why are Indians so unfit?

I arrived in the UK about a month back and joined the gym. I'm ashamed to go to the gym, I feel very unfit compared to others. Urban Indians are surely unfit. Also I'm amazed at the speed the westerners walk. Hopefully, I get to improve soon.
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Old 14th December 2018, 01:47   #78
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Default Re: Why are Indians so unfit?

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Originally Posted by superbad View Post
What you saw in the airport lounge were the middle class & above, those with earphones plugged, smartphone totting, ola/uber riding, air conditioned offices sitting & bar hopping crowd. They are NOT representative of our populace & are a minority in our country. Perhaps if you had looked beyond the airport lounge, beyond the metros, into the small towns &/or the villages where the majority of our population resides, & who undergo great physical toil for their daily bread, you would've seen lean bodies, bereft of any flab, regardless of age. As I've mentioned elsewhere in this post, stereotyping an entire country based on the observations in a limited area is unfair.

Yes and I'm sure your repeated harping on the same point isn't unnoticed. Not sure why the provocative tone of the posts, but didn't you just stereotype pretty much the entire urban middle class in your post above? Would you be satisfied if the title of the post is changed to "Why is Indian Urban middle class so unfit" ?

With all due respect, you're clearly missing the wood for the trees here. The post was not a thread, but just an observation made in the weight loss thread for the benefit of the urban middle class, who are pretty much the only ones reading these posts. Besides, the fact that Indians are pre-disposed to gain more fat is now well established through mainstream research.

What I also forgot to mention: my observation that day gave me a new found respect for the tiny minority able to keep their health and fitness up to desired levels, when clearly the majority around them cannot. It may sound simple enough with just diet and exercise related habits to be inculcated, but can be an every day challenge simply aligning others around you.

Case in point: I've started having early dinner to maintain IF of 12-14 hours. But when with family, it's almost impossible to adhere to this schedule. Have seen parents of friends ignore even basic dietary advise despite having severe sugar and heart related issues. Why chance do their kids have?
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Old 14th December 2018, 04:25   #79
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Default Re: Why are Indians so unfit?

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Originally Posted by Dani7766 View Post
I'm ashamed to go to the gym, I feel very unfit compared to others. Urban Indians are surely unfit. Also I'm amazed at the speed the westerners walk. Hopefully, I get to improve soon.
On the contrary, you should feel proud that you have taken the first step in your fitness journey. In my opinion, fitness is a journey and everyone is at some point in the journey. In your case, you are in the beginning of the journey and other fit guys you see in the gym are a little ahead of you. In time, you will be where they are. So, stop being ashamed and continue with what you are doing
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Old 14th December 2018, 08:52   #80
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Default Re: Why are Indians so unfit?

Dunno if it's because it's against forum rules, but why not talk about the white elephant in the room: Alcohol?

It's truly astounding the volume of alcohol being consumed in India, especially some states.

Sure, people in other countries drink alcohol too, but there is a stark difference that is often overlooked. Don't quote me on the numbers, but I understand that up to 50% of grain goes bad due to lack of storage in India. This grain is apparently sold to breweries as raw material. If grapes from Champagne makes a wine sparkle, am sure rat dropping infested grain does some wonders too.


Cheers
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Old 14th December 2018, 09:24   #81
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Default Re: Why are Indians so unfit?

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There always seems to be a preachy/proselytizing element when it comes to discussing fitness. I seem to get that same vibes here as well.
I agree. Few things which I guess we can look at:

- Like every one said self-realization of the problem
- More importantly what do we do about it ?


What we have also been debating in the other thread is the fact that what ever we do, it needs to have a long term sustenance aspect. If not things are bound to fall apart. Whether its diet related or exercise related, they all need to fall in line.
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Old 14th December 2018, 11:01   #82
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Default Re: Why are Indians so unfit?

Was extremely glad to see this thread, as the past one and a half years have been huge for me from a fitness point of view. I overcame what was nearly an addiction to junk food and saturated fats, lost 13 kilos, and became a long-distance runner over these 18 months. During this journey I did pick up quite a few pointers that explain the Indian fitness scenario, and I would like to add three highly interesting points relevant to the topic:

The Indian/South-Asian Pot-Belly
From a purely biological point of view, South Asians (especially women) tend to store fat around their navels, whereas East Asians and Caucasians store fat more uniformly across their body. So if you are a South Asian and trying to get the flat tummy - you need to put in slightly more effort, whereas the pot-belly comes faster. Slightly unfortunate, but it is the truth. Since I read about this, I have judged the pot-bellied Indians a little less, and I am cautious of being too easily impressed by a flat-bellied European.

Additionally, the typical Indian diet, for whatever historical reasons, tends to focus more on Carbs and Fat (Rotis, Rice, Ghee, Oils and Sugar), rather then on Protein (Dal, Sprouts and Milk - Lean meats very rartely make it). Many of us sit through more than two-three meals in a row, where with the exception of Dal/Milk, there are no real sources of Protein. In fact, given the standard protein content of most Indian foods, it is very difficult even for a well-to-do Indian to reach the protein requirement of the WHO prescribed balanced diet. This needs more awareness, and definitely needs to change.

The economics of being unfit
This is something I have realized to be happening with most mid to late stage developing economies of the world.

As we crossed a threshold in the disposable incomes of the middle class, aspirational fads turned them towards food which was extremely fat- and carb-rich, and eventually western junk foods. This happened a couple of decades ago, and the trends of unhealthy eating exploded in the country. Lower cost substitutes for common ingredients (high fructose corn syrup, trans-fats) exploded as well, in the process of tapping an ever-growing market for these foods. Late Generation X and early Millennials (yours truly included) were the biggest victims of this problematic fad.

Health foods have also exploded since the last five years or so (once we crossed another threshold in our disposable incomes), but the unfortunate truth of the health food industry is that given its present rate of adoption, marketers prefer to price it at a considerable premium and pitch them to the upper and upper-middle classes rather than to the masses. All this, while highly overstating the benefits of the foods - the average health food label is grandstanding 75-80% of the time when they talk about their benefits. This has certainly affected the adoption rate of health foods among the masses.

Hope for the future
What is really interesting however, is the importance that the late Millennials and Generation Z seem to have placed on their health. Through education, through aspiration, or through a heightened sense of self-consciousness, these guys are making a much more genuine and sincere effort towards fitness, which does tend to paint a brighter picture than what a typical Metro's airport would have us believe!

And finally, as some others have mentioned in their post - basic exercise and a cautious diet are not too difficult. Once you overcome the initial inertia in a month or two, the endorphins from the exercise, and lightness of your tummy will keep you going for it automatically! When it comes to weight loss, keeping it as simple as that is the way to go, rather than to follow complex dietary advice or exercise routines - at least in the early stages.
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Old 14th December 2018, 11:04   #83
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Default Re: Why are Indians so unfit?

Maybe the thread title should remove the 'why' part and have it as a question 'Are indians unfit'
Looks like lot of people are offended.
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Old 14th December 2018, 12:39   #84
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Default Re: Why are Indians so unfit?

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You are mixing multiple things here.
So, if you cook non-veg using butter or ghee, it won't cause obesity.
Exactly. Keto diet is proven for weight loss. Sugar and carbs are the culprits and not fat. Few say that keto may affect the liver in the longer run. Is this true?
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Old 14th December 2018, 13:46   #85
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Default Re: Why are Indians so unfit?

I agree and disagree.

I choose to do all that is required of me to stay healthy. I am also noticing a trend where I am seeing a regular increase in the number of Indians who are out there on the roads early morning - running, walking, cycling or exercising at their gyms and I can safely say no matter how unfit we are now, we most definitely are realizing the importance of keeping fit and are already setting a good example for our next generation!
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Old 14th December 2018, 14:07   #86
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Default Re: Why are Indians so unfit?

A few years ago, I got to know my cholesterol was high and I was pre-diabetic! So I started playing tennis without building fitness. I accumulated no less than 5 injuries (upper back, shoulder, glutes, heel, hamstring). The only saving grace was I wasn't overweight.

So I first started eating healthy and then my wife joined as well (she lost 15 kgs of post-pregancy weight by eating right!) after consulting a nutritionist. No crash diet but a real daily lifestyle switch.

10 months ago I consulted a sports physio who got me into disciplined exercises. Then I was lucky to find a good exercise instructor after that who knew how to work around weaknesses and injuries. Now I exercise every day (ok at least 5 days a week!). Many of my injuries have resolved and after some more time I can do some serious running.

Meanwhile my health indicators have dramatically improved!

My main lessons are:
  • Good eating practices (right quantity and right type of food) leads to maintaining the weight and good balance in nutrition.
  • Exercise keeps the body flexible, strong and toned. Some health indicators also improve with regular exercising. However, do not rely on exercise to lose weight.

Sleep quality is one thing I am trying to improve. It seems quite important as well.

Regarding the comments of the OP, I also feel that many Indians are unfit and the current standard Indian diet in many homes is unbalanced. But I see more and more people taking this seriously and trying to fix it. So that is a little encouraging.

Last edited by puntOOs : 14th December 2018 at 14:11. Reason: Bold for emphasis
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Old 14th December 2018, 17:24   #87
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Default Re: Why are Indians so unfit?

I don't think it's right to generalize that Indians are unfit. Unfit and fit people are everywhere around the globe. I think this thread only serves as a reminder to people detailing the need to be fit.

Trying to be fit is no rocket science. Not even science. It's just common sense. Centuries ago man was fit as well when there was no science. I myself worked out regularly in the gym while in college around 20s. I worked on building my biceps, having a muscular chest, toned thighs and chiselled looks etc. Now as i touch 30 i have embraced a holistic view on being fit. I am no more interested in biceps and muscular chest etc. I eat healthy, in moderate quantities, ensure min oil is used in dishes and avoid if possible, eat lot of fruits, drink lot of water, sleep well and try to ensure i have some sort of physical activity everyday. I avoid unhygienic street food and alcohol. I am a teetotaler. I eat everything from pizza, pastries, burgers, french fries, paneer, ghee, non veg, white sugar, rice etc in moderate quantities. Physical activity is NOT taking stairs to your home, office or getting groceries weighing 5 to 10 kgs home. I have to get up, wear my sports shoes and go out every morning. 30 to 60 mins of brisk activity be it running, walking, jogging, badminton, tennis anything that makes you sweat. I think that's enough to keep one fit. No need of expensive gym subscriptions, nutrition diet, protein shakes, keto diets etc. I feel lot fresh after exercise. Cold weather or rain cannot be an excuse. On days i cant go out i make sure i do some form of yoga or other exercises using my body weight at home. I am around the weight recommended for my height by most charts. Exercising regularly is just one component that helps in being fit.

Last edited by bharatbits : 14th December 2018 at 17:27.
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Old 14th December 2018, 18:23   #88
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Default Re: Why are Indians so unfit?

Interesting topic.

I have been very fit for some time now. I play tennis at a good level on the weekends easily playing atleast one best of 3 sets each day. During weekdays I work out in the gymn with mild weights and jog atleast 2km every day. I am in my thirties.

So when my German boss who is around 50 something years old challenged me for a swimming race to the other end of the pool I thought I was going to win. However not only did I lose, I had not reached half the length of the pool by the time he reached the other side . I am not a trained swimmer but the difference was just incredible. Later he told me that in Germany swimming is part of the mandatory curriculum and unless the parents produce a medical certificate the child must swim! And the child has to pass an exam where he has to swim a certain distance under water to pass the exam.
So I think we need a system that supports sports and fitness.

And recently, I heard from someone that CBSE would come out with a new syllabus where 50 percent weightage would be given for sports! I really hope this happens. It could change the future of our country for the better!

Last edited by ampere : 14th December 2018 at 18:28. Reason: formatted post
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Old 14th December 2018, 19:35   #89
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Default Re: Why are Indians so unfit?

Friends,
There is no denying this fact and i am equally at fault. Some months back was 6.1 inch weighting about 117 kgs

Leaving for office at 8.10 am and reaching home around 9 pm kind of gets to you in long run.

Options are aplenty but we have to formulate a plan which we can stay committed to in all honesty.

So keeping that in mind first started doing lot of research and reading ( not my job profile ) but i am pretty good at this.

There is no denying even in body building field that 75% of the chiseled look is diet and rest is exercise + rest

This was just one of the findings plus there were more from Scientific Journals and Ayurvedas and an action plan was formulated

a) eating only 2 times a day ( anything i want, no limitation ) but nothing in between - no tea / coffee, no snacking absolutely nothing

b) leave 5 more minutes early and walk to the metro
c) evening walk longer route to train station
d) after dinner go for walk with wife ( nothing stressing but atleast 3 kms )

Result after 4 months -

a) no change in height - wish i could do something about this
b) weight - 103 kgs
c) good news is that each week am continuing to reduce weight

Future Plan - after i reach safe weight of below 95 kgs, will start body weight exercise i.e push ups, etc

after reaching 85 kgs will join a gym which is open till 11 in evening - idea is to go to gym either early morning or late evening every day.

thank you
Deepak
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Old 14th December 2018, 19:44   #90
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Default Re: Why are Indians so unfit?

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NCC/SCC mandatory in schools. Then, we need at least 1 month every year mandatory military service. We'll end up having citizens that are relatively fit to fight should the need arise. There are obvious health benefits too. And we'll end up appreciating the soldiers for all the hardship they go through.
I understand what you are saying because I have first hand knowledge of this. I didn't know anything about fitness, until I joined NCC at 15. On my first day, just 100 meters run left me panting, and I could do just 3 push ups. Three years later I could run 5kms and do 60 pushups.

When I started working out in 1984 thanks to NCC, there was no social media or Internet to tell me whether it was good or bad. Only the peer pressure within NCC ranks kept me pushing to do better. Then it was considered excess by the typical Bangalore crowd. Everybody including my parents thought I was out of my mind. It was only in 1989, when Maine Pyar Kiya hit the screens, working out became a cool thing in India.

But compulsory NCC or military service is a bad idea. I have explained my reasons before in an another thread.
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