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Physical fitness is a pre-requisite for experiencing a satisfying and fruitful life full of joys and fulfilment. Barring a small minority, most humans are healthy when they are young. By the time they are in their teens, their interests and tastes start to surface. Some like to read and write. Others develop talents that they discover in themselves. The concern about settling in a job that brings a good salary is the primary objective for most people. Other than for the exceptionally talented, this means a dreary existence where financial security is given greater importance than one's own personal enjoyment.

Up until the recent past, rest and recreation were viewed by many as irresponsible and self-indulging. It was opined to be an expression of selfishness, with hardly any economic benefit. This evaluation was proven to be fallacious with the discovery of stress as a malady. When people started to `feel tired' even in the absence of physical exertion it made doctors and scientists wonder about the phenomenon.

Previously, stress was nearly always viewed as beneficial as it made people rise up to challenges and even become creative. The normal remedy to being tired is to rest. Doctors started to ask why a person in a sedentary job, with little physical exertion could feel abnormally tired.

Studies showed that those with hobbies and those who indulged in physical activity that resulted in bodily tiredness were less `stressed. The importance of rest and recreation thus came into consideration as a remedy for stress.

Today, attitudes have changed to such an extent that rest and recreation are now considered essentials to a healthy and satisfying existence. Sports, games and other forms of physical exertion are now identified as absolutely necessary for a healthy body and hence a healthy mind. For the first time in human history, mental health has been given an equal footing to physical health.

This has led to the emergence of various sciences that deal exclusively with a person's mental health. Gone are the days when `mentally imbalanced' meant `stark raving mad. Today, mental imbalance is accepted as a natural phenomenon and is more often than not addressed by counselling, by qualified professionals. Traumatic experiences like grief, disease, natural and unnatural disaster (like financial ruin due to various reasons) are all treated successfully with psychological counselling. It helps victims in such stressful situations to recover from their bad experiences in a shorter space of time and become productive, self-respecting, respectable citizens again.

The parameters to physical and mental balance have been clearly identified. They are regular physical examinations, a proper balance of. rest and recreation, contact with loved ones, friendship and companionship. Today, being employed no longer just means being present to do one's work each day. Today, being employed also means having annual medical check-ups, eating right, being involved in physically exertive activities, attending seminars to enhance one's mental training and attending annual dinners.

Gone are the days when there was a single guideline on what is good decorum and discipline. Today's attitude is such that there is acceptance to how children, youngsters, teenagers, youths, adults and the aged behave differently. Creches and kindergartens cater to the needs of children. Today, on the other extreme, we have homes for the aged that cater to the needs of the elderly. This is a direct result of the development of sciences that deal with physical and mental balance of various ages.

In the age of the digital revolution, we may expect more inventions that constantly analyse our physical and mental balance on a more regular basis. When we wear devices that monitor our health constantly, the annual medical check-up will surely become obsolete. The validity of constant information retrieval about our physical and mental balance may best be seen in the case of the pilot who deliberately crashed a plane full of people. He was already proven to have psychological problems. But the information was hidden from the authorities.
   

Answer the following questions using complete sentences

 

1.

From paragraph 1, what is the pre-requisite for a life full of joys and fulfilment ?

 

2.

(a) From paragraph 2, what was viewed as irresponsible and self-indulging ?

(b) From paragraph 2, what discovery led to the validity of rest and recreation ?

 

3.

(a) From paragraph 4, who were the less stressed people ?

(b) From paragraph 6, what did mentally imbalanced mean. In your own words, what does it mean today ?

 

4.

(a) From paragraph 8, how has today's attitude changed in relation to people of different ages ?

(b) What is the other extreme of creches and kindergartens stated ?

 

5.

In your own words, what characteristic of a human life is enhanced with good physical and mental balance ?

Characteristic:

Reason:

 

6.

Based on the passage, write a summary of :

The The importance of physical and mental balance

The good that still happens despite being sickly and physically handicapped

 

 

 

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Answers
 

1.

It is physical fitness.
 

2.

(a) Rest and recreation were viewed in this way.

(b) The discovery of stress as a malady led to the validity of rest and recreation.

 

3.

(a) They were those who indulged in physical activity that resulted in bodily tiredness.

(b)

(i) In olden days, mentally imbalanced meant start raving mad.

(ii) Today, mentally imbalanced simply means that the person needs some form of counselling to give him back mental serenity ( Any suitable answer )

 

4.

(a) Previously, there weren't many guidelines on what was good behaviour. Today, there are accepted norms for the appreciation of behaviour according to one's age or age group. ( Any suitable answer )

(b) They are the institutions that cater to the needs of the elderly.

 

5.

Characteristic: I think it is the sense of satisfaction that one may draw from one's life.

Reason: There can be no true satisfaction in the absence of either physical or mental balance. When the two are well-balanced as a result of good physical as well as mental discipline, there can be true satisfaction. We would have done most of what we could and what we could have wanted. ( Any suitable answer )

  6. Physical and mental discipline is very important in our life. Science today recognises that we can have a happy and fulfilling life only when we have both physical and mental discipline. physical discipline involves following an appropriate diet and doing the necessary amount  physical exertion in the form of games, sports or other outdoor activities. It could also be done within indoor gyms. Mental discipline ahs more to do with our value systems. Mental discipline also involves making decisions that do not result in physical damage such as smoking and drinking. even when we have physical problems such as being diseased we can still live in fruitful and satisfying. Proof of this is in the world's greatest scientists Stephen Hawkins who is physically handicapped.
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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