How to Be Healthy
The Bible says that our body is a temple of God, and that we should treat it that way. Well, a lot of people don't believe in God, but rather worship themselves, and want to look beautiful for selfish reasons. Whatever your motivation, a healthier and cleaner body will allow you to live longer, fuller, with greater vitality, and enable you to enjoy your life more.
According to Chinese medicine, which has developed over thousands of years and started much earlier than western medicine, the body flows with certain energy, where the spine and the nerve chord is like an energy super highway of the body. Sitting with a bad posture all day in front of the computer can pinch this superhighway, restrict energy flow, and lead to problems elsewhere.
In the days of old, a Chinese doctor was only paid when you DIDN'T need to see them. It proved not the most effective system, but definitely an intriguing one what concerns the promotion of preventive medicine. The problem with western medicine is that it is capitalist based, and therefore heavily influenced by the very rich pharmaceutical industry. Drugs are thrown at symptoms like water on a rapidly spreading fire. But wouldn't it be better to stop the fire from starting in the first place? Practice general cleanliness, do not leave around loose paper (which would help in starting or spreading a blaze), and perhaps keep everything damp, for example? The same principles can be applied to your body. I almost never catch colds, am never sick, and when I do catch a cold, my body's immune system is so strong it kills it within a day (combined with my common cold remedy).
I find there is a general guideline you can follow in life to remain healthy and get the most out of it. You will find endless information regarding this on the internet, and you can even increase stress levels, a very dangerous disease, by worrying yourself so much about it. I have put together basic instructions, which I hope to develop further and which has many useful outgoing links of other sources I found on the internet.
Our body is a natural organism which was created to live in a natural environment. But in the last roughly fifty years there has been an explosion of chemicals, and with it cancer, which rarely existed before. There are chemicals almost everywhere - in the pesticide remains in our vegetables and fruits, hormones in the meat we eat, and from car exhaust in the air. Did you know that your body even eats air, converting its basics of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen into proteins? Either way, the chemicals in the air get into our blood stream. Half of pollution is from car exhaust and from the 600 chemicals produced by combusting gas. The list is endless. Not to forget about all the drugs we might take for this and that symptom. Note that most drugs are derived from natural compounds which can be found in food or herbs. For example, the difference between the Vitamin C you buy over the counter and that found in living citrus fruits is that one is stagnant dead while the other one is spinning around and moving. Perhaps medicine cannot define the benefits of the moving and alive vitamin, but one doesn't need too much imagination to assume that the living vitamin could have better benefits for our living organism.
So generally it is good to feed our body with natural foods, for which it was designed, to avoid all chemicals, and avoid processed foods which can be depleted of all their nutritional and vitamin content.
But just reading the package is not good enough. Your body is a complex organism, and like any body of water, has a natural ecosystem, and a natural balance to function properly. Did you know that pork lines your intestinal walls while beef tends to clog them? Your intestines are designed to rid your body of waste, which does not belong there and which it cannot process, but if your intestines are clogged or do not work well, these wastes can seep back into your bloodstream and lead to all sorts of problems. By simply introducing more fibre and green salads into your diet, you can help clean out your intestines and greatly improve your health (healthy intestines and healthy eating).
Or how about the story of that Australian Olympics athlete who died just before competing? She was a fanatic about cheese pizza, and an autopsy later revealed that her system was so clogged it could not function properly. In fact, milk and dairy products are not that healthy for us, because milk comes from cows, who have several stomachs and can process grass, while our systems are designed quite differently (soya milk is much more health - and tasty if you mix it with glukopur [Dextrose - a healthy a body strengthening sweetener] and get used to it). So you should also be aware of what you eat, and concentrate on a healthy balance.
Generally I try to avoid meat. If I do have meat, I try to support free range and wild game, which should be free of hormones and should be more natural. And when I do eat meat, I try to eat healthy lean meat, and not some processed junk which has to be dyed to look like meat.
And countless times I've heard about the benefits of supplemental vitamins (healthy heart), to fill those gaps we might miss by not eating the perfectly balanced diet.
Drink Lots of Water
Drinking lots of good clean water is like running a tap constantly over a dirty cloth. You can use the cloth to clean up the house, but constantly running water through it will keep it generally cleaner. The water passing through our system will help get rid of waste and toxins, and will keep our skin hydrated, making it look younger.
You can also drink a lot of juices, which would be similar but adds a healthy dose of vitamins as well.
Or you can drink lots of herbal teas, like green tea. Green tea is a good anti-oxidant. Oxidants greatly contribute to aging.
(Stretching/Yoga removes oxidants - and other oxidant removing techniques.)
Avoid Bad Stuff
Well, easier said than done, isn't it? That's like telling someone not to enjoy life. But you can enjoy life while being more reasonable about it. For example, what possible enjoyment can you get from smoking cigarettes? It is more addictive than heroin and only supported by the government because it is a great way of collecting taxes, and keeps people wired and productive. It can also be considered a social security blanket, where one can feel cool and part of the gang by smoking it, and who has something to fidget with while in an often stressful social setting, where one always needs to prove themselves, or needs something to fidget with to quell their nervousness. But if you understand all the negative implications it has on your health and realise the actual benefits you get out of it (practically zero from a "high" point of view), it is truly a really stupid drug and habit. Even one cigarette a day has proven to triple your chances of getting a heart attack. You will go a long way to improve your general well being by getting rid of this evil and senseless habit.
If you really need to get high on something, there are more cost effective and sensible ways. Cost in terms of money, and cost to your body.
And how about alcohol? That is basically a toxic poison, with which we can get inTOXicated. Do you really need to get obliterated drunk to the point of not remembering the night before? What's the point of having fun if you cannot even remember it? I find that if I just stick to beer and focus on pacing myself, I can get a sufficient buzz to serve its purpose, loosen up the conversation, and achieve the desired effect without causing great harm. You do not realise how much you really have to destroy the brain to get it to black out to the point of not remembering parts of the evening before. If the next day you find you cannot remember parts of the evening, then you think back on your consumption and try to regulate it for next time. I find that occasionally drinking a glass of water (not soda water, which takes away nutrients from your body, but rather mineral or real water) between or with beers can make a big difference. With water you can still sip on something to feel busy and quell your nervousness, while rehydrating your body, as alcohol drains your body of liquids. Why else would you wake up with a headache and hangover than because your brain is sucked dry and totally dehydrated. There were times I've been so dehydrated that, when I opened my eyes, I felt and practically heard air seeping into them, as if my dehyrdated body was sucking in moister air from its surroundings. Sometimes pounding down a few glasses of water before going to sleep can do wonders. It can force me to get up to go to the washroom several times during the night, at which point I will force down more water, until I wake up the next day rather fresh and sober. But pacing yourself while drinking is better, and not that difficult. And try to avoid the hard alcohol, because mixing it like this can easily send you over the edge.
As a major partier, I understand that this can be a hard vice to avoid. But if you start to think about it, and really analyse the benefits of drinking yourself stupid, to the point of insulting some people, making a fool of yourself, blurbling nonsense for a large part of the evening and not even remembering large parts of the party, I think you will see the greater wisdom of moderation.
I mean, what a horrible concept. I am a major beer lover and the thought of eating a juicy steak without it outright horrifies me.
Red wine is generally healthier than beer, but you tend to drink more alcohol because of it and the medicinal qualities of grape seed can be found by much healthier means. And any medicinal qualities of red wine are certainly cancelled if you drink more than a small glass a day. (The spleen also needs time to recover.)
If you don't like beer or wine, you can drink a lot of juice or water with your harder drink. This will always help to remove the poisons and rehydrate your body.
And the occasional careful reflection could go a long way too. Reflecting on your supposed need to obliterate yourself to the point of getting totally wasted. Reflecting if it really does give you benefit and joy. And if you really do need to drink that much, then make a concerted effort to balance it during the day and evening with more water. Possibly some herbal teas to help clean out your bloodstream. For this I like to use stinging nettle (which grows for free practically everywhere and easily dried and used) tea, which you can combine with other herbal teas for other purposes. I guess you can tell I'm a seasoned partier, eh?
So besides the above two, which in western society could be the greatest source of poison to our bodies, you'll obviously want to read the package before you buy and cook, and getting out to the country on the weekends to avoid the bad city air can also do you some substantial good.
Also fat is a big bad no-no. The fast food companies purposefully put extra fat and grease in their foods because they are aware of its addictive qualities. Ice-cream is primarily made of fat. Fat gets into your blood stream, chokes your arteries, can lead to a heart attack, and makes you gluttonous and slow. The list is never ending. The trick is to stay lean and mean. It may take time, but your tastebuds will change and you will develop a liking for healthy foods, if you just focus on that. Which brings us to the next point.
This actually might require an entirely separate section, as it can get into the philosophical and spiritual. But first lets stick to the basic facts.
It is a fact that the only way scientists have determined how to extend a rat's life is by denying it of food. Calories basically kills us. 60% of your body's energy is used to break down food, especially if you eat a lot of meat. Animals instinctively go into a fast when they have suffered an injury, as during a fast the body can use more of its energy to heal itself.
By overeating and forcing down more food, you are forcing your body to expend more energy to convert food into fuel for your body. Carbohydrates (ike pastas, breads and rice) need several processes to be broken down and converted into a format which your body can use as energy. Meat requires even more energy for conversion. When I was tree planting in British Colombia, there were many around me who testified to the great advantage of spirulina, which is basically a one celled organism which can be cultivated under certain conditions to be consumable. The organism is made up of about 60% proteins, and your body just soaks it up directly into its bloodstream without having to expend any energy converting it. They drank it with pineapple juice and joked how it made them like road runner, full of energy while planting in the field. You can consider this an ideal food, feeding your body an efficient fuel which it can consume without working to convert it. Simple science. Why else would you feel sleepy after a heavy meaty meal than because blood is diverted towards your stomach to work hard on the conversion process, and puts you to sleep so that it can focus its energy?
I am sure you will easily find lots of information backing claims that nibbling on food over the day and not overeating is much healthier for you. If you are concerned about your weight and want to lose it, simply shifting away from carbohydrates and fat towards vegetables and lean meat, where combining this with a bit of exercise as explained in the section below should easily accomplish that. Whenever I eat I never like to feel full. Always just enough to start to feel a little pressure in my stomach. Keep in mind also that it takes about twenty minutes for your brain to register your stomach is full, so one important trick is to take your time eating. Nibble away while you work, and don't pound down the greasy fast food during a thirty minute lunch period, which will make you feel gluttonous full for an hour or more after that. Fill up on juices over the day. It's really not that difficult, and you will find that you begin to appreciate such foods.
Which brings us to the psychological factor of why people overeat. Perhaps it is the busy lifestyle, working hard in the office, squeezing in unhealthy and fatty fast foods during a tight lunch. Smart companies have catering services which bring around healthy nibbles several times during the day. That is the best option.
Or perhaps it is out of boredom. "Well, there's a commercial on tv. What shall I do? Hmm, I'll go to the kitchen, open the fridge door, stare inside, and see what inspiration hits me."
Or it could be for a sense of security. A nice fuzzy feeling that one has an ample supply of food in their stomach, in case the world ended and the Martians were invading from outer space, you know you will be able to survive at least a few hours. But this is ironically wrong, because as a trained faster, I know I can probably last 30 days without food if I had to. And overeating shortens your life, so the sense of security is certainly only mental.
Or perhaps it is due to insecurity. "I'm fat, no one likes me, so I'll just eat more, because I'm depressed and give up."
These are tough questions and you can spend a lot of time thinking about them. But like with exercising below, I believe you can focus on a slow shift, and as long as you keep your mind on it, taking one small step at a time, your tastes will change with your body, and you can eventually make the transition, no matter how long it takes, as long as you apply a little bit of constant willpower.
Occasionally Cleanse Your Body
Now that I have hopefully convinced you of all the poison you are regularly pumping into your body, you will realise that an occasional cleaning might be in order. Over the year I focus on what I eat and generally try to live healthily, but being a great lover of beer and of socialising when the company is good, I know that I have pumped enough poison into my body over the year, especially if we include the very air we breath, such that I try to get rid of it once a year.
For this I go through my annual spring fasting. On those pages I will explain how a fast works and the principles why it is healthy, but generally, your body, especially with age, is simply not capable of processing all the poison you pump into it over the year or your lifetime. For this reason a good spring cleaning is mandatory - when your body gets into cleaning mode and has a chance to flush everything out. Many people seem shocked at my age, but when I think about it, I feel normal, and rather see the product on everyone else of a lifetime of neglecting their bodies, eating whatever they fancy, constant smoking, unregulated alcohol consumption, and a total lack of exercise. If you consider all these things, you will find that the steps to a radical change in your health are not that large, or remotely painful. When I started focusing on a more vegetarian diet, I found that, after several months, my body's cravings changed. I no longer salivate for the steak like I used to, and look forward to big meals of beans and salad. You can use the same or similar spices, so the taste can be the same, but your body gets used to it, eventually influencing the tongue and your cravings. You can make a very gradual and slow change, so that it is not painful, but your body will adjust. And you may eventually realise the total stupidity of smoking cigarettes and what a truly disgusting habit it really is. Just give yourself time and focus on it. The body does not like shocks, like cold turkeys, anyway. And such shocks can result in a psychological barrier which will greatly hinder your motivation for such healthy changes in the future. Therefore, take your time and do the transition wisely and in a painless manner.
Now that you are thinking of supplying your body with the right input and ingredients, and cleaning it properly once in a while, you also want your body to be productive and working efficiently. Healthy food and a good spring cleaning alone will not go as far if your body is weak and cannot process wastes as well. For example, a strong and healthy heart pumps blood through your veins, distributing oxygen and nutrients throughout. A stronger body can process waste better, and a good circulation system with a strong heart will pump blood better to your brain, keeping you more mentally productive, awake, and effective. You will feel better about yourself, and have a more active and fresh approach to life.
The thing I found about exercising is that it is a self generating pattern. When I exercised less, I got more lazy, more easily bored, less motivated about things in general, and it became harder to exercise.
On the flip side of the coin, when I was exercising regularly, I was more awake, looking forward to exercising again, much more productive during the day, and my approach to life was livelier and with greater enthusiasm and joy.
But once again, this does not have to be a painful process. Don't get inspired by these pages, go out for a brisk jog, to the point of hacking out your lungs and exhausting yourself, until the next day you have a major psychological barrier to overcome, to the point that you probably just give up on the entire idea.
Start slow, and if it feels painful and potentially demotivating, stop and don't push yourself. But do make the effort, no matter how small, and focus on increasing the level gradually. Pick out a long term goal for yourself. Even if it takes you two years, one year longer than you hoped, to get to a certain level, one or two years out of your entire life really is not that much, you get there sooner than you think, and you will find yourself much better off, more productive, and happier at that point than you when you started with your plan.
There are many little painless tricks you can do. For example, walk up a few steps on the escalator before standing still. Walk as much as you can. You might get off the bus one stop early and walk through the park the rest of the way to work. Walking may seem trivial, but such little exercises truly do benefit you much more than you'd imagine. I've gotten to the point that I like to jog up the escalator, two steps at a time, to about two thirds the way up, after which I walk up two steps at a time, and then one at a time, so that by the time I get to the top (and trust me, the escalators in Prague can be quite long, as the underground metro served also as a nuclear bunker during the cold war), I am panting moderately and my thighs are burning something fierce. A truly juicy bit of exercise. Multitasking at its wonderful best. Not only do I get where I'm going faster, but I've increased my blood circulation for a few minutes, flushing out all sorts of stagnant and lodged toxins, and making me feel perkier and more awake.
You can therefore apply this general principle through your day. Get off the elevator one or two floors earlier and walk up the rest. Heck, I don't even use the elevator anymore. A great way to squeeze in a healthy blast of exercise during your day. Walk everywhere, and while doing that, get a city map, stretch out your walk, and make it through as many parks and green areas as you can. You will eventually find nice residential streets lined with big trees, which clean the air and give out precious oxygen. I lived on such a street and I noticed the difference in the air. You can combine your walking route with public transportation, but it will make your day happier, and over time, your walking route can become longer and longer, and brisker and faster. Why suffer yourself with the drone of going to the weight room, paying money, and walking on pretend stairs. The only purpose of going to a gym is if you want to look good (to people who will bother to watch you while you work out), make grunting noises, and maybe find yourself a partner. You can do that anyway, and sprinkling your day with walks and stairclimbs will only benefit you further.
Since I work at home, I also do pushups and physical workouts. I scatter them throughout the day, like every time I get up to go to the washroom, or before cooking. Only a few minutes is sufficient, and I never build up a major sweat, but these little things can keep you in good physical shape. The medical community says you should exercise in the MINIMUM three times a week, for half an hour at a time. By walking and doing these little tips, you can easily meet that. And once you feel more motivated, like I do all the time, you can then add to that real sports. Any sport will be more fun and more motivating. My favourite workout is running like a madman after a squash ball. I'm not a very efficient squash player, but for me my greater joy is the workout. Note that the sweat that you produce cleans out your pores, gets the juices running, and does a world of good for your complexion and general health. So make sure to drink even more water during these times, to help the cleansing process along.
Working your muscles makes you look good, improves your posture (a weak back can lead to major problems), and makes you feel better about yourself.
Working your cardiovascular system (like by jogging, and producing sweat and heavy breathing exercises) improves your endurance, makes your heart stronger and more efficient, clears your head due to the increased circulation, and improves your motivation and vitality.
But stretching is great too. Whatever you stretch will release tons of oxidants - a substance dormant in your body and which greatly increases aging. Heck, look at Madonna and her Yoga. Richer than the queen of England but apparently spends none of it on facelifts. Sting also practices Yoga. I find that if I do not stretch for a longer time, my muscles start to feel like dog meat. Not to mention that they tend to rip more often, or I get annoying muscle cramps (eating pumpkin seeds helps prevent this).
After thinking about this page some, I believe you will find that it really does not have to be a painful process to change your lifestyle for the better. You can make your transition as slow as you want, as long as you are applying a little bit of willpower to make your transition real, constant, and enduring. It could take you several years, but with each step that you succeed in your transition, you will feel fuller of energy and more motivated, adding fuel to your motivation, until it becomes an evident acceleration process towards the better. You will feel better about yourself, you will definitely look better, and you will get so much more out of life. When I think back on those days when I let myself slip in terms of exercise, they seemed murky and depressing periods, when I lacked gusto and motivation.
I hope these pages have inspired you to move in this direction, that you do not go overboard to demotivate yourself, and that you will continue to apply the pressure and willpower, no matter how slight, because with every step you make in this direction, you will eventually attain whatever goal you set for.
And once you have attained this physically happier level, or during or before, you should also focus on the spiritual. We are mind, body, and soul. With a healthy body, our mind works better, and we have a better attitude towards life. But the body is just an empty vessel, no matter how efficient and productive we might make it. What truly makes us happier is a happy spirit - a soul filled with the spiritual love circulating through the universe. And that, my friends, is a whole other chapter, which you may find on my Christ pages. But at least it is not some right-wing self righteous ranting. Hopefully pleasant reading for people of whatever belief.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Karel_Kosman
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Published - July 2009
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