Food, Sleep and Exercise

September 24, 2013

Health is wealth.

This is a proverb we are all too familiar with. And one most of us choose to disregard, until we lose our health.

Our bodies are super complex machines. Like all machines, they need energy, rest, cleaning and regular usage to prevent what would be analogous to rusting.

Food should be healthy, properly prepared, clean and nutritious in order for the body to receive all the chemicals it needs to function smoothly. Till a few decades back, we were still figuring out the science in the foods and categorizing them into different buckets (vitamins, proteins, carbs, fats etc). There were cases of scurvy especially noticed in sailors. That's what led to the discovery of Vitamin C. I'm not saying we have it all figured out already. There might be nutrients that we have yet to identify as essential for the body.

The industrial revolution, green revolution and globalization have changed the scenario by turning it around. Today you can purchase fruits grown in foreign countries at your neighborhood store. This has led to huge number of choices presented to us like never before. At the same time, of the available choices, majority are unhealthy. Food containing carbs, oils and sugar without any nutritional value has been a big cause in the widespread endemic of obesity in the world today. And the choices amongst these are increasing by the dozen every day. One has to be very careful and not get lured by the fun-looking advertisements to make these decisions.

Sleep is extremely necessary for life. I remember reading that people can die from sleep deprivation faster than they can die of hunger. In the fast life where people spend hours daily traveling to and back from work, getting a good rest and sleep is almost a blessing. Cities are never silent, even in the night. There is always vehicular and horn noises disturbing the peace of the night. This can have a bad impact on sleeping patterns.

Exercise is as crucial for the body as food. Our bodies are designed to be physically active; while the office lifestyle requires us to sit for hours on a chair staring into the screen. This can cause problems in the long run. There was a study which stated that if you sit in front of a computer for more than 11 hours a day everyday, there is a 40% chance that you will die before 50. Since our work doesn't require us to move, we should ensure that we do so on our own. Be it yoga, running or weight training, I think there should be some sort of physical health-based activity we should dedicate our daily time to, especially when living a fast life.