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Independence Day: Freedom from Unhealthy Habits & Diseases

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75 years ago, we won against over two centuries of oppression, slavery, and injustice. Independence Day is a proud commemoration of how we Indians broke from the shackles of British rule. But are we really free today? 

Our seemingly modern lifestyles have crippled and enslaved us to numerous diseases and chronic health conditions that are rising steadily worldwide. With accelerating urbanization and drastic changes in societal behavior, our lifestyles have become sedentary. Consequently, we have adopted various unhealthy habits along the way. 

Such habits increase the risk of diseases like heart issues, obesity, and diabetes, raise BMI (body-mass index) and cholesterol levels, and make us vulnerable to more serious and long-term health problems in the near future.

Professor Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University Of Washington, USA, said that the risk factors for such health issues are easily preventable and treatable. But they are still on the rise because we aren’t changing our unhealthy behaviors, especially the ones related to diet quality and physical activity. 

Here are a few common unhealthy habits and natural ways to effectively achieve freedom from them. 

  • Lacking the Right Nutrition

One of the main reasons why people eat what they do is their preference for taste over nutrition. Not including the right fruits and vegetables in your diet just because they might not taste as good causes numerous digestive issues and other long-term health consequences. 

Furthermore, fast foods and processed foods have become increasingly common today. This is not only because of their taste but also due to their convenience in people’s hectic schedules and busy lifestyles. Eating them in excess has detrimental impacts on health as they are loaded with unhealthy ingredients like refined flour (maida), sugar, trans-fats, sodium, oil, grease, etc. They increase the risks of diseases like-

  • Cancer
  • Blood pressure
  • Inflammation
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive issues
  • Heart problems
  • Decreased immune function, etc.
  • Lacking Regular Exercise

Exercising is very important for effective body function, especially in times when desk jobs and binge-watching have made sedentary lifestyles common. Prolonged sitting and not exercising regularly can impair bodily function, decrease metabolism, weaken the muscles and increase the risks of-

  • High blood pressure
  • Osteoporosis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart issues
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Sleep deprivation or irregular sleep patterns

Increasing work pressure, long work hours, financial issues, and mental health conditions like stress, anxiety, and depression, are prime reasons why people don’t sleep enough. Insufficient sleep can weaken your immunity, impair brain function, cause weight gain, and lead to serious heart-related conditions like attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, heart failure, etc.

Moreover, many people eat their dinner late at night. The body needs time to properly process the food. Hence, eating it too close to sleep can interfere with and disturb their sleep cycles, and cause indigestion. 

  • Not Drinking Enough Water

Over 60% of the adult human body is water. Hence, not drinking it enough affects the body’s health on various levels. It can cause-

  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent headaches
  • Bowel issues
  • Dull skin 
  • Dry mouth

Without water, the muscles can’t work properly, the kidney cannot effectively clean out the body’s toxins, and there is not enough lubrication for the joints to function efficiently.

  • Excessive Alcohol consumption and Smoking

Drinking alcohol too frequently and too much can be dangerous for health. It can cause diabetes, blood pressure, heart issues, gout, cancer, obesity, liver problems, etc. Beer, wine, alcohol, and even soft drinks can pile up calories in your system. Even drinking caffeinated energy drinks and other beverages in excess can cause restlessness, insomnia, headache, dizziness, anxiety, and dependency.

Smoking affects nearly every organ of the body. Hence, no habit is considered as harmful as this one. It causes 20% of cancer deaths and 30% of all cardiovascular disease deaths and contributes to over 90% of all lung cancers.

  • Ignoring Mental Health

Mental health conditions like stress, anxiety, and depression have become common due to increasing work pressure and financial issues. But they are often neglected and stigmatized, causing severe health consequences. Increased stress hormones in your body can raise your blood pressure and sugar levels, slow down digestion, and lower your immunity.

Achieving Freedom in the Ayurvedic Way

Ayurveda, the ancient science of life, provides not only therapeutic measures for alleviating diseases but also emphasizes healthy dietary and lifestyle regimes to promote and maintain health and prevent diseases. Ayurvedic doctors approach the physical, mental, and spiritual factors of life holistically and recommend the following healthy habits:

Diet

Many common health issues can be prevented and managed through a good diet. Hence, Ayurvedic doctors prescribe reducing the consumption of meat, health supplements, fast foods that are oily/fried, greasy, fatty, salty, and sugary; processed/canned foods, and caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. 

They recommend adding more carbohydrates as well as dietary fibers to the diet. While a low-carb diet has become the trend, it can cause severe digestive stress on the system. 

Consuming whole grains, cereals, pulses, locally available seasonal fruits, and leafy greens are highly recommended. You must consume whole wheat flour, jowar, bajra, maize, and ragi more as they have high fiber content and reduce refined flour preparations like white bread and naan. 

You must eat balanced meals at regular intervals and avoid overeating. Oftentimes, when the food is tasty, you might feel tempted to consume more of it quickly rather than taking small bites and chewing them well. This is also a big mistake. Chew your food well and eat slowly for proper digestion and effective nutrient absorption. 

Avoid reheating and refrigerating the foods as they lower their nutritional value. Eat as many freshly prepared foods as possible. Consuming sufficient water enhances digestion, aids food passage eases excretion, and reduces the risk of digestive health issues. 

Lifestyle

Regular exercise is a vital component of good physical and mental health. You can do simple and comfortable exercises like

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Jogging
  • Using the stairs over the elevator
  • Walking to the store instead of driving
  • Gardening and other household chores 
  • Yogasanas
  • Meditation

Moreover, because of the nature of work, many people are often holed up in their offices the whole day. The glare of the monitors and phone screens makes it hard for the brain to relax. This impairs your function, productivity, and even your sleep cycles. 

Hence, if you cannot include daily exercise in your busy routine, you must at least take some breaks from work to come out and expose yourself to nature’s fresh air and sunlight. This helps you relax and balance your bodily functions. Moreover, getting sufficient sleep, at least 6-8 hours, is essential for overall wellbeing.

Besides these effective dietary and lifestyle regimes, Ayurvedic doctors prescribe consuming Vijaya. This herb acts as a potent Ayurvedic medicine for the body’s holistic development and overall wellbeing. Its therapeutic properties can significantly enhance your digestive health, mental health, sleep quality, bodily functions, and quality of life. 

Because the herb has a direct influence on the brain and the organ systems. It regulates their different functions to manage and prevent health issues and achieve physical and mental balance in the body. Vijaya further helps people reduce their consumption of harmful prescription medications that have severe side effects on their health. 

To know more about achieving a healthy and balanced life in the Ayurvedic way, Contact Hempstreet and get the best Ayurvedic consultation for yourself. True independence happens when the body finds full expression through good health and an unhindered function.  Let us come together to celebrate this 75th Independence Day with freedom from unhealthy habits and diseases.

References

https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/industries/healthcare/emerging-trends-pwc-healthcare/chronic-diseases.html

https://www.healthdata.org/news-release/lancet-latest-global-disease-estimates-reveal-perfect-storm-rising-chronic-diseases-and

https://www.parrishhealthcare.com/news/2019/november/top-bad-health-habits-that-increase-risk-of-dise/

https://www.eatingwell.com/article/275602/10-unhealthy-habits-you-need-to-break-now/

https://www.webmd.com/balance/ss/slideshow-bad-habits

https://www.thehealthy.com/habits/worst-health-habits/

https://www.medicinenet.com/what_are_the_top_6_bad_habits/article.htm

https://vikaspedia.in/health/ayush/ayurveda-1/concept-of-healthy-living-in-ayurveda

https://theayurvedaexperience.com/blogs/tae/10-bad-habits-you-ve-gotten-into

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