Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches the Fit India Movement: Here's why India desperately needs such schemes

The Fit India Movement is important especially now when more people suffer, and die from, lifestyle diseases than ever before in the history of the nation.

Myupchar August 30, 2019 12:46:09 IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches the Fit India Movement: Here's why India desperately needs such schemes
  • The Fit India Movement is the latest in a string of government schemes to promote sports and fitness in India

  • More people now suffer, and die from, lifestyle diseases than ever before in the history of this country

  • The 'movement' could encourage greater participation in sports and a focus on fitness in the lives of nearly 134 crore Indians

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Fit India Movement today at the Indira Gandhi Indoor (IGI) Stadium in New Delhi, to mark National Sports Day. The 'movement' could encourage greater participation in sports and a focus on fitness in the lives of nearly 134 crore Indians.

Every year on 29 August, India celebrates National Sports Day in memory of the legendary hockey player and Olympian Major Dhyan Chand who was born on this day 114 years ago.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches the Fit India Movement Heres why India desperately needs such schemes

Representative image. Image courtesy: PIB

The Fit India Movement is the latest in a string of government schemes to promote sports and fitness in India. In 2016, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports had merged three schemes — the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan, Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme, and National Sports Talent Search Scheme — into the Khelo India Movement to 'revive' sports culture and sports infrastructure in the country.

According to a sports ministry press release, India spent over Rs500 crore on the Khelo India scheme in 2018-19.

While details of the Fit India Movement (and portal) are yet to emerge, it’s worth looking into the reasons why India needs an exercise routine and diet plan without delay.

Disease Diary

India has a growing burden of non-communicable diseases. More people now suffer, and die from, lifestyle diseases than ever before in the history of this country.

According to the fourth National Family Health Survey - the latest such survey of pan-India health: “Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) account for 60 percent of all deaths in India. The major metabolic risk factors for NCDs are obesity, raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose, and raised total cholesterol levels in the blood.”

  • Obesity: A study funded by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Indian Council of Medical Research, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation found that 20·4% of Indian adults were overweight in 2016.
  • Cardiovascular diseases: In 2016, cardiovascular diseases led to more than 28% of all deaths in India, according to a study published in The Lancet Global Health, a peer-review journal.
  • Hypertension: According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, one in four Indians has hypertension. High blood pressure affects multiple organs, including the eyes, heart and kidneys. Earlier this year, the ICMR expanded its India Hypertension Control Initiative to 100 districts.
  • Diabetes: With more than 72 million people living with diabetes, India has become the diabetes capital of the world.

Looking up

From high-intensity interval training to decathlons and a ketogenic diet, Indians are becoming more adventurous in their pursuit of a healthy life. The Fit India Movement could amplify this growing trend towards healthier eating and living in India.

A day before the launch of the Fit India Movement, the University Grants Commission encouraged students to walk 10,000 steps: a decidedly 21st-century phenomenon.

“You could walk 10,000 steps or do the Surya Namaskar or swim or play cricket - what is important is that you get about 35 minutes of exercise daily,” said Dr Shahbaz Zafar, who is associated with myUpchar. "Your heart, your health depends on it," she added.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. To know more on this topic, please visit https://www.myupchar.com/en/fitness

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