Secret to Health – An Active Body and an Empty Mind

One of the main reasons our ancestors enjoyed great health is because they followed an active life and had less worries and stress. Today’s generation is doing just the opposite. We are relying more on gadgets and supplements to improve our lifestyle than physical exercise. Our mind is busy but body is at rest – a sure-fire recipe to fast aging!

Age old systems like yoga, tai-chi primarily work on this principle – physical movements with complete awareness. In other words, an active body and an empty mind. Being aware of our body not only fills the body with energy and vitality, but it also relaxes the mind. That’s the reason why you feel good after a workout or a walk or any form of exercise.

However, without awareness, exercise is of no use. In fact it’ll do more harm than any good. You’ll drain yourself. It’s like running a car without engine oil. See it for yourself. Take a weight and see how many repetitions you can do while watching television (without awareness). Now switch off the television and give full attention (awareness) to your arms and movement while lifting the weights. See how many repetitions you can do. Definitely more than previous set right?

So if you really want an healthy body (and mind), stop thinking and start moving..



Comments

  1. Broadland says:

    I enjoyed reading the healthy controversy above. I think that there is a slight misunderstanding about the word “ancestor”. If we are talking about the ancestors as primitive humans, there is enough evidence that they were both health and died young.
    They were healthy because of their life style of constantly active habits. They died early because of constant hazards such as being attacked by other humans (tribal warfare) and carnivores.
    There was also another hazard in the primitive tribal society, which also is found in some animal “tribes”. When the head of the tribe is challenged by a very healthy and aggressive youngster, he had to fight and often died in the process, or killed the pretender to the throne. Although they were aware like animals of the value of herbs for a cure of some afflictions, the primitive witch doctor was no God.
    The more recent ancestors which Vishal seems to talk about had a generally healthier life style and some documented research in longevity in the hill tribes of Mexico in Ukraine and in Kashmir suggests that the repetitive exercise of using your feet to climb hills daily has led to a larger than expected numbers of people over ninety and of women conceiving at a much later age and men being virile to a much older age.
    Now let us look at the Indian religion/philosophy of compartmentalisation of life as postulated at 1000BC onwards. There is a great amount of evidence and almost universal acceptance of the existence of 4 phases of life of 25 years each; i.e. childhood lasting 25 years (Brahmcharyashram), 25 years of family life (Grahasthashram), 25 years of religious undertakings (Sanyasashram) and 25 years of ascetic life in solitude (Vaprathashram). If the sages and writers who wrote about this were not seeing this life span of 100 years fairly frequently they would not have mentioned it as THE rule of good life on earth. We can leave religion and philosophy aside but in terms of modern scientific research, they had observed that this particular practice was best suited to humans.
    One of the biggest emerging problems in the western societies is Type II diabetes in children. It is becoming or has become the number one health problem. The reason given is inadequate exercise, unhealthy living and poor dietary habits. This problem did not exist two generations ago. There fore it is a current life style problem. When I worked recently in a Diabetic clinic in the UK, I was amazed and very upset about this new phenomena. I was so used to diagnosing any diabetes under 30 as Type I (Insulin deficient) diabetes, that it became an eye opener and a learning experience.
    Hypertension is more prevalent in the more affluent societies. It would be easy to say that the less affluent societies do not have adequate resources to find this condition in their population, but that is not strictly true in the 21st century. In China, and I have actually seen open roadside clinics (organised by the Red Army) for measuring the blood pressure and for testing for diabetes, and one must not underestimate the reach of modern medical techniques and awareness in India. In both these countries it can be shown that affluence and sedentary unhealthy life is the cause of these conditions.

  2. But you must agree that a dead person is definitely not healthy and an live person is more healthy than a dead person.

    Your basis that a dead person is definitely not healthy than a living person is again absurd. The fact that you are relying on is dated 1000s of years back (early humans) when people mainly died of starvation, infectious diseases, natural calamities, lived under abject poverty and had no access to basic health care. And I definitely didn’t relate to them when I mentioned ancestors.

    According to WHO, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

    So just that you are alive does not mean you are healthy. You are again comparing life expectancy with health.

    But thats because all of those terms (diabetes, heart attack, sleep problems) would have been meaningless to them. That doesn’t mean they didn’t have them.

    Your claims again sound very naive to me. I guess you don’t have much experience of the lives your grand parents lived.

  3. Vishal-
    I agree that life span is not the same thing as health. But you must agree that a dead person is definitely not healthy and an live person is more healthy than a dead person.

    Also, to answer your question about our grand parents or ancestors, of course we don’t hear about our anscestors having diabetes, or having died of a heart attack, or having sleep problems. But thats because all of those terms (diabetes, heart attack, sleep problems) would have been meaningless to them. That doesn’t mean they didn’t have them.

    When it comes down to it I’d much rather live in today’s world and have a chance of living to be 70-80 (with all the problems that entails) rather than living 100s of years ago and dealing with those problems and dying at 20.

  4. If you relate life span to health then you are mistaken. My great great grand mother lived up to 85 and she did not have a single problem till her last few years. My father has BP, diabetes at 60. And so do his siblings. Pills can prolong lifespan. But that does not mean you are healthy!

    The below quote from this article should shed some light.

    The leading causes of death today have shifted. Heart disease, cancer, and stroke now account for over 50%, with infectious diseases accounting for well under 20%. Surprisingly, many of the leading causes of death today are actually lifestyle diseases.

    Did you hear any of our grand parents or ancestors having diabetes at age of 20 or having died of heart attack at 30 or having sleep problems at 15?

  5. hmmm… Did our ancestors really “enjoy great health”

    Some quick googling found a study that reports “the average lifespan of early humans was approximately 20 years” (http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/2005-09-09/human.htm)

    I don’t dispute the power of an active body and an empty mind, but don’t base it on our ancestors. They really did have it rough.

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