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Mumbai Mirror Bureau
24 November 2010

Fitness consultant Dr Rishi Sherekar tells you how to build a health–conscious culture at home
Dr Rishi Sherekar is a fitness consultant and sports medicine specialist Dr Rishi Sherekar is a fitness consultant and sports medicine specialist
There’s a strong relationship between your personal health and the health of your family. For instance, following a certain fitness regimen is hard when you are aware that you will encounter many miffed faces once you wake up. But if everyone is getting up at the same time and is taking care of their respective health, you are motivated to follow suit. It’s team–work where one member keeps the other going. Our fitness expert gives you simple pointers to create a health–conscious family.

Swap Functional Training
Bored doing the same chores day in and day out? Switch places. Take on tasks that are assigned to another member. One spouse can take charge of cutting vegetables, cleaning the house, mopping the floor, etc. whereas the other can be in charge of buying groceries, paying bills, shopping, etc.

Family Health Plan
What it does
This simple role–change exercise can act as ‘shock therapy’ to untapped muscles and nerve muscle tendons. Plus, you’ll have a better understanding of your partner’s chores and this builds a level of empathy. The next time you are about to whine about how stressful your task is, you’ll think twice.

Couch Potato Syndrome
When you sit in front of the TV or play games all day, you can’t encourage a healthy attitude in your children. Establish rules that put an upper limit on the time each member can spend in front of the TV. Two hours a day should be enough. Encourage the younger lot to undertake a minimum of two hours of outdoor activity every day. Elderly members can go for regular walks.

What it does
The time each member will save will add to constructive activities. Physical exercise will ensure that heart and joints of the elderly are healthy. Also, once that TV is switched off, there will be a lot to talk about. And a healthier level of communication makes for a healthier family.

Meditation
If possible, have a room (or a corner) where everyone can pray, meditate and try and connect with their own soul. Also, the family must try and have at least one meal a day sitting together (and not in front of the TV).

What it does
Meditation serves as a major stress buster while the meal hour helps establish a lasting bond. Research has proved that sound mental health and a healthy happiness quotient is the first step to shield yourself and your family from psychological diseases.

The Check–up Rule
This is one area where Indians ought to buck up. Each member of the family must undergo regular health check–ups. Half yearly check–ups should be mandatory for every member and triglyceride, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, etc., should be checked compulsorily.

What it does
Detected early, dealing with a health problem becomes easier. Even kids show signs of stress related ailments such as hypertension, blood pressure, diabetes, lower back pain and sight defects.

Nutrition
Concentrate on natural foods. Pulses, milk–products, fresh vegetables and fruits, lean cuts of meat and plenty of water should replace junk, fried eatables, aerated and sugary drinks and highfat meat. Butter and preservatives have a negligible nutrition value. Healthy vegetable soups, nuts, dry fruits, sugar–free condiments should be encouraged for all family members. Even while shopping, watch what you buy. Stocking junk food is the first step to consuming it.

What it does
What you stock at home and order when you are out dining communicate a lot within the family, especially to the kid whose eating habits are still evolving.

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