Friday, November 6, 2009

In Fitness and in Health Do Us Part...1

As with most people who have more than the normal leisure time on their hands, I have noticed a bit of bulge here and there on my once delightfully petite silhoette... I sat and wondered, if I, who boasts good genes and super active metabolism can be afflicted with this bit of unwanted accessory, can you imagine what the less than blessed ones amongst us experience daily? I don't want to imagine it. And its not just the extras and the suoer sizes that we pack on but moreso the unhealthy lifestyle that is associated with it. So, as of today, I have resolved to keep a healthy lifestyle by abiding by the basic laws of good health. A lifestyle unlike what you may think doesnt require aditional expenses such as any gym pass or registration, or acquisition of new equipment or any other stuff. All that is needed is the will and the time which all of us have on our hands, even the super busiest of us.

[I wont even go down the suggested pathway that good health is relative. Good can never be bad and health can never be unhealthy, and there're not two ways about this one. to prevent any of that being my reality and to help those who may be in similar position or morbidly worse, I will share a few of life's basic rules to being healthy and fit.]

Never before has the population been so unhealthy, and never before have we ever been so lazy (but that's a topic for future discussion), and never before have we been so caught up with matters that have more of a debilitating influence on or health and lifestyle. Lets put aside the world population and focus on a random 1000 people population, this change is all the world over. We have have swapped our physically active lifestyle to that of a sedentary one and call it advanced living. But isnt it ironic, the more of the future we advance the more of the past we become? Just think about it. 50 years ago an 80 year old woman would be living an active life which includes the management of a subsistent farm which she trekked miles to each day to reach, except for the Sabbath. How many 80 year olds we see nowadays much more active enough to operate a farm? Tell me? You may jump to argue that the quality of life has increased significantly with advanced technology resulting in the increaded mortality rate and new discoveries in treatments, cures, disease patterns atc, and I will not argue it. I accept. But my argument is, what quality of life is that 80 year old living when he is oblivious of where he is because he is too heavily sedated daily from the drugs he takes: one for his alzheimer's which developed from his cocktail of drugs he has been taking for the last 5 years, and then the drug he has to take to counter the side effects of the fiest then another one to counter that side effect, yet another one to counter the side effects ot the counter which was taken to counter the 2nd.... Just thinking of it makes my dizzy. So tell me, what is his quality of life? What quality of his life when he doesnt know that the shadows he sees moving around in his home every day are actually people and they are his family. Tell me where is the quality in that? Death must be better.

50 years ago, the use of pharmaceuticals like most of the modern day ills were not as prevalent or their assembly line as active, but I guess with exponential increase in the population, one has to find a way to make the convalescence period faster and lass painful. Who cares that the medication that is supposed to make us better is there to make us sicker and ensure a lifetime customer. But who cares. The placebo effect is better than the reality. But thats no excuse anyway. If people were adhering to the three basic tenets of health - proper diet, sufficient rest and relaxation, and exercise - the pharmacuetical manufacturers would not hold the #2 position of world's richest manufacturing industrues and medical doctors would not be in the top 5 of most lucrative professionals worldwide and most signifantly, the population would be a healthier, and better for the productivity sector and an improved social existence.

Don't you agree? Good, I knew you would. So let's look a bit at how this culptit advanced technology has compromised our healthy lifestyle.

Because we sre soooo modern, we no longer walk. Just about everyone now has access to a private car or ready access to public transport. It doesnt matter if we are going less than 100 metres away, we drive, not walk. It's not cool any more to be walking (except of course if you donned the latest gym accessories and are found jogging). Just look at this example of this. I noted with amazement when a friend of mine who needed to replenish his popane gas cylinder so that his wife could complete cooking his Sunday dinner as he jumped in his vehicle and reversed approximately 28 metres to the outlet nextdoor to get the exchange. What was more disturbing wasnt that he sat in the car and have the attendant at his beck and call on and off-loading the cylibder, but when he returned, instead of taking out the tube, simply summonded his son to remove stuff that were laying in the yard in his pathway to drive to the back and have yet someone other than himself, unload the car. OMG! The irony with this is, he more than anyone else NEEDS all the exercise that is humanly available.

But then as he remarked, 'who needs to walk when you can drive, it's modern times and noone walks anymore'. How tragic!

Let's refer again to 50 years ago. Life was simple(ier). People mainly ate what they grew. Those produced were all natural. They were healthier. Nowadays, because we have gotten so busy with chasing the unattaimable we no longer have the time to grow a farm much more a vegetable garden, or even to eat properly. It is mainly snack on the go to fit in with the busy lifestyle or appearing to be hip in gulping down dast foods from the rapidly springing outlets. Sweets such as the unholy chocolate are in significance abundance, and the taste makes them quite irresistable to the palates.
A typical day for a profesional woman starts out with a cup of tea for breakfast, and snacking on sweets supplement for the lack of sufficient nutrients until luncheon which usually consists of take-out (which she assumes is what she ordered), which is eaten at her desk or in a crowded cafeteria room. Dinner for range from a stop at a restaurant/ fast food joint on the way home to actually having a well prepared home-cooked meal. Wow! Blame it on little time. I guess your day needs more than 24 hours.

50 years ago life was more structured. Breakfast consisted of a healthy balanced meal, which was more than not eaten at the table with other family members, whilelunch was in a lot of instances pulled from a lunch kit packed with a balanced home-cooked meal, or for the ones lucky enough to live within walking distance of the job site, simpled walked it home for one of the same. Dinner followed the same path of consistency and is usually had when all family members are in.

Remarkable! That is campared to conventional practice and for a woman who has a direct repulsion for the kitchen, I cant imagine a housewife cooking 3 full and balanced meals per day which sometimes consisted of 2 or more meat proteins. Whew!

But they kept healthier and the woman got enough exercise from being oh her feet praparing the meals as opposed to sitting for endless hours at the office desk, and not to mention the running around trying to keep the children in line, washing the clothes, lifting loads, and cleaning. No wonder thet kept such tight shapes

Now you may think that this only means sleep. No way Jose! This goes beyond just sleep, it involves the time set aside within each 24 hour to recuperate. Other than the sleep which you normally do at the end of your regular day, you need to allocate separate time within the busy day to relax, take time to breathe, let go/ destress of the those nagging unresolved issues, smile, think positive thoughts, calm yourslf, slow down. You will find that once this is done, your health will improve as the body's mechanism will experience less stress in carrying out normal body functioning. A simple way of doing that are: don't worry; be less nosey; Min' yuh own bizness; Forget about matters that do not affest you directly or matters you have no (immediate) control over; think positive thoughts especially of people; and live within your means, which a lot of people fail miserably nowadays to do.
Just think how calmer, less irritable, less grumpy, less angry , less ugly, less wrinkled, less sooooo many many negatives that (we hold close to our chests) we would be if we had enough rest each day. And think how happier and productive we all would be as a result.

So how do I live healthier? Simple
Exercise, at least 30 minutes each day. Walk more, sit less. Do isometrics during your slow periods
Eat balanced diets. Eat more wholesome home-grown foods as much as you can. Avoid processed & refine foods. Cut out all that fast foods, sodas, sweets etc.
Sleep 6-8 hours per 24 hours. Listen to more stimulating calming sounds, softer music, lectures, communicate with nature and The Almighty etc to create greater relaxation

How about it? Will you resolve to be better as of now?

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