Eight steps to stay healthy

When health is lost, so many things are lost. We can achieve many things in life when we are healthy. In spite of wealth and all comforts in life, persons with ill health cannot enjoy anything in life.

Health is in our hands. What are the important things to be followed to get a healthy life?

  1. DIET: Diet is the major determinant of health. Food and nutrition are the only alternative medicines that have tremendous healing and protective power, which work miraculously on your body and protect you from numerous health hazards. The quality of food is more important than the quantity.

One man’s food is other man’s poison. The food suited to one man may be harmful to the other. Growing children need more protein and grown-ups need easily digestible food. Vegetables and fruits are very good for health. Diabetic people have to avoid certain vegetables and fruits. They cannot take beetroot, carrot, potato, banana and mangoes freely. Raw vegetables and sprouts which are supposed to be very good for health cannot be taken by a kidney patient. Greens are very good for health but harmful for kidney stone patient. Hence, food is to be chosen according to one’s health problem as well as age. “Take food as medicine, otherwise, medicine will become your food.”

Fast food and junk food create many health problems. Hence, they are to be avoided. Early dinner, before 8 p.m., is preferable. This enables good digestion and good sleep. Body gets complete rest and is ready for the next day.

  1. EXERCISE: Everyone can do exercise. Yoga is best since it combines body movements with breathing. Yoga combines body, mind and breath. Hence, it is good for all ages. Exercise strengthens the heart muscles, improves the physical condition and raises energy level. It helps burn calories and gives your body a good and trim shape.

Exercise is to be selected according to age and ailments. Old people may ask “What exercise to do?” and young boys may ask, “Why exercise in this early age?” Both are not correct. Right from young age to old age, exercise is needed for everyone.

Young people can do brisk walking, running, jogging, skipping, etc., whereas older people must stick to regular walking, Yoga, etc. Even bedridden people can do exercise by just lifting the hands, legs, making small twists, movements, etc., combined with breathing.

  1. PRANAYAMA: Generally ‘prana’ is the air around us. We start our breathing as soon as we are born and continue to breathe till we die. After the last breath, there is no life. Breath is life.

Normally, we don’t give much importance to breathing. We use only 40 per cent of the lung capacity. Our life is determined not by the number of years, but by the number of breaths. If we pay some attention to breathing, we can live longer and also healthier.

The elephant and tortoise breathe deep and long and live for many hundred years. Dogs and birds do short and quick breathing and live for a short time.

Pranayama, or long and deep breathing, keeps the lungs healthy. The lung determines immunity. Pranayama helps us absorb more oxygen and remove the toxins. When we have more oxygen, blood becomes purer. When the blood circulation improves, all the internal organs become healthy.

  1. RELAXATION: Our life is very fast and mechanical these days. There is no time to stand and stare. We have to work like machines. Even a machine needs some oiling and rest. We, human beings do need some rest and relaxation. We have to do some relaxation exercise to keep our body and mind relaxed. The best relaxation is in ‘Savasana’ for a few minutes. Activities like listening to music, watching good programmes on TV, or spending a pleasant time with children are also relaxing.

Relaxation keeps our mind calm and happy, reduces our stress and tension. It is a natural healing mechanism of the body.

  1. DHYANA: Dhyana helps us to control our mind. Mind plays an important role in one’s health. Different, types of Dhyana are taught by different schools of Yoga. Dhyana is concentrating one’s mind on one particular thing. When mind is concentrated on a particular thing, other unwanted things, which are crowding the mind, disappear. Mind and emotions come under control and we get mental stability and peace of mind.
  1. POSITIVE THINKING: Positive thinking brings positive results and negative thinking brings negative results. If there is pain in your knees and tell a few times that your knee is paining, this gets registered in your subconscious mind and it pains more. On the other hand, if you say repeatedly, “My knee is not paining”, and this gets registered in your subconscious mind and the pain gradually eases off. It is one’s own mind which makes hell out of heaven and heaven out of hell. See that you don’t hurt others by words, deed and even by thought. When you have self-confidence and full effort, success is yours in each and every attempt.
  1. CONTENTMENT: When you are contented with what you have, your life will be happy. Many people today earn money in the first half of their life ignoring their health. In the later half of life they become unhealthy and spend the money they had earned to get back their health. When a man is contented with what he has, he will achieve all good qualities. Being happy is more important than having all riches.
  1. ACUPRESSURE: Acupressure keeps us healthy. It is a curative and preventive measure of treatment. We can keep ourselves healthy by pressing certain points regularly. Prevention is better than cure. This prevention can be done with the help of Acupressure. Just by pressing our fingertips regularly we can be healthy.
Mar 31, 2010
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Dr Jayalakshmi

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