I have been a religious person all my life. Someone who lights a lamp in front of god every morning and asks for “Sadbudhi or Sadmarg pe chalne ki shakti”(English translation “Wisdom to know what is right and power to act right”) every day. But in recent years I have seen a change in my prayers, now with wisdom and power I also ask for good health for me and my family. In past few years I have met and read about people who are suffering from some health issues, and after seeing how their health problem affected their family emotionally and financially I am petrified. I want no such thing to happen with my loved ones or say with anyone for that matter.
If we go by the different survey reports, in recent years the longevity of human life has increased due to advancements in medical field but the health standards saw a fall. I remember my great grandfather was fitter in his 90’s compare to my dad is in his 50’s. Elders say that this was the effect of pure food and fresh air which they used to get in their time. Now time is different, lifestyles are different, eating habits are different too. If I talk about myself, as a kid I used to be very fit and active. I never bunked school due to poor health, but when I started working and started living on my own, numbers of sick leaves increased. I used to feel tired and lousy, and fell sick many times during the first 2 years of staying away.
Consequently with time I understood that it’s my deteriorated immunity which was resulting in frequent sickness and tiredness. In layman terms, Immunity is the resisting power of the body to different diseases. An individual with stronger immunity is less likely to fall sick in same environment compare to other individual with weaker Immunity. There are many internal and external factors that affect our immunity system, and if we work on these factors we can improve our immunity.
Talking about making India Immune, there are many things which we need to do for ourselves (that is the present of India) and for the younger generation (that is future of India). So based on my own experience (by comparing my lifestyle during childhood and later) here are the things which I feel makes the difference to our immunity system.
· Eating healthy: Some 20 years back when Pizzas and burgers were not very common in India best snacks we used to have been fresh fruits, fruit chats, sprout bhel etc. Home cooked food and a glass of milk morning and night used to keep our tummy full. Now cola has taken over milk and with more junk food than fruits and vegetables in our plates, we are going low on essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Increasing the intake of leafy vegetables, fruits and nuts will help one improve the immunity.
· Adequate sleep: Whoever Says sleep is waste of time must not be aware of the importance of sleep. Sleep is like a scheduled servicing for our body and mind. When we sleep our body generates new cells, and heals damaged tissues if any. For kids specially, timely sleep is very impotent for their healthy growth. Nowadays when parents stay glued to their gadgets till mid night kids tend to be awake with them too. Set an example for them; be early to bed and early to rise, and you will be healthier for sure J
· Physical Activity: Now majority of us stay glued to our gadget most of the time and physical activity is almost zero. Even kids love to play video game more than going out and playing. Actually such physical activities are very important for the body. It makes the body fit and active. For better immunity we should try to incorporate some physical activity in our routine and we should encourage kids to play outdoor as well.
· Personal Hygiene: Imparting habits like washing hands before food, taking bath when come back from outside and using sanitizer when using water for washing is not available is must. Adapting healthy habits like using kerchief while sneezing and coughing will also help us and people around us stay healthier. Personal hygiene should be part of our day to day routine to achieve better immunity.
· Clean and Green Environment: “Cleanliness is next to godliness” we all have read this as kids but we often tend to forget this. I was born and brought up in a township, which had plenty of trees (trees on sides of the roads) and was very clean too. Authorities there used to take care of the cleaning of the town very well. But when we see the other big and small cities in India cleanliness is a big concern. Piles of garbage on roads are a frequent sight, which gives shelter to mosquitoes and lots of diseases. Just keeping our home clean is not sufficient; we should extend it outside our home too. There are many communities and NGO which are working in this direction; we should try to help them in places of just cursing government for not taking care of things. Planting more trees is also important for us to have fresh air.
· Go Stress free: Increasing stress level also invites many health problems. In today’s busy and stressful life going for yoga and pranayamas will help a lot in controlling the stress. With increasing competition and pressure to perform today even kids have more stress then we used to have before. Childhood is very precious time of life so we should motivate kids to perform but should not pressurize them to fulfill our dreams.
· Go the Organic way: With all the above things I can’t forget the important part of natural remedies and supplements in my childhood. My mom never used to make me swallow tablets for every problem. Turmeric with milk, honey, ginger etc were some of the common home remedies we used to use for cough and cold. I have seen my grandparents eating a spoonful of Dabar chyawanprash (mixture of herbs and spices, which claims to improve immunity) every morning after the breakfast. Even we were fed the same every day, especially during winters having chyawanprash in morning and night was a must. After my marriage also when my mom visited me first time she got a big jar of Dabur chyawanprash with her. My husband catches cold very easily and giving him chyawanprash was a common suggestion everyone gave me, and it really worked. Now also I believe a lot on the natural remedies and supplements. They do improve our immunity without having any side effects like medicines.
With all these small-small lifestyle changes we can make our life healthier. Kids, who are the future of India, will make the future brighter only when they are healthy. And to stay away from diseases having strong immune system is must. I request everyone to impart such healthy habits in kids so that they and the future of India get stronger immunity.
PS: This post is written for #ImmuneIndia contest on Indiblogger for Dabar chyawanprash. And I strongly believe that a healthy kid can only give a healthy future to India.
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