HEALTHY LIFESTYLE TIPS
Ayurveda has a concealed simplicity within its complexities. The early chapters of Ayurveda texts include ‘SWASTHVRIT’ which means ‘healthy lifestyle’ wherein the very basic norms of health are laid down. Firstly, it asks everyone to create awareness about their own individual body(body constitution)and understand what the body demands. Secondly, it says that everyone should go with the rhythm of nature. It emphasizes on regularity in everything one does and this includes regularity in daily rhythm as well as seasonal rhythm of life. Regular work, regular sleep, regular eat, regular drink and regular play (exercise/physical activity) are all its aspects. These regularities need to be adapted in everyday lifestyle. It helps in preserving and promoting your present state of health. These regular rhythms of healthy lifestyle are taken under the section called ‘Swasthvrit’ in Ayurveda where ‘swasth’ means health. Following these basic norms is a step forwards towards prevention of many unwarranted diseases.
Daily rhythm (Dincharya) : This begins with the time of getting up and ends at the time one goes off to sleep.
- It is advisable to get up early in the morning before sunrise. This is referred to as ‘Brahmamuhurat’ in Ayurveda.
- A glass of water at the time of getting up leads to free passage of motion and urine.
- Suppression of any form of natural urges is prohibited in Ayurveda.
- Cleansing of teeth/mouth is the next step which is followed by oil massage. Oil massage stimulates blood circulation thus ensuing free movement of joints and muscles, softness of skin, elimination of toxins from the body and maintaining good health.
- Regular exercise is essential for perfect health and so this is the next step. It builds up the resistance of the body against diseases, increases the blood circulation and efficiency of lungs and clears all the body channels and eliminates the toxins. Sweating is one of the many indications of a good exercise.
- Proper bath ensues getting rid of the dirt of the body and it also cleanses the pores of the skin.
- Diet should be regulated taking into account the Desh (habitat), kaal (season) and habit (body constitution*). It should be balanced and the quantity should be as per digestive capacity of the individual.
- Timely sleep is recommended at night. Sleep overcomes the wear and tear of the body. Mind should be absolutely free from worldly affairs and worries.
Seasonal rhythm ( Ritucharya): There are six main seasons and the regime of each is classified distinctly. Both physical and mental stability is maintained by following the seasonal regime the whole year round. In summers the body becomes weak due to the scorching heat. Perspiration is excessive leading to fluid loss. This leads to impaired digestion and skin diseases. Light diet and cool drinks are advisable and overeating is strictly prohibited. Winter is the most suited season for body building and increasing resistance. Digestion is best in this season so a well-nourishing diet is advisable.
Regime during monsoon season
• Oil massage with oil possessing warm quality is beneficial.
• Clean and dry clothes should be worn.
• Try to move around the place of work instead of sitting in one place or do some kind of physical work.
• Do not delay or skip your meals, you should take meals at regular timings & in fixed quantities.
• Drink a glass of water with two teaspoons of honey early in the morning. Daily use of ‘Honey’ helps to control the excessive kapha.
• Always have fresh meals, prepared using minimum quantity of oil, or prepared with the help of Cow’s ghee.
• Dry chatni & dry vegetables are recommended.
• Sprinkle your salads with dry ginger powder, and black pepper powder.
• Chewing of a bite of ginger before meals with little bit of salt helps improve digestion.
• Always choose warm food over cold food.
• Pickles made of ‘Raw haldi’ are recommended.
• Sleep during the day hours.
• Regular use of sweets, butter, cheese, etc.
• Dairy products especially curd and butter.
• Refrigerated, rewarmed, stale food, etc.
• Foods containing preservatives, artificial flavours, colours etc.
• Excessive use of Cheese, yogurt etc.
• Over exertion.
Regime during winter season
• Take plenty of food because digestive power is best during winters.
• Rich food including milk, ghee and oil.
• Increase sweet, sour and salty food.
• Regular massage with mustard oil.
• Expose body to the rays of sun.
• Vigorous exercise.
• Black pepper, cinnamon are recommended.
• Afternoon sleep.
• Bananas, guavas and custard apple as they increase ‘Kapha’.
Regime during summer season
• Eat light and do not overeat as the digestive power is low.
• Opt for food with high water content and sweet, sour, salty tastes.
• Rice, sweet potato, carrots, turnip and other seasonal vegetables are advised.
• Onion is useful though garlic is avoided.
• Drink plenty of water and other liquids like coconut water, sugarcane juice, buttermilk.
• Mix barley floor in buttermilk and boil. Keep it overnight and drink the next morning.
• Natural soft drinks like khus and aam panna are cooling.
• Exposure to heat.
• Do not go out without meals.
• Alcoholic beverages, tea, coffee.
• Smoking as this constricts blood vessels.
• Hot, spicy, oily meals.
Signs of good physical/mental health
• Easy and sound sleep.
• Discipline in daily routine.
• Good complexion.
• Easy awakening. Attainment of good amount of energy and strength.
• Intact memory, intelligent, energetic and smart in work.
• Cheerful spirit.
• Enlightened mind and body (stress free).
• Knowledge of self.
• Has the requisite power of defence.
• Non depressive attitude.
GIST This section of ‘Healthy lifestyle’ gives some tips to start with ‘Ayurveda and its norms’ which though were laid thousands of years back still hold their relevance.