I’m grateful for the notable associations my craft has helped me build across industries. It’s great to have some of them come down to the JTCPL Designs office for intriguing knowledge sharing sessions. This time, we brought in celebrated cardiologist and sports medicine specialist, Dr Aashish Contractor and author of The Heart Truth to have a heart-to-heart with us.
When it comes to matters of the heart and heart disease, the very thought of examining our lifestyles and habits evokes fear. But this session turned out to be a light-hearted affair – with plenty of vital heart truths thrown in.
What made the session truly engaging was the lucid ease with which he introduced us to technical jargon. Aashish snuck in some hard-hitting revelations in between fun mnemonics and snippets. For instance, when you think of the L in LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol as short for ‘Lousy’, it sticks. And when you remember that you burn just 100 calories from walking a mile, but on a night out, you regain about 2000 of them, you are bound to reconsider the weekend binge.
But the harshness of these facts was quickly alleviated, thanks to the one takeaway from the session – it just takes a few small shifts in our routine to redress these problems. Here are some of the softer truths, straight from the author of The Heart Truth:
- Exercise is easy: A lot of us assume exercise is a function of how much we willing to spend on a gym membership. You don’t need expensive equipment to workout, when you learn that your body is the best tool. “Start with 2 minutes of push-ups every day,” says Aashish.
- Work out at work: This was the part that interested me most – we spend more than 10-12 hours a day at the workplace. But we don’t have to resign to a sedentary lifestyle bound to our desks. Even a simple change of habit like getting up to go fetch a glass of water instead of summoning someone to bring it to your cabin is a small start. Then escalate it by taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Walk, don’t run: Aashish is a passionate runner himself but he insists that one doesn’t have to run marathons to get one’s heart running. A simple detour through a longer route to the cab station can serve as the 20 minutes of exercise one needs. It’s that simple!
- Teamwork: Making fitness a challenge doesn’t have to be daunting either. There are plenty of apps that can be downloaded as a group to keep track of one’s activity levels. A healthy spirit of competition keeps everyone motivated. Some workplaces even aid the process by putting up messages of positive reinforcement as reminders to get moving.