Fact of the past: When I was a kid, my brother and I used to enjoy eating the huge size besan ladoo that my Nanima used to prepare. When she was 85+ she would still prepare them with that same zeal and taste. Age was just a number for her and it was, for all the people of that era.
They never complained of bad eyesight, premature greying of hair, any knee pain or joint pain, no lifestyle related diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or any heart ailments.
Reason: There are so many reasons why our ancestors were so healthy. Let me list some here -
- From farm to fork - eat what they grew
- Hard physical work - due to lack of electrical machines like grinder, washing machine etc (not even an Xbox)
- Eat natural, home cooked unprocessed food - no concept of swiggy or zomato. Ask your grandparents about pizza/pasta, they will have question marks all over their face!
- Early to bed and early to rise - in accordance with circadian rhythm. Splash! Goes a bucket of cold water on your head if you are not up by 5am.
- More of home remedies during sickness and diseases - minimal pill popping, allowing the body's natural resistance to develop (remember that bitter kada that you had to drink with your nose closed?)
- Socialising, visiting religious places, enthusiasm to learn new things, interaction with nature - all of them helped to manage their daily stress. (they did not have mobile phones, remember?)
Fact of the present: My very first client who had come for counselling, had prediabetes, borderline hypertension, out of the chart lipid profile and grade 2 obesity. He told me to guess his age. When I said, 45 years, he gave a smile and said 32 years. It was a rude shock, that a 32 year old guy has aged so quickly and with so many health issues that he is not able to enjoy his life.
Reason: We know how to survive but have forgotten how to live our life!
- Our diet has more processed and ready to eat food than natural homemade food. ( count the number of days you have eaten dal-chawal, am sure you could easily count on your fingers, it has become that rare!)
- Easy transportation, modern equipment, and food delivery apps have made our life easy but made us lazy.
Ooo i am so tired after work, let's order food…
Hey there is an India vs Pak match, let's order food…
My friend is coming after so many years, let's order food…
I am so bored, let's order food…
- We have hardly any physical activity
Sitting on the couch, when we want to drink water and it is just a few metres away on the table, ‘MOM! Can you pass me a glass of water?’
- We pop a pill even if there is a small ache or pain. We have never tried to figure out the root cause of the problem, treating the symptoms have become a norm
- Excessive stress, improper eating timings, sleeping late, partying late, too much alcohol, smoking, all have contributed to the lifestyle diseases.
When you get a whatsapp message at 9pm, ‘Bro! There is a new netflix series, come over da, let's watch and cheers!’.
I can imagine our great grandmother shaking her head sadly from the heaven above. If she were around, she would have twisted our ears and spanked us nicely!
What could be the future: Future is all about technology. Artificial intelligence predicts how we will die, which are the possible diseases we might end up getting. Future looks exciting but only for those who can take control of their health.
Bottom line: Let us learn from our past, let us adopt the right ways of living like how our ancestors used to do. Let us understand that there are no shortcut ways of good health. We have to put efforts in the present to preserve our body so that we can have a good quality of life in the future.