Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness... - Edward Stanley
Unfortunately, we have become increasingly dependent upon technology, with the result that we have lost sight of the sagacity of the ages; which was so designed that human beings could live in harmony with nature, and use nature's healing powers and the body's intrinsic wisdom to remain well. Fortunately, preventive health and wellness have once again become fashionable ideas for the 1990s - after all, the best medicine is prevention!
Many people are now realizing the value of going back to nature. None of the steps involved in such a process is difficult, complex or expensive, but you need a firm resolve to implement them. Fortunately, India can boast of a rich tradition of folklore and wisdom ( including yoga and ayurveda) to fall back on, and we should tap this resource before we lose it entirely. All sensible doctors realize that healing finally occurs from within, and thus we can make beneficial use of the innate wisdom of the body to remain healthy ! Traditional wisdom recognizes that it is the body which heals itself; in other words, the power to cure a disease lies within the body itself and not in the hands of the doctor.
One reason is that we feel it's too much trouble to hoist ourselves out of our comfortable ruts, in which we are deeply entrenched. This is especially true when we're under stress. Unhealthy behavior proves easier and more convenient than doing what we know is right !
The most important question is: How do you get started? For one, start out by trying to make small changes before going in for big ones. Also, begin by adopting a new behaviour pattern rather than giving up an old one, because the former is easier. For example, it's hard to stop smoking, but it's pretty easy to add fruit to your diet every day. If you're successful in introducing small changes, the resulting benefit will motivate you to undertake the required big changes.
Prayer, worship and belief in God are an important part of life for many people, and spiritual beliefs and practices can actually enhance your health and well-being as well.
Keeping a pet is also a beneficial activity, and has been shown to improve life expectancy according to many studies.
It would be worthwhile to be realistic and specific when setting goals for yourself – don't try to run a marathon if so you're out of shape that you cannot even walk one kilometre! Start by promising yourself to walk for five minutes every day; then increase the duration gradually each week.
If you find yourself gobbling sweets or junk food at certain times of the day, try to figure out what triggers the desire. If you find that you keep on munching chips while watching TV, put a bowl of fruit next to you instead; or else don't watch TV. It's very important not to let temporary setbacks obstruct your overall progress. We are all normally prone to relapse; just don't treat it as a monumental problem. Promise yourself that you'll start again and get back on track right away.
It's simple to live healthily - and it's not expensive either ! There are only seven major ingredients in a plan for good health:
- Exercise: Work up to a regular aerobic ( endurance) exercise programme.
- Diet and nutrition: Everything in moderation – and cut down on the fat.
- Weight Control: Maintain a healthy weight, avoid gaining and losing it.
- No smoking: Consider smoking as enemy number one.
- Alcohol moderation: Abstinence would be ideal.
- Avoiding injury: Use your common sense (for example, by using seat belts, or opting only for safe sex).
- Disease prevention: This can be achieved through periodic check-ups, immunization and health risk appraisals.
Any person on the street knows that to live longer you need to eat properly, exercise regularly and reduce stress to the extent possible! What you need to do is to get off your backside and start doing what you know will help you feel better and lead a longer and healthier life. Just do it, like the Nike ads exhort! Teach your children as well, so that our next generation can look forward to a healthier future !