Ok, so what does it mean to be super-healthy? Is it to get muscular, or fit, or just to get your abs out? A lot of this type of physical-only goal is pushed by the media these days, but are the models in the photos really super-healthy? Well, maybe, and maybe not. A lot of how good the body looks can be down to genetics, and underneath the rippling abs, a whole host of problems might be brewing. To get super-healthy, you have to look at several areas, and not all just to do with the body.
Surely you can’t be super-healthy without being happy and well adjusted too? Emotional states have a huge impact on our physical wellbeing, and taking it a step further, paying attention to your spiritual side will make a great deal of difference too.
All these areas are interconnected, and to ignore one of them on your quest to be super healthy might be setting you up for failure. Too much emphasis is placed these days on just the physical side of health that the quest for the perfect body can actually unbalance more than it balances.
So let’s have a look at the top five areas to pay attention to…
Naturally, you need to eat the right foods, but what are these ‘right foods’? Everyone seems to disagree! Well, what you need to do is to find out which foods are the right ones for you, and sometimes even these foods can change from season to season, or depending on whether you need to correct an imbalance, for example. “Oh, no!” I hear you say in despair, “Now it’s even harder!”
Well, not really. You need to develop your intuition about what’s right for you, and there are a few places you can start. Firstly, you can find out your Ayurvedic body type, and once you know that you will have thousands of years of wisdom behind you in the simple Ayurvedic systems of how to classify foods etc, and picking the right ones for your body type becomes far easier.
Another area worth looking at is paleo type diets. There are many sources of knowledge on this subject, and it can give vital clues about which foods might be causing sensitivities that are keeping you from your optimal health.
Thirdly, especially if you are looking to correct an imbalance, a good theory to keep in mind is making sure you are alkalising the body by eating enough fresh raw foods. Again, there are many sources of wisdom out there for this.
Finally, don’t forget to sleep enough, and to hydrate the body! Drink loads, and not just juices and energy drinks, which can contain all sorts of sugars and chemicals. All you need is fresh water!
Naturally, we all need to exercise, but which exercise and how much? Again, Ayurveda can help here by advising the right kind/amount of exercise for each body type.
Generally though, you should combine some sort of gentle “cardio” routine (walking is fine) with some sprints, as the human body was designed to move, not sit in front of the TV. Sprints raise the heart rate, and, combined with walking, mimic how the human body used to be used for hunting and tracking prey. It’s what we were designed for.
You should also do some resistance training, either with body weight exercises at home or free weights at the gym. Don’t be afraid to lift heavy with abbreviated routines like a powerlifter – they work better than all the fancy machines and pink dumbbells designed to raise gym membership, not fitness.
Finally, stretching is a very important component of exercise. Adding some basic yoga into your daily practice can work miracles, as can the amazingly gentle but effective Hanna Somatic Movement exercises. Correct stretching goes far beyond just making the body more supple; it balances so many subtle energies, which, if out of balance, can lead to all sorts of imbalances and disease.
3. Emotional Health
To be truly healthy, you need to be emotionally healthy. This is often made or broken at home in our relationships with our loved ones. It’s far too complicated a subject to go into here, but there are a couple of points to watch out for…
Usually the stresses you have about others are far more likely to be down to your own attitudes and the whole process of blaming others for your misfortune. Rather than being a sign of weakness, or embarrassing, it’s actually really liberating to be able to admit you’re wrong! It means you can fix all your own problems without having to wait for others to do it for you (which they probably never will).
Then it will be easier to go onto another important point – take some time to appreciate what you have every day rather than complaining about what’s wrong with your life. You might well be amazed at just how lucky you already are!
Finally, and really importantly – have a sense of humour. It’s a hilarious world if looked at with the right attitude, and that attitude alone can go a long way towards banishing stress. Not everything is deadly serious!
4. Sexual Health.
Now, this is a delicate area that some might be surprised I’m even mentioning, but at the risk of being called a wacko, sexual health is a huge component of our general health. You only have to look at how sex sells everything these days to know just how important it is to us.
However, oddly, it’s an area that we don’t often want to discuss, but that doesn’t make it any less true that a balanced sexuality is very important.
So what is a balanced sexuality? Well, being at ease with your own body and your sexual preferences is of course a start, but there are so many other powerful uses for your sexual energy.
In the Tantric and Taoist texts, sexual energy can be harnessed and used for all manner of health reasons and spiritual growth. Both schools teach the importance of women as perhaps the most powerful sexual beings, and discourage the view that males are the instigators and ‘aggressors’ sexually. The teachings show not how to ‘conquer’ a mate, but how to merge with him/her and incorporate this in your spiritual practice too.
A well-publicised aspect of this is the retention of semen by males, and not ejaculating every time they have sex. Well, this would be unthinkable to most males these days, but it is a very powerful technique. Bear with me…
Have you noticed how desire and energy goes down drastically after an orgasm? This gives rise to the old scenario of the man rolling over and going to sleep as soon as he’s finished. Well, if you hold onto that powerful semen for a few lovemaking sessions, you will be surprised not only at your own increase in energy levels, but at the subtle feelings of love and affection it maintains for your partner, even long after you have left the bedroom.
Call me nuts, but if men ejaculated less often you might just find that they are not only healthier, but that they love and appreciate their partners more! And of course, having more energy in the bedroom can only please your partner, which of course means more great sex, which everyone wants. So everyone’s a winner!
Again, far too big a subject to go into in detail about here, so I will only briefly touch on it, even though it’s my favourite component of health to concentrate on, and definitely the most powerful. It’s also the most frequently ignored, which is a shame as it is the king of techniques for good health, even making all the others more powerful.
Far be it from me to tell you what you should be doing spiritually, but do take time to find what’s right for you, and what appeals. It’s not about religion, or even organised spiritual or meditation movements (in fact I advise against them) – just find your own connection with the universe, which can be as simple as taking a walk on your own and sitting in front of a beautiful sunset, or just sitting quietly and seeing what comes up.
Learning to meditate is very useful of course, as is reading inspirational books. If I had to recommend one author, I’d say look into the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, who has a way of getting close to the truth with very simple words, and whose advice and techniques are not designed for any particular race or religion – a true independent sage! Other great masters who can be found on YouTube etc are Eckhart Tolle, Mooji and Adyashanti. Check them out!
Originally posted 2014-02-09 12:19:11.