“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change”
When life throws you obstacles , you dust off the past ,analyze , undo and redo things. Something similar I experienced this Christmas.
I always used to think that my family is blessed to have a good health, as we do not visit doctor very frequently. Mostly our visits are limited to fever, cough and cold. But The recent incident changed my misconception and it made me recheck, reanalyze and redefine few things related to health and lifestyle changes.
A normal health checkup for my husband turned a complete nightmare for us. It started with the series of tests, treadmill test came positive, CT scan showed artery narrowing and according to doctors ,it was a major blockage. This was a complete shock to me, family and friends. A person who runs 4-5 days in a week, active in sports, eats moderately healthy food, occasional stress (not high stressed job) not high consumption of alcohol and no smoking at all. This is considered quiet a healthy lifestyle . But again another misconception.
As we were going through this situation, people around gave suggestions, share their experiences . Funny thing is almost everyone has some story to share about heart diseases, diet, lifestyle etc. And the fact is that 1 in 4 adults are affected by Heart diseases. Most of the popular advice we got is to make lifestyle changes. But what exactly lifestyle changes to adopt? Most of them meant changes to Diet and exercises.
He did not have any other symptoms like chest pain, breathlessness, High BP , we always thought it wont be that serious. But came another shock when doc found out that three major arteries are almost 80-90% blocked . We left with the option of either By Pass surgery or Multi stent Angioplasty.
He went for angioplasty and recovering now ,but this whole incident made me think, where did it go wrong in spite of having a good lifestyle . Of course ,higher cholesterol levels and genetic issue are the only root cause we were left with. But I kept thinking What more Lifestyle changes we need to make, when one is already physically active, one is eating moderately healthy food (I wont say it is completely healthy food.. ) , not having constant stress (occasional stress …).
But now it was not the time to think why it happened ,but it is the time to see what can be done so that we can avoid any further health problems. And what is missing in his healthy lifestyle? What can be added to make effective lifestyle changes?
Being a Yoga teacher, promoting Yoga and healthy living, I never insisted him strongly to practice Yoga as he was more into sports and physical activities, which now I wish I should have done. But now it is time to undo and redo things. It is time to redefine LIFESTYLE instead of thinking Why it happened.
These are the things I feel everyone needs to make these lifestyle changes in our life. As I am already doing and following these things , I am sure that it will definitely make a good and healthy lifestyle to cope up with all the external and internal factors we face and deal with in our daily life. Just 7 things to add on top of what you are doing
1. Know your body better
Do regular health check ups and know your basic parameters are well within normal range e.g: BP, Sugar level, BMI , Cholesterol level, Pulse rate, Vitamin deficiency etc. Only YOU can know your body best. So everyone should know these minimum indicating parameters. BP , Sugar level etc. can be checked with measuring devices at home as well
Prana, our basic life force. We take our breath for granted and never try to nourish and improve further. In fact with stress, tension and anxiety we abuse it so much that our body forgets completely about Deep breathing. Deep Breathing and pranayama alone can solve most of the health issues. Read here more on Prana .
being physically active with aerobics, gym, different kind of exercise program, running etc. is definitely good, but if you really want holistic healthy lifestyle, then you need to include Asanas/postures . As asanas are done on physical level also affects on pranic(breath) and mental level. Asanas helps with better blood circulation to the body part involved, which means better oxygen supply. It works on muscles and strengthening them. Above all ,it helps to gain energy every time you do Yoga (with relaxation techniques at the end of yoga ) unlike in other exercises where you mainly loose energy. At least incorporate any form of Yoga for 2-3 days in a week
4. MEDITATION/MINDFULNESS/pursuing passion, hobbies
Meditation is mostly related to spirituality. Not to complicate things, you can try to be mindful or meditate (concentrate, Chanting, devotional etc.) minimum 5 mins/day. This gives clarity in your mind, relaxes brain cells. If not, at minimum indulge yourself in some pleasurable activities, where you feel passionate about something like dance, singing, cooking, arts, sports etc. devoting yourself to your passion gives the effects of meditation during that particular period. Read more of benefits of Meditation.
5. SLOWING DOWN/PAUSE
In order to achieve someone else’s goal or personal goal, we are constantly running , working hard, surviving competitions, but once in a while slowing down , taking pause helps and solves many issues in the life. When you stressed, PAUSE. When you are angry, PAUSE. When you are anxious , PAUSE. This will sort of many of the problems.
Today’s Era, too much is talked about diet. Definitely diet changes needs to be done as a preventive or curative plan for many health issues. But key is to have balance, not too much or too less . Everyone is different, follow what your body takes and likes instead of following crazy fads.
7. Selfless activities
Spending time in Nature and if possible alone time gives pure bliss. Spending time with loved ones, paying it forward, giving back ,helping others gives unconditional happiness. Find out what would you like to do.
So if you add these things in your already healthy lifestyle, it can bring lot of changes on physical and mental level. Stress will be managed , Hospital bills reduced, Better health and more balance can be achieved .
I am sure many of you are already doing one or few of the above things but if we combine all these things ,it is like a added bonus to yourself.
I am going to make these things part of my family routine ..How about You ?
So this New Year….Redefine your Lifestyle , Regain your Health and Refix your Happiness!