Six ways to stay light and active throughout the day
Modern urban lives are hectic enough to make a lot of people perpetually dizzy. One in five Indians aged between 18 and 24 are concerned about being fatigued more than anything else, reports say. While tiredness has become a casual joke among millennials who describe their constant state as one of being done, fatigue is a public health concern as it can cause more serious ailments in the long run. Keys to feeling less tired are a good routine, a systematic body clock, and rhythm and keeping a close eye on food consumption patterns to ensure it is in line with your tridoshas. Feeling light throughout the day is an art, one that needs us to consciously care about our bodies and take the overused-to-death metaphor of our bodies being temples quite seriously.
Ayurveda states that we become what we consume. This includes not just our bodies, but also our mental states and emotional lives. Here are six simple strategies to stay active all day round:
1. Eat according to your doshic constitution
A universal balanced diet is a dream that doesn’t come true. This is because body types, needs, and constitutions vary across people. To stay active, it is important to pick your meal according to the VPK levels your body currently has. Generally, a VPK test is fairly simple and good to do. (follow our blog on how to do one on your own!) Pitta dominant types should eat three solid meals a day, while vaata types can have two big and two small meals. Kapha types can have a big lunch while keeping breakfasts and dinners light, as their digestion is slower. Snack meals in between should ideally contain fruits and nuts, with a good gap of 2-3 hours in between meals.
2. Make lunch the main meal of the day
Regardless of your doshic constitution, making lunch the key meal is a great thumb rule to follow for everyone. The sun is shining brightest in the afternoon, increasing agni in the body (which is why pitta types especially feel hungry during this time, to the point of being crabby!) and digestion is at its best. Since daytime is good for digestion, and nights are good for accumulation, eat your dinner (last meal of the day) three hours before you hit the bed. Sleep and digestion do not go together. A healthy gap between eating and sleeping allows greater absorption of nutrients and less weight gain. Keeping other meals easier to digest will make you feel light.
3. Keep a journal, pick fun
A lot of weights we carry are emotional and psychological. Keeping a journal will help you release stress, tension, pent up worry and work through it and help you track personal progress. Writing down your feelings helps you see your development across health in the broadest sense- biological, mental and emotional. It will also give you a sense of continuity and rootedness, and not feel like you don’t have a handle on your life. Pick fun, not regimes. Walk, Zumba or Yoga- make your health and fitness routine a fun exercise so that you look forward to it. Join a class with a friend to push your motivation and create social interactions that help you emotionally as well.
4. Have lots of water and fiber-rich food
Consume vegetables and food that has more roughage and higher water content. While this will make you feel full, it is also low on fat and carbohydrate, while giving you energy. Fiber-rich foods help ease the digestion process, while good roughage helps with greater absorption capacity for nutrients in the body. It is better to consume water in accordance with your dosha. For better digestion, vaata types should drink water an hour after meals, while pitta types should drink small sips during meals. Kapha types should have a glass before they eat to feel full and eat less. Try to eat as fresh a meal as possible, and avoid canned, processed, frozen or overnight food. These foods are hard to digest as they accumulate toxins and create ama in the body. Such foods have also mostly lost prana, and no longer contain the vitality of fresh food. Consuming them gives lesser energy, and creates problems.
5. Avoid stimulants, fix your bio-rhythms instead
Feeling tired? Do not reach for a second cup of coffee. However hard it may be, stimulants are harmful to the body in the long run. They not only aggravate pitta, but can also cause chronic acidity and boils on the skin. Stimulants mask tiredness and do not address it at its root cause. They deeply affect your digestive system in the long run and make it sluggish. As you increase coffee consumption, for instance, it develops tolerance in the body leading to a natural loss of activeness and freshness. Other methods such as fixing bio-rhythms and eating healthy are better alternatives. Drinking water or green tea are better ways to boost activity. Taking a break from stimulants and pushing your self can be a good month-long challenge!
6. Club your cleaning duties with your physical exercise
Cleaning duties at home are not so much of a pain if you make them your exercise routine. Most cleaning activities involve a lot of muscle movement, weight-lifting and bending. Club cleaning with your favorite playlist and make it an opportunity to de-stress along with getting chores you’ve been postponing done!
Try these out and avoid a range of illnesses that are unforeseen, owing to our stressful lives. Stay active and light, and feel more alive, each day.