Our world’s health, fitness and wellness needs have changed significantly over the decades and generations. In your grandparents and even parent’s day, less time was allocated to getting fit and healthy and wellness wasn’t really a word in our vocabulary. Being a member of a gym or having a personal trainer was not common practise. They drove less and walked more. Communities relied less on machines for their daily tasks because jobs were performed manually. There were less weight and dietary issues because the food being eaten was scarcer, “cleaner” and actually food. Ingredients lists on packaged food had the ingredients you would expect in the product and not the numbers and unpronounceable names that we see today.
Of course they had their own stressors but their stressors were probably more life significant, like world wars and unemployment as opposed to the amount of likes on Facebook, a catchy social media status, the need to be contactable 24/7, the desire to meet higher social expectations and get up to speed quickly on the intricacies of the latest smart phone. It is fair to say, and probably no news to you, that our modern world and lifestyles have made us unhealthier, lazier and stressed, and in saying that, it is timely to remember that we have brought it all on ourselves because we are the creators of it all. The question is then raised, now we are in the midst of it, how do we get out of it?
You may have read the 14th Dalai Lamas “The Paradox of Our Age” where he talks about:
We have bigger houses but smaller families, more conveniences but less time……
And goes on to say
These are times of fast foods but slow digestion…
Our modern world created smart phones, smart cars, smart stuff but when you think about it, it is ironic because the smart stuff has contributed to us being sick, fat, stressed and lazy.
The solution? Look at how our forbearers did things. Real food, active daily, face to face relationships, less excuses and more patience.
Turf out the food items that aren’t real and those with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Think healthy and active – make them your default setting. Disconnect the need to be contactable 24/7 and reconnect with the real world around you. Turn off social media. Lose the desire for instant gratification. Learn patience and gratitude. Socialise with your neighbours, let the kids kick the footy in the street and climb trees.
Make one good change monthly because it takes that long to ingrain it in to your life. Once you’ve ingrained one, add another.
In saying all of this, there are some good tools around today to educate you to become more aware of your health needs. Apps to measure how many steps you take, how much sugar in your food and even apps to make you calmer. You will of course need to download them onto your smart phone and check in with them regularly to get the answers. You could of course just go for a walk, eat an apple and breathe in and breathe out with patience.
The change starts with you – the choice is yours.