When your body is not listening to you, listen to your body

The human body is your biggest asset in this lifetime. Yet, ironically, it often receives the least attention from you.
My late father-in-law, Venks, would often say this: “Sometimes, you must listen to your body. Especially when it is throwing tantrums, when it is protesting with aches or fever, you must simply let it rest.” Over the years, I have come to relate to Venks’ advice totally. Early on in my career, I used to believe that Sundays, holidays and vacations came in the way of my ambitions and dreams. I was consumed by the view that if you are awake, you must be firing away on all cylinders, working harder each day to stay competitive. At that time, health, to me was a destination, that one arrives at when success – as in a material sense, name, fame, money – has been achieved. Today I stand corrected. I realize that unless we nurture and care for ourselves, beginning with our body, we cannot last the course of this lifetime being fit, healthy – and competitive.
Most people disregard the view that the human body must be nurtured and preserved for as long as they can. Every gadget we possess – from our cars to phones to air-conditioners to washing machines to laptops to microwaves to refrigerators – receives our attention. The moment there is a slight whimper or blip in the functioning of any these “things” we rush to maintain them. But we have no regard for the human body. We whip ourselves – and our body – to perform. Only when we suffer a breakdown – a heart attack or a nervous collapse – we ‘wake up’. Wouldn’t it be more prudent to simply care for and nurture the body so that it allows us to function more efficiently or effectively?
I have learned to practice the following simple steps:
1.     Eat your meals on time – every time
2.     Drink lots of water
3.     Work out/walk at least 5 days a week
4.     Avoid addictions
5.   Invest time doing what you love doing – not necessarily work or career-related stuff – at least once a week
6.     Sleep for 8 hours daily
7.     When your body sends you a signal – a pain, an ache, a dysfunction – heed it
8.     Be eternally grateful for this lifetime and for this body that you have to experience it

I don’t want to sound preachy myself on a Monday morning when chances are you will be battling your own blues. So, I will lean on quality guru Phil Crosby’s (1926 ~ 2001) simple yet profound saying: “Health is true wealth. And it is totally tax free!” It sums it all up – doesn’t it?

Take a break – nurture your body!

Every once in a while we must listen to our body. It often gives us several warning signs and tells us all that we need to know about ourselves. Ironically, doesn’t our air-conditioner, mobile phone, laptop and our car receive more attention and care than our body? Isn’t that a very unintelligent choice we make?
A key reason why we postpone personal health and fitness issues is that we think we have a lot of time to deal with them. The truth is, we don’t! With every passing second, our lives are getting shorter. Surely, nobody wants to spend time in hospitals and among doctors in the evening of their lives. And if we spent a little time to reflect on the generation that is ahead of us – and see what their lives are like, we will take our own lives seriously. Pretty soon we will be where that generation already is – reporting mobility issues, dealing with lifestyle-led complications like diabetes, hypertension and heart ailments or simply facing age-related consequences. Around that time, our children will be getting ready to build their careers and families. The last thing we would want is to burden them with helping us deal with our health challenges. Besides, the simple truth is that the more fit you are, the more productive (with your line of work), more peaceful and happier you will be. By fit, I don’t mean having a six-pack-ab body. I simply mean being fit enough not to have serious consequences arising from poor and irresponsible lifestyle choices!  

Take a break. Nurture your body! I recall Quality guru Philip B Crosby’s (1926~2001) immortal line, Health is Wealth. And it is totally Tax Free! Need we say any more?

Being healthy is a responsibility we must not abdicate

We think and worry about all things replaceable in Life, while never even pausing to think of the most important, irreplaceable, asset we have, our health.
Think of all the things that we worry about. We worry about money. We worry about careers. We worry about relationships. We worry about passports and visas. We worry about our cars and computers and smartphones. When we worry about these things, we rue their loss or fear their absence or their breaking down. Almost all these things can be regained. Almost all the time. What we don’t or rarely worry about ever is the most important, irreplaceable aspect of our lives, which is our health. How often do we even think of the loss of our health? We don’t think of it, so we don’t talk about it and therefore we don’t worry about it!

The call here is not to start worrying about one more dimension in your Life but to consider the banality in worrying about less important stuff and to not even focus on the most important one! Phil Crosby, the Quality Guru, said this famously: “Health is Wealth. And it is absolutely tax free!” Jonathan Swift, the immortal author of Gulliver’s Travels, says, “Live all the days of your Life!” Read that line again. Living means to focus on what’s important. And the most important tool you have to experience this lifetime is your health. This body will wither away with age. No doubt. But to be able to keep it in good condition till it finally stops functioning is a responsibility that you and I must not abdicate.