Your lifestyle, your health – The choice is yours!

“The elimination of the cause of illness is the obvious and only way to healing and health” ~ Stanley Burroughs, Author

“For 35 years, I did very little sports and I ate a lot. I did not think of the consequences. Later, when I turned 60, I was diagnosed with diabetes. It was a big wake up call for my health. I started exercising every day and carefully managing my diet. I have seen that if you eat healthy foods and maintain a healthy body weight, exercise, eat less sugar, and if prescribed medicines, take them properly, you can completely turn your health around. Of course, prevention is always better than a need for treatment…”

This is a quote from the World Health Organisation’s ‘Tell your NCD stories’ series available to anyone with access to the internet. And there are dozens of such stories out there! All told by people who do not want their fate to befall others, because NCDs (Non Communicable Diseases) are lifestyle-related and they are on the rise globally.

As the narrator says above, these preventable chronic diseases are the outcome of our unhealthy choices, be it in the diet we follow or the regimen we practice. Identifying the causes of these lifestyle diseases is critical, because the elimination of the causes is the obvious and only way to achieve healing and enhanced health.

 Every time we visit a health clinic or when the topic of discussion is health, the term ‘lifestyle diseases’ crops up repeatedly. This is because lifestyle diseases are the diseases of the civilizational moment in which we live today. Be it a headache or a pain in the neck or itchy eyes, these diseases affect all irrespective of age, sex, physique, caste or creed.

There are several curative processes on offer, but the most sought after among them is the Ayurvedic way, simply because of its healing properties that helps a person deal with these diseases smartly without leaving any trace or side effects.  Unlike allopathy, which treats the symptoms rather than the underlying causes, Ayurveda goes to the root of the problem and that means chances of relapse are very dim.

Lifestyle diseases are many and one can prevent their attack by adopting a sattvic lifestyle and following some of the basic tenets of Ayurveda, which advises a person to lead a life that balances the Tridoshas (vata, pita and kapha) of the body. This will bring about a bodily equilibrium leading to a healthy body, mind and spirit.

In Ayurveda, diet and lifestyle are specific to each individual, based on his/her physical and emotional characteristics and it is not a one-size-fits-all solution that Ayurveda offers, as isthe with other medical systems. This is what makes Ayurveda unique and helps it stand apart from other healthcare systems.

Lifestyle diseases are a part and parcel of the lives of the millennials. For them, it is a race to be seen, accepted and respected with smart cards and smarter homes to announce their arrival. Often, they have to pay a cost for this with sleep, food and health deficits. Most are hardly aware of what is happening to them. The realization comes only when there is a sudden breakdown, emotional or physical.

Studies have shown that over 61% of all deaths in India are due to lifestyle or non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The World Health Organization (WHO), which has identified alcohol, tobacco, poor diet intake and lack of physical activity as major risk factors for NCDs, says that an investment of US $1-3 per person per year is needed to reduce illness and death from NCDs.

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