“Health is wealth” and “Health is better than wealth” are well-known and often repeated sayings. These underline a vital fact of life. Without good health nothing is of much use. It any sensible person is asked what he would prefer, health or wealth? He would immediately answer ‘health’. Without good health and physical fitness life would become a burden and a tasteless thing. Those who are sick, ill or weak in health are found dejected, nervous, hopeless and without any zest for life and its activities. He who has health and a fit body has hope, inspiration and so everything in life.
Health goes far, even farther than wealth and any other thing in life. It is a sure key to success. Without physical fitness and good health nothing good or substantial can be achieved. Only the healthy citizens and men and women make a healthy and happy nation. Only healthy people can work hopefully, steadily, constantly and at their best, to achieve better and better results. Again, it is only a healthy man or woman who can desire and strive for perfection. Weak men can never make good citizens, leaders, businessmen, soldiers or a brave people.
Healthy minds reside in healthy bodies. Men and women indifferent to their health cannot either be intelligent or make good artists, poets, public servants and useful members of the society. Most of the great and successful men and women owe their success to their outdoor physical activities, playing habits and exercise in their youth. Their athletic habits, cultivated in their youth, always stood them in good stead later in life. Consequently, they always possessed sound health and mind, leading them to the crowning glory. Their mental vigour, exuberance of thoughts, vivacity and physical fitness, which they obtained through regular exercise, game and sports, long walks, swimming, horse-riding, yogic postures and such other activities. The way to health, happiness and success lies through physical work, exercise and animal robustness.
Therefore, look to your health, if you have it, praise your luck and stars. If you do not have it, then ponder well over your life-style and try to develop athletic habits. Go to your garden, grasp a spade and engage yourself in digging or wood-cutting. Run a mile early in the morning, play some game like football, volleyball or badminton and you will soon regain your health and energy. And these in their turn will fill your life with a new hope and meaningfulness. Every man and woman should undertake some physical work or exercise regularly. It is the sound body that brings sound mind with it. It was in the playgrounds of Eton school that the battle of Waterloo was actually won and Napolean defeated. The toughness acquired in the school playground was turned to good account in the battlefield. It is such physical activities as wrestling, boating, cricketing, sporting and playing games and exercise which promote national health and strength. The player or a sports-person who would win races honourably must have an honourable and successful career.
To do one’s work cheerfully and well every man and woman should possess a good constitution, and this can be got only by daily exercise in the open air. Physical education should be an integral part of education and training in our schools, colleges and universities. Physical fitness is a must for everybody. It is in the very young age that athletic habits and love for physical work and exercise should be developed. The best time to have physical exercise is early in the morning and late in the evening. It is heartening to note that yogic exercises, postures etc. have been introduced in our schools and colleges. Through yogic exercises we can develop both our minds and bodies. These exercises are very scientific and time-tested and go a long way in facing and eliminating stresses, tensions and worries of modern materialistic life.
Yoga, the oldest science of life, teaches us how to work, rest, relax and breathe to maintain good health and mental capacities. Yogic asanas and postures help us lubricate the body-machine, keep the muscles and joints running smoothly, tone all the internal organs and increase blood circulation without causing any fatigue. Our body is like a perfect and subtle machine that needs proper maintenance, care and running. Anyone can practice yoga and maintain his health and peace of mind. People who do not take regular exercise or do Yogic postures easily fall sick. Many of our modern diseases like obesity, diabetes, blood-pressure, mental tension, rheumatism, piles etc. have their roots in our lethargy, comfortable living, ease and convenience of life. They can be very easily checked and eliminated by taking daily physical exercise. Lethargy and inactivity, coupled with easy living make our body an easy victim of diseases.
From the very young age the boys and girls should be properly trained in physical fitness and exercises. They should be helped to cultivate and develop athletic habits. It may be repeated once again that physical fitness is imperative and should not be neglected. It is high time that we pay more attention and use greater resources to develop and promote national physical standards. We should create a harmonious atmosphere where the body is given no less importance than the mind, because without physical powers there cannot be any mental power. Physical exercise taken regularly works like a wonderful tonic both for mind and body. But there should be moderation and there should not be too much of it. Neglect of exercise is as bad and injurious as the overdose of it.