I was going to donate blood to a friend’s acquaintance’s wife, who recently had a liver transplant. As I wore my shoes and picked up my helmet, I received a call from the acquaintance. He was confirming whether I was going to make it. Or so I thought. “Yes Arun. I’m on my way”, I said, choosing to bypass the pleasantries. “Don’t bother”, he said in a shaking voice. “She is no more.” She was just 55!
I wouldn’t be writing about this if a prior incident had not made me think. A week ago, I met a friend who used to work out at the local gym with me. I hadn’t seen him in a while and asked him where he had been. He said that he had been having trouble with his knees since some time now. The doctor had advised him to take care of his health (he is really obese) or he would suffer from arthritis pretty soon. He’s 26.
These are not isolated incidents. 30-year-old men suffering from heart attacks, young women complaining about pain in their shoulders, youngsters panting after climbing one flight of stairs and complaining about insomnia and indigestion… you hear about these cases frequently, don’t you?
Often when we suffer from ailments, we run to doctors immediately. After numerous x-rays and scans, they suggest surgery. Hoping that this will offer a quick fix, we comply. But unfortunately, in 95 percent cases, the person after the surgery is not the same as he was before.
Doctors suggest surgery because that’s how they make a quick buck, but it often isn’t in our best interest. I’m not suggesting that you stop visiting doctors. Instead, consider yoga as an alternative to surgery. I don’t practice yoga, neither is this a post to promote it. However, I know through instructors that yoga has helped people with frozen shoulder, slip disc and many other ailments, recuperate and lead healthy lives. The effects of yoga are slower than surgery, but far more effective and long-lasting.
If you aren’t suffering from an ailment, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to work on taking care of yourself. Our eating, sleeping and working habits have sent our health for a toss. If you want to live a fulfilling and healthy life, here are 3 things that you must do:
Weight training, yoga or cardio are recommended to live healthily. An hour every alternate day in the gym or yoga class is wonderful exercise for your body. Not only does your body appreciate it, but so does your mind due to the flow of oxygen to it. However, if you cannot find time for the gym (or don’t feel up to it), simply exercise by walking for 20 minutes or climbing stairs. Even these simple activities ensure that your limbs keep moving and oxygen circulates in your blood. And take enough rest after a good exercise.
- Eat Healthy
Junk food is popular today. Partly because burgers cost $0.99 while salads cost $5.99, partly because fast food is available faster, and partly because they taste better than bland healthy food. But fast food also hurts us most (surely you don’t need elaboration on it). To live healthier and longer, consume more vegetables, fibrous foods and proteins.
- Sleep Well
If there’s one thing that troubles me most about people today, it’s their sleeping habits. ‘Erratic’ is too timid a word. We work twice as hard and sleep half as much. Yes, people say that you can sleep as much as you want once you’re dead. But I don’t think you want to die anytime soon, do you? Our supersonic lifestyle demands that we give our bodies and minds at least 7 hours of rest at night. “But I don’t get sleep “, you say. How will you, if you can’t leave your smartphone, laptop, your work or anxiety? Michael Hyatt, in this insightful post, offers suggestions on improving your sleep pattern.
Think about it. Can your phone or laptop function without being charged properly? And what condition is your battery left in if you charge your device often in short bursts? It’s messed up, right? Then how can your mind and body — substantially larger than batteries — comply with your needs if they are not properly charged?
I hope that this post convinces you about the importance of rest and fitness in your mission of achieving your goals in life. Everyone wants to live for long. But would you prefer spending 5 years of your life in a wheelchair with most of your organs not functioning? Start taking care of your mind and body if you want them to take care of you. It’s bad enough to see people falling ill and getting admitted in hospitals because they’re unable to manage stress. You don’t want to join the bandwagon, do you?