When was the last time you walked to the gym? Or taking the stairs up to your apartment? When was the last time you picked water over canned juice or chose fresh fruit over an antacid?
It’s ironic how quintessential millennialism has brought a dichotomy to the world as we know it. We buy a gym membership and yet, take the car to the gym. We’re all about inclined circuits but we’d rather forego the stairs. If you switched off modern inventions just for a day, you could coax your body into doing more, and that’s really how God meant it. We weren’t meant to be sedentary creatures; we were meant for motion, for adventures, for discovery. Good health was supposed to follow organically.
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In an age where gyms and doctors’ clinics brim with woebegone souls, there are some alternatives that can work just as well. This World Health Day, join us in going back to our roots. Come, celebrate the small things.
You know what they say about an apple a day. Fruits make for great snacks in the office, serving as in-between meals that keep the tummy busy. They can be the perfect antidote to hyperacidity and an expanding waistline because they are low-fat and make ideal substitutes for those greasy samosas in the office cafeteria. Fruits also arrest the onset of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, stroke and heart attack, conditions that all require extensive medical treatment. Some fruits are also thought to work against certain kinds of cancer.
How many times have you come home late from the gym and zoomed off to the office, only to take the elevator up? Oh, the irony. Break your day down into watertight parts and assess how much energy you expend in each one. Then, see how you can reduce your time in the gym by being more active during the rest of your day. If your office is close enough, walk or cycle it down. Buy groceries the old-school way rather than ordering them to your doorstep. Park your car at the farthest end of the parking lot to gain more walking time. All the little things add up.
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If you’re like the rest of us, the monotony of a workaday gym can become mind-numbing after the first few weeks (or days?). Natural landscapes can nurture the mind, feed the soul and make conducive backdrops for morning jogs and evening weight training sessions. Use homestyle loads as weights: water bottles, cricket bats and packets of pulses are ideal.
Cliché, and for good reason. Water can promote weight loss, increase energy, boost immunity, prevent cramps and flush out toxins. And that’s just the top of the list. Healthy hydration means picking water over manufactured alternatives like ‘fresh’ juices and sodas. Not only are these loaded with sugar and preservatives, but they also do not offer the hydration your body needs. In fact, sugar promotes thirst, preventing your brain from correctly identifying the thirst threshold.
Stressed at work? Stressed at home? Channel your anxiety into a productive outlet. Find an activity that helps you slip into a zone of calm. Meditation, soulful music and yoga are some options you could consider. It’s important to reign in your stress before it gets to a breaking point.
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This World Health Day, help yourself before you’re forced to let medicine help you. Make the changes, one small step at a time. Before long, you’ll find that you’ve moved a lifestyle.