Dedicated to the promotion of general health and well being. Aimed at the attainment of enhanced levels of physical fitness through a thrust on weight training.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

BURNING FAT-1: THE NEED (570 words)

Frankly, what ‘s the need to burn all the fat? The answer varies across the evolutionary spectrum, geophysical occurrences & functional requirements of life forms. The solitary tunic quadruped inhabiting the arctic needs all the fat to be found, while the blue-eyed sirens of Beverly Hills, with their hourglass silhouettes need none of them.

What then is the need & necessity (or otherwise) of—the single most aspect of the human body & the human psyche that has spawned a booming economy of health & fitness maintenance industry—the ever-annoying body fat? The adipose layer has its many benefits:
For one, it is a natural & the most effective form of insulation; polar bears, penguins…
Fats are a greater source of energy than carbohydrates & fats are always stored as reserves in the human body.
Greater insulation & better reserves in the body evidently transforms into improved immunity.

In spite of these, body fat is shunned in the most modern of human populations. The reason is quite simply our civilizational advances. We no longer need to worry about cold weather & natural forms of insulation. We no longer face food scarcity & shortage for the body to stock up like the feast-now-to-survive-the-famine type of predators. Perhaps the greatest antagonist of body fat is the role of unsaturated fats & cholesterol in brewing up heart diseases. Against this background, body fat percentage that goes even into the low double figures is seen as being out of shape, sluggish & prone to lifestyle related diseases. Burgeoning bellies & expanding love handles are clear indicators of low body metabolism and/or of excessive & unnecessary intake, both of which will come back to bite you.

But do we have to completely eliminate this survival feature of mammals & other innumerable life forms. It certainly depends on what kind of a life form are you—what is your lifestyle. If you are the onscreen entity of the show business then yes, your thighs should have visible veins like the almost fat eliminated Queen of pop. But if you are always in the winds of the seas, constantly under the danger of shipwrecks & deserted islands, then stock up man; every ounce will prolong your stranded days.
When it comes to power lifters, bodyguards, wrestlers, members of the law enforcement… it’s bulkier the better. Quest for strength & power always leaves behind a sweet reminder of the inevitability of flab (unlike bodybuilders—they are a different breed altogether).

Well then, how does a man on the street decide how much is too much?
If you can climb the stairs of your office or home without a gasp, if your pant size doesn’t increase with your raises & promotions, if you can occasionally walk kilometers at a stretch, if you don’t have a penchant for oily, fried & junk foods, if you are a busy body & don’t tire out easily, then don’t worry at all: body fat isn’t of concern to you. Adding some physical activity, suited to your age & lifestyle will complete the deal.

Nutrition, exercise & quality of rest (apart from the genetic makeup) will decide your health & happiness. Physical activity & mental grit can even alter you genes (and help you evolve): how else are we humans & still not some lowly organism.

…end of the first part of the burning fat series.


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