You need to imbibe the philosophy of health is wealth in your life.
A few months back, I and my sister were on a trip to Bangalore with our grandfather (83). At around 11 at night, he suffered breathlessness (asthmatic patient) and we had to rush to hospital (a renowned one), so that he could be put on oxygen. Being an asthmatic patient, it was a normal thing so, we were pretty sure that he would be fine soon. But the doctor came up with “He needs to be shifted to ICU for 3 days at least”, (where of course they could charge us a lump sum). Adding that all his reports were normal, yet “83”! (Almost scaring us that anything could happen at this age, even if the reports stand normal). We stood there baffled. What was the need for shifting to ICU, if the reports were normal? But since this was our first such encounter, we agreed. As he was moved to a stretcher to shift to ICU, he called me and asked “Where are they taking me?” I said to the ICU. He adamantly said he was feeling fine and refused to move to ICU. “If I would have been shifted to ICU, I would not have come back alive” these were his words, as we were on our way back. And the next day, he was back to normal.
What did I realize from this episode? I realized that I need to take care of myself! And that one cannot absolutely depend on a doctor anymore. Of course, doctors are a boon but one cannot deny it’s also a business after all!
Whenever we buy a new machine, be it a laptop or washing machine, we spend some time on ‘how to use it’ by reading its manual since it’s expensive and we don’t wish to mess the machine up. We forget that we too are a machine. But since we have received it free of cost, we don’t care. We feed it more than needed at one time, while luring the hunger pang at other. One gets a panic attack if his cell phone (machine) dies out of its battery, while the machine we live in keeps slogging all his life.
Sudden such realizations, made me curious to first of all know my machine. I started with Rujuta Diwekar’s ‘Don’t lose your mind, lose your weight’ followed by ‘I wish I hadn’t eaten that’ by Maria cross, which explained how the food intake works in my body and also broke a lot of myths. Soon I joined a workout studio, which I must admit has now become an addiction. For a machine to work efficiently, the combination of its hardware and software should be optimum. In the human machine, the hardware efficiency comes from the physical exercise and the software efficiency from what we feed in I.e., food and thoughts.
Now, let me take some liberty and announce myself as the health minister for a day. What all would I change or suggest my people to follow for a healthier life?
1. Know your machine- :
Instead of reading the futile tweets about Priyanka’s(Chopra) dress when she met our PM, or the extravagant expenses on Justien Bieber concert, pick up a good article or a book which helps you know your body better. Discover the basic organs, hormones and their functioning in our body. What is Insulin? What is its function? What happens if the body is not able to generate it? Is it in my hands to be able to aid the function of insulin? When we buy a new phone, we make sure it is an upgraded version, so why not upgrade our own machine??! (by enhancing our knowledge).
2. Know the diseases and its cause-:
Once we know how the insulin works and why is it needed in our body, we know that when it breaks down, its one of the cause of diabetes. Now, what are the risks to our body in diabetes? What is blood sugar imbalance? What will happen if I have a pizza, a sandwich, some pasta and push a can of cola down my throat all together? Will my insulin levels be able to manage the pressure or will it create a situation of blood sugar imbalance. (a major cause of most of the diseases).
Today, any celebration is incomplete without a table laden with a variety of alluring food items and drinks. (Which by the way, is a tradition that should be changed). And poor we, our self control goes for a toss. In fact, the host goes overboard and force him saying ‘ arre aap ne to kuch khaya hi nai…’ Trust me, this attitude is not the way to shower love but only lead him to unhealthy overeating. Little do we bother what trauma will our stomach go through to try to digest it! (after 5 o’ clock in the evening, lesser digestive enzymes are released as compared to the mornings, and with even lesser physical activity where the food energy be used, most of the food remains undigested)).
3. Make workout as necessary as brushing:-
Have you ever made an excuse for not brushing because you don’t have time? No, because it is a routine set and no matter how busy you are, you find time for it. Then why not for exercise? Exercise is a natural pain killer! It releases such hormones in the body which are a natural healer and stress buster, which keeps you happy and cheerful! Just 20 minutes a day! And look at the bountiful of benefits! It’s a myth that a slim body does not require it! Human body is designed to carry out many complex mechanical operations. Not using it rusts it like any other machine and loses its flexibility leading to a lot of diseases. So, get up and run!
4. Ten minutes of meditation and yoga practice-:
Sadly, whenever someone refers to meditation and yoga, the response is ‘Dude, I am not old and I don’t have mental problems.’ I would definitely make yoga and meditation compulsory from first standard. As I said, the input that we give in our machine, plays a major role. So, it becomes immensely important that we take care of the purity of the thoughts that we create, because that affects our body too! (Meditation helps us connect with our inner self and empower us to create positive powerful thoughts to overcome any situation.) The anger, irritation, the dampening patience in adults and children can all be solved by meditation. It has also helped tremendously in maintaining healthy relationships which in turn is a precursor for good health.
5. Eat nutritious –:
Know what you are eating. Just don’t eat for the sake of filling your stomach. Both pizza and mango can fill your hunger but while the former is no good for your health, the latter is nutritious. Any food which is eaten more than 8 hours after it’s made, is dead, eating which is going to make you the same. So, whatever food we are served at the fancy restaurants is a zero in nutrition and needs to be avoided. (Because you know how fresh it is.) It’s been proved that even the mental condition of the cook affects the food he makes and thus we absorb the same vibes he reflects at the time of preparing it. The fresh fruit juice loses almost all its nutrients, while eating the whole fruit will keep them all intact. The contents of the Tropicana juice tetra pack does a ROFL, when you pick it up saying ‘Ahh, fresh juice!’ (it’s nothing but sugary water.) Make a habit of asking yourself before you pick up anything to eat ‘is this going to be enriching for my body?’ and if the answer is no, then you have that will power to keep it aside even when the temptation tries to overpower.
6. Ban damaging food items at school & corporate canteens –:
Its around 4 in the office, we run famished and the much controlled will power loses to the starving cells. What follows next is not new- chaats, samosa, bhajiya! (0 nutrition). What is does to our body are the red lines in our health reports. We already are aware of this situation but don’t bother to prepare beforehand- by eating every 2 hours or bring small munching boxes from home (peanuts, dry fruits, fruits, sautéd cottage cheese etc). Starving long hours does as much harm to our body as the cells consider it as a danger situation. (because it has not got food since a long time, it starts storing the present food and brings you to a stressful situation). Therefore there is a great need to ban the 0 nutrition food in the canteens and replace them with nutritious ones. (Some canteens are already changing.)
When I was there in the hospital with my grandfather, I promised to take care of myself. I dedicated myself towards it, worked on my intakes, exercise and lost 8 kgs. It’s not about the weight loss. It is how beautiful I felt within, it was like baptism. I never thought I would be able to leave cold drinks, but now with proper understanding about the harm it does to my body, I know I don’t want it. It has increased my will power tremendously. There was only one thing on my mind that if I have got only one life, I don’t want to spend it in the hospital and I will do whatever it takes! We all know about the basics of tax planning to save the maximum of income earned although we are all not Chartered Accountants. Similarly, we should know the basics of our body so that we can use it to the maximum advantage and we don’t need to be doctors for it.
Its only when we are healthy, we will be able to take care of others. This article is dedicated to every person not wanting to see themselves or their loved ones lying in the hospital, following health is wealth.