What we do with what we have! Leading and living a healthy, physically fit, energetic and dynamic life comes through a meticulous and systematic daily routine. By juggling our jobs and personal lives in between, sustaining a healthy lifestyle becomes difficult as more immediate and pressing concerns tend to deplete the day of time, and simultaneously, energy. So, it becomes imperative to adhere to some basic lifestyle changes that we can adopt in our daily routine. Slight alterations in food, activity (physical, mental and emotional) and sleeping habits can reduce the wear and tear of our physical bodies, and add a sparkle even in our personalities. Indeed, the key to living healthy is completely in our hands.
Today our state Nagaland is plagued with many life-threatening diseases which can be seen as a direct result of our unhealthy lifestyles. News of people having sudden strokes, being diagnosed with diabetes and cancer is widely heard in almost all corners of our state. These diseases have taken away many of our near and dear ones. Of course, these diseases can be hereditary too, but they can be controlled by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We often hear the phrase, “Health is wealth!”, which in fact is very true. The primary figure in Buddhism, Gautam Buddha said, “To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear”. This in educational terms would mean a healthy body makes a healthy mind. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says that our body is the temple of the living God. The 35th President of the United States, John F Kennedy once said that physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual ability.
Much of the responsibility lies with us, as to whether we would improve or destroy our health by our actions and choices. In the past, our ancestors led a very good and healthy life because of their rigorous physical activities. They survived on nutritious organic food. Today we choose junk food over healthy homemade food, and to top it all the modern world has made our life so comfortable that we can get our work done without barely moving a finger. With this type of a sedentary lifestyle, health issues like strokes, cancers, heart diseases, liver problems, kidney problems would all come for free. Unhealthy food habits have led to many of our Naga youth having the ZooZoo belly. Excessive alcohol consumption also leads to cases of sudden stroke and many other diseases. In India, one of the leading causes of death is heart diseases and strokes. According to a report by WHO, 40 million people are suffering from this disease. Most of us are aware of the fact that diabetes is a slow killer, but we tend to neglect the slow effect and just go on with our daily unhealthy regime. My father himself is diabetic though fortunately his condition was diagnosed at an early stage. I have witnessed many men and women in our society who are not even aware of their condition until some major health problem arose, and by then it was too late for remedial measures. We Nagas have this carefree attitude, and when we are faced with some health issues, we often visit the quacks rather than a licensed doctor. This, in turn, deteriorates our condition. If only we develop a habit of a monthly family routine check up, most of our health ailments could be checked. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Though a problem standing in the way of regular check ups is that of the economy. It may not be possible for each and every family to go for routine check ups owing to their financial condition. In that case, we can always do one thing i.e., lead a healthy and effective living by choice. The majority of our life decisions depend on us and a few with a little bit of luck. Those who do not have a history of cancer in their family can still take up some healthy measures in order to avoid cancer-causing behaviours, like tobacco consumption. There are so many cases of cancer from Nagaland itself. Our ancestors lived up to hundred years and above but today our life span is cut down from 80-90 years to 40-60 years. We have witnessed our grandparents and great-grandparents who survived for long with no major ailments. My grandfather of 96 years is himself living proof. He still enjoys a very good and healthy life.
Therefore, we are to blame for our faulty lifestyles and our poor choice of living a healthy life. We fail to maintain a balance in life and we usually tend to overdo it, be it eating or drinking. Stress may also lead to certain health risking problems like high blood pressure which eventually may lead to stroke, depression, high blood pressure, etc. All these sicknesses and diseases are interrelated and its prevalence totally depends on us and how we live life. We should try to inculcate in us some life-saving good habits like taking a good long walk, a daily 30 minute exercise to shake off that extra body fat, drink water like a fish, maintain a well-balanced diet, keep stress at bay, be yoga friendly, have a positive attitude towards life, and above all get a good night’s rest. The key to living healthy is in our hands.