The myriad pressures of work and home, a relentless schedule that allows no time for rest, the lure of junk food with its empty calories and high-fat. The constant urge to eat in order to combat the emotional fatigue of our modern era, such as loneliness and depression. The list is incomplete, but the result is – they have all contributed to our declining health status. What’s more, as India moves away from its unique ayurvedic and natural heritage of healing, we are experiencing a progressive decline in our health and wellbeing. This is bad news.
The good news is that our bodies are remarkably resilient and that any bad effect/s can be immediately reversed.
However, for any health plan to succeed, it should be practical enough to be built around your demanding schedule so that it becomes an inseparable part of your life.
Here’s a simple, practical guide to longevity and complete wellbeing that you can use – a plan that will allow you to function to the best of your ability and ward off disease, every moment of your day!
- Awake in the music of dawn. The early morning hours are the most revitalising time of day. When the world is awash with dew, the air is pure and clean [before the rigours of pollution take over] and the birds chirp with gay abandon, giving you a brief glimpse of that perfect paradise the world should be. You may not have considered yourself a morning person, but once you realise that there are great health benefits in rising early, you will change your mind. Awakening early will allow our internal body clocks to tick on schedule. This will also regularise your meal timings, blood sugar levels and digestion. As a result, you will be able to ward off the most common complaints – acidity, diabetes, insomnia and body aches. The morning hours are the most peaceful and, perhaps, most productive time of day. But, don’t allow yourself to switch off your alarm and plunge back into slumber!
- Yoga instead of caffeine. If you truly need to feel refreshed every morning, don’t reach out for your regular jolt of caffeine. While your morning cuppa is certainly fragrant and can get you revved up to go, studies have proved that the energy burst you experience after drinking a few cups of coffee is short-lived. Caffeine not only dehydrates your system, but also results in a mid-morning energy slump. To build up your stamina and feel truly refreshed, you need a yoga routine that is best suited to your body. Yoga will improve your levels of concentration and focus, enhance your memory skills, making your decision-making and performance through the day more productive. It will also allow you to tone every part of your body, getting your blood circulating as the healing effects reach right within to your internal organs.
- Walk the talk. Park your car further away from your destination and walk. Walk whenever you get an opportunity – take the stairs instead of the elevator, jog as you drop your child off in school, enrol in your local marathon or even go on a shopping spree in a voluminous mall! You’ll find that walking can be the most simplest and effective of exercises. It will not put undue pressure on your heart and will reduce any extra calorific intake that is forced on you by those lavish business luncheons.
- Find time for rest and recreation. No matter how busy you are, take a few moments to enjoy the caress of the balmy breeze against your cheek, the soft whispering of the trees as they rustle in the wind, the different colours of the sky and even the smooth flight of the bird. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t require huge chunks of time to relax and enjoy your day. Paying attention to the little details, the hidden beauty of our world can put you more at ease than an entire day spent lazing on the beach!
- Take frequent power naps. Don’t push the envelope, if you’re drowsy. Studies have shown that day-time drowsiness, the main side-effect of inadequate or poor sleeping patterns, is the major cause for accidents in the day, be it at the workplace, or on the road. Sometimes, it’s impossible to consistently enjoy good sleep. There will be times in your life when you cannot prevent your rest from being disrupted. You may have to care for a young child, have an urgent deadline, or find it necessary to work the night-shift. When you cannot sleep well at night, don’t fight the drowsiness during the day. Power naps or quick 20-minute snooze sessions will quickly restore your energy, so that you will be able to cope with the day’s demands.
- Show passion in what you do. Even if it is a mundane task such as spring-cleaning your kitchen or tackling your child’s homework, throw yourself with your heart, mind and soul into your work. Involving yourself completely will allow you to reap rich rewards and most importantly – satisfaction in every phase of your life that will automatically result in overall wellbeing.
- Keep yourself hydrated. Water is nature’s most precious remedy. It is crucial in order to eliminate toxins and keep your bodily functions at their best. If you’re having frequent headaches, check if your water intake is adequate. Drink 8-10 glasses a day for glowing skin and a well-nourished body.
- Meditation for the mind, heart, and soul. Meditation will help soothe a turbulent mind. A 10-minute session just before bed-time will allow you to clear your mind completely of the debris of the day. Once your heart beat slows to a more regular, steady rhythm, your body will automatically prepare itself for that much needed rest.
- Beware of what passes through your lips. Guard your body especially from food items that contain hydrogenated fat, excess food colours, or have a long shelf-life. These can do untold damage to your system and clog your arteries, a prelude to heart trouble later in life. Hydrogenated fat – found in cakes, processed foods and microwave/pre-packaged instant meals is an extremely stubborn kind of fat that refuses to burn off. If you’d like to steer clear of cellulite and fat pockets, read food labels carefully and avoid this kind of fat like the plague!
- Moderation, the secret to longevity. Moderation in all things, as every philosophy would teach us, is the most essential aspect of wholesome living. Enjoy everyday of your life, but whether you’re at work or pleasure, don’t overdo it.