By Syed Ather Ali –
Did you ever watch documentaries like Pumping Iron, or a movie such as the Arnold Schwarzenegger-famed, Conan the Barbarian? If you did, there is every likelihood that you once loved to have a well-chisled body, or you still do. Over the years Lahore, or for that matter other big cities of the country, have seen many state-of-the-art gyms popping up in every other busy street.
So, does that mean that we are more conscious of our protruding belly or deteriorating muscle mass? Does it show our concern for physical fitness or just peer pressure to look smart? Gyms like Shapes in Lahore and elsewhere have made their mark over the years for changing people’s long-cherished bad habits while also changing their physical appearance. They have contributed a lot to give a healthy substitute for idleness, or worse, drugs.
But before answering the questions raised above, we should first see if going to a gym is the only best and sustainable option to shape up? Acquiring a healthy lifestyle and then sticking to it is perhaps even more difficult than going to a gym every day with friends, which to some is not more than a couple of fun hours. Perhaps we have been trained to take orders (of a gym’s instructor in this case) instead of listening to one’s inner voice to discipline oneself. Every sport demands a very strict discipline and diet regime.
Whatever the case, shedding a few extra pounds or gaining a few more is not as easy as it may look. One needs to live a disciplined life to aspire to a body of Phil Heath or Shawn Rhoden, the current Mr Olympia. That takes us to the very little attention we pay to our sports, especially body building or weight lifting. Hygienic and healthy food is also very important.
All we need is a little backing by the government. Perhaps public-private partnership can make the difference. We know that our youth is our future. And only healthy youth can secure a healthy future. We need so many more gyms, definitely. The sooner, the better.