I don’t think anyone can disagree to the fact that the lifestyle of our ancestors enhanced their quality of life. If we do a careful analysis of their lives we cannot deny the fact that they lived a better life than we do. They had healthy lifestyles and led a happy life.
Today the world is full of diseases which mainly have resulted from unhealthy lifestyles. We can see not only the old or middle aged suffering from killer diseases but teenagers and toddlers as well. Such diseases were unheard during the time of our ancestors. My grandfather passed away one year before I was born and from what I have heard of him he was a man of great wisdom and lived a nice life. I have spent a lot of time with my grandmother as a child. She lived till the age of 98 and was never bedridden. I remember that one day I had a terrible tooth ache and was crying in pain. My grandmother made a paste of some green leaves and applied the paste on my cheek. She removed it after 2-3 minutes and the pain vanish miraculously. She had a remedy for almost everything and never visited a doctor till her last breathe. But if we look around now all we find are the rundown, anemic, obese, depressed and exhausted even at the prime of their youth.
What is so special about the lifestyle of our forefathers that we are lacking? Here is my analysis.
- Physical Activity : Our ancestors walked a lot and did a lot of physical activity like drawing water from the well, chopping wood, working in the farm etc which kept them fit. They did all their activities themselves and never depended on others. But as far as we are concerned most of us have become couch potatoes and we hate any sort of physical activity. We need a car even to cover a distance of few yards. We prefer to stay glued to our chairs and hate to get out of our homes or lift even a finger.
- Food habits: Our ancestors maintained regular food timings and consumed wholesome grains, pulses and seasonal fruits. Also since they worked hard they could easily digest whatever they ate. Whereas we are irregular regarding our food timings and habits. We eat junk and packed food very often. Aerated cold drinks, liquor, tinned food etc are our best friends.
- Proper Relaxation: Our ancestors had a proper relaxation, sleep and rest. They use to rise early and sleep early. Whereas we neither enjoy sound sleep nor can we relax or rest peacefully. We keep awake till late night going for parties or working on the computer and get up late too.
- Close to Nature: Our forefathers were very close to the nature. They breathed fresh air and lived in pollution free environments. They depended on natural remedies when some one got sick. Their food and clothes fully matched the changes in weather. But we rarely go out to get a fresh breathe and our life is totally mechanical. We pop tablets and expend huge amounts on Doctors when we get sick.
- Family and Neighbors: Our forefathers maintained very good relationships with neighbors and had high family values. They were god fearing people. ‘Love thy neighbor’ was just not one of the Ten Commandments for them but they genuinely loved and helped neighbors. Family was a priority to them and mostly they maintained a joint family way of living. Whereas our family lives are shattered and we try to find joy through extra marital relationships, drinking, smoking, parties, drugs etc. Forget about all our neighbors, many of us would not know who the next door neighbor or how many people stay there. We have become narrow minded, self centered and uncaring.
To cut short, our forefathers maintained a healthy lifestyle and lived their life fully. We, on the other hand, have an erratic lifestyle which leads to several diseases like Obesity, Blood Pressure, Heart diseases, Rheumatism and so on. To sum up, it would not be a bad idea to go back to our forefather’s lifestyle and emulate their traits of simple living and high thinking.