A healthy life is important to lead a good life. Our health is like a wall pre-requisite to draw a picture. We are the architect of our own health. Either we prevent being unhealthy or cure the damage already done. Physical fitness is very vital. Fitness is a relative term. A sprinter should have a different degree of fitness as compared to a music teacher. There are many more dimensions one can bring to define fitness. Depending upon the required level of fitness, one should take appropriate steps.
More than five billion people live in this world. The body constitution of each one of us is different. The calories needed for every individual is different. There is no one common prescription for everyone in this world. Let us take few examples. The energy level needed for a professional designer is different from a taxi driver. To prescribe a labourer to grab a cereal bar for breakfast is ridiculous. My dad’s friend, a chain smoker died at the age of 83! Believe me, I observed him leading a healthy life. I am not recommending you to smoke to live a healthy life. I try to drive home the point that you should not get carried away by exciting information that is available around you and go overboard to apply in your daily life also. That is dangerous to a healthy life.
While we cannot have five billion suggestions for physical fitness and healthy life, we can identify common needs for all of us. Whether you are an Olympic champion or an office clerk; a celebrity or a hair dresser, only three appropriate steps have to be taken by you. Look at your eating habit, physical fitness exercise and exercise for the mind. You can build further with many bolts-on to achieve laurels in life.
We can use our common sense to lead a healthy life. It does not require great knowledge about science or medicine or physical exercise. Leave that to the specialists. We are all aware that food is very important for sustenance. Our body is a mysterious workshop containing various machines. Food is its input. The machine processes the food and provides energy to the body to do our daily life activities. If the input to the machine is more than its capacity to process, obviously the machine will break down. If the quality of input to the machine is not conducive to the construction of the machine, again the machine will collapse. Apart from the quality and quantity of intake, we should pay attention to timing. There is a saying. I am sure all of us know this. We should eat breakfast like a prince. In the after noon, we should eat lunch like a king. In the night, we should eat meal like a beggar. The digesting power during the night is very poor. Also there is no physical activity involved in the night when we sleep. So allow the stomach t be half filled. Have your dinner couple of hours before going to bed. When we wake up in the morning, if we take a glass of water, it helps for the body to hydrate to prepare for the day’s job. How we cannot start our car with 4th gear, the same way we should consider our body. After 10 hrs of empty stomach when we break the fast, we should start with simple and easily digestible food. Basically we should start with first gear and move on. In my view, to have physical fitness, 3 times of intake – morning, afternoon and night is sufficient. Perhaps refreshment between lunch and dinner can also be incorporated. The key driver is to scrupulously follow the routine timing of intake. This is a good recipe for a healthy life.
Our stomach is the origin for all our ailments. Even the main reason for bad breath originates from the stomach only. If we do not take care of our stomach and brush our teeth with costliest tooth paste and wash our mouth with most expensive liquid mouth wash, the bad breath will not vanish. We should keep our stomach clean by taking appropriate quantity, quality of food in routine timings. It is easier said than done but not impossible. You know who is the culprit? It is our tongue. If we pay heed to the taste, then we would not be able to control the quantum. It does not mean that we should not enjoy the taste. In fact the tongue contributes to a great deal for healthy life. When we enjoy food, we feel good. Feeling good is a sign of healthy life. If someone asks you to take only green vegetables to have physical fitness, there is no difference between us and herbivores. But the trick is not to cross the limit of moderation. That will be counter productive. Give importance to the taste but be careful. We should eat to live and not live to eat.
Many of us believe that being slim leads to a healthy life. One of my friends is slim but has cholesterol. It is a wrong notion. The body structure of each one of us is different. An elephant should not try to become a horse. Nature has created that way. What is important is to prevent becoming over weight or obese or under weight. If the damage is done, consult specialist to get back on track. Do not perform any physical fitness exercise without the proper guidance of a physical education expert. Sometimes you are the expert of knowing your own do-s and don’t-s. The first day when I went to learn Tai Chi, Chinese version of Yoga, the master told me to rotate my neck clockwise and anticlockwise as a warm up exercise. However I was earlier told by my orthopedic surgeon not to rotate my neck to recover from a type of spondylities I had. What was good for others did not suit me. There will be many such situations where we should use our wisdom. Especially we have to be careful on physical fitness exercise.
Life is a series of experiences. If our experiences are good we say the life is good, otherwise we say the life is bad. Mind determines whether an experience is good or bad. Healthy life is achieved by the combination of healthy body and healthy mind. Mind does not exist in our brain. Mind is a subtle matter manifests in our astral body between our soul and physical body. The food we eat is converted into energy by the blood and the finest particles of food reach the subtle mind and then to still subtler intellect. While healthy food definitely supports for a healthy mind, nevertheless exercise to the mind is also very important to have a healthy life. Yoga is considered to be one of the best forms of giving exercise to the body and mind. A branch of Yoga has physical fitness exercise also. Meditation is another form of giving healthy exercise to the mind. These have to be practiced with the help of specialists. This is the body-mind-intellect complex. A simple but effective understanding and application of the above will go a long way to attain a healthy life.