How to Keep Fit
Ten years ago I used to be very fit. T cycled to work
and I got a lot of exercise at the weekends. I used to play tennis a lot
and go for long walks. In those days I didn't earn very much. I had a job
in an office. It wasn't a very good job but I had a lot of time to do the
things I enjoyed doing.
Then, about eight years ago, I got a much better job.
The pay was better. But the hours were a lot longer, too. I bought a Far
and drove to work every day. I began to take people out to lunch. 'Expense
account' lunches. And I began to put on weight, too. I stopped playing
tennis and going for long walks at the weekend because I just didn't have
any time for things like that any more.
There's a lot of
stress in a job like mine. Perhaps that's why I starred drinking more than
I used to. For example,I used to have only half a glass of whisky when I
got home, then I started filling the glass to the top. Then I had another
glass , and then another. I started smoking a lot , too. I never used to
smoke at all.
Two months ago I had a heart attack. At first I just
couldn't believe it. `I'm too young,' I said. Luckily it wasn't very
serious. I was in hospital.a few days and they did a lot of tests. The
doctor advised me to stop smoking and to eat less. He told me to do a lot
of other things , too. But I don't see how I can do some of them and keep
my job. For example, he advised, me to work less, and get more exercise.
But I just havern't any time! My job takes everything out of me!
Sometimes I wonder if I should get. anather jab.
Perhaps I could do something like I used to do. But if I do that, I won't
earn as much. I have a family to support: I have to think of them, too. I
just don't know what I should do. What do you think?
Here is one person who really believes in keeping fit.
Her name is Mrs Laura Taylor. She is 45 but looks at least 10 years
younger. Let's listen to her story.
It all started about two. years ago. Tn those days
things were very different. I was overweight. I used to smoke a lot- about
30'cigarettes a day. I never got any exercise. I used to stay at home all
day: I never went out into the fresh air, except to do the shopping.. And
even then I used to take the car.
One day I looked
at myself in the misror.'My God,' I thought. `I look terrible t' I tried
to touch my toes. I couldn't.do it. I found an old dress.I couldn't put it
on. It was too small. Or rather, I was too fat! The next day I tried to
jog a little. At first it was terrible. I mean I just couIdn't run. Not
even a short distance. And at ftrst people used to laugh at me.
`Why are you running? Are you in a hurry?' they
shouted. But now I've completely changed the way i live. I've stopped
reating meat and I've statted,eating far more fresh vegetables. My husband
and daughter have started that, tdo. At first they didn't like the new
food. But they've changed. About six months ago I sold my car and bought a
bike. Recently I've started doing yoga exercises. My husband often goes
cycling with me now and my daughter jogs with me in the evening. 'They've
both lost weight and are much healthier than they used to be, too.
Have you ever tried to hold your breath for a long time
and then let it out slowly? This is one of the techniques of an ancient
Indian discipline known as Yoga. For thousands of years , people have used
Yoga to help search for happiness and contentment.
Students of Yoga often study for as long as 20 years
before becoming masters, or Yogis. They learn many different physioal
exercises. These exercises are designed to put the students in good
Physical condition. Then they can concentrate on deep religious thoughts
without worrying about physical discomforts.
Many Yoga exercises involve putting the body into
difficult positions. Some of them are very hard to learn. Have you ever
tried to fold your legs over one another? This is one of the basic Yoga
positions. It is called the lgtus position. Most people find it difficult
to stay in that positio for even a few minutes. But Yogis train themselves
to remain in the lotus position for hours or even days. They are taught to
overcome the physical discomforts of holding these positions. Other
exercises and rules teach concentation- Yogis feel this is the key to
finding inner peace. This kind of concentration is called meditation.
Yogis and many other people practice meditatjon. They
claim that it makes them feel relaxed and peaceful. Some people say that
it makes them feel better - just as good exercise does. But other people
claim that it is a way of achieving a strong religious feeling. These
peopie say that meditation helps them feel much closer to God.
The word Yoga itself comes from an ancient Saqgkrit
word meanin "union". What kind of union do you think the word
refers to? Why would people
want to have this kind of experience?