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The first thing to take to heart regarding alternative health is that it demands total commitment. It’s not a mere hobby or dilettante past-time; it will entail a change of lifestyle, attitude and diet, if it is to have any lasting effect.
The fact that 70% of the Western world, in particular, is clinically overweight is largely due to diet and lack of exercise. An increase in sedentary occupations, especially in Australia and the gradual movement away from rural occupations, which involved healthy exercise whilst working, has radically reduced fitness. Unfortunately, these sedentary workers don’t involve themselves in compensatory fitness regimens, preferring to adopt the lifestyle of “couch potatoes”, spending their leisure time in front of the TV or propping up bars.
So the first step is to take regular exercise, walking or swimming are the easiest. It doesn’t necessitate joining a gym and, anyway, gym-based exercise is not tremendously beneficial, the emphasis being on muscle building. For those really wishing to pursue alternative health conscientiously, the more exacting disciplines of Hatha yoga and T’ai Chi will provide the most benefit.
These two disciplines, in particular, are based on the concept of circulation of the natural life energy, variously termed Chi or prana. One of the first obstacles to changing to an alternative health lifestyle is the inertia of the body, which has grown addicted to junk food and a sedentary leisure. However, both yoga and T’ai Chi work a subtle psychological alchemy which will automatically make one refrain from eating additive-rich junk food. The disciplines also free blocks in the system, allowing energy flow and making one yearn to be more energetic and active.
Changing to an alternative health lifestyle also means stopping ingesting toxins from tobacco or alcohol. This doesn’t necessarily mean completely giving up alcohol, but it does mean radically cutting down.
Diet-wise, one of the biggest killers is refined foods, especially white flour and the white sugar. People are under the misapprehension that sugar gives energy. This is true as regards natural fructose and glucose, but white sugar takes more energy to process than it gives. White flour, likewise, has had all its goodness removed in the refining process. It’s far better to eat brown flour with the husks still present. This applies to bread, particularly. Whole-wheat brown bread is vastly superior to white bread. Brown rice is even more nutritious, being less glutinous than wheat.
Likewise, spurn additives in food. Scrutinise the labels to make sure there are as few chemical additives as possible. A meat-based diet is also detrimental. Vegetarianism is the best policy, but failing that, switch to white meat like pork, or even better, fish. Eat dairy products sparingly, cut down on eggs, eat soya-based margarine instead of butter and eat less cheese.
Most of all eat plenty of fresh fruit and raw food salads. Drinking lots of natural fruit juices is also highly beneficial, being vitamin rich. Go natural if you want to live a healthy, wholesome life.
About the Author: Independent Author in Thailand