Saturday, August 13, 2011

Modern Day Fountain of Youth?

The fountain of youth was a legendary spring that supposedly restores the youth of anyone who drink its waters. So many aspiring immortals and explorers in history set out to discover the location of this spring. The idea of just drinking a miracle water to keep oneself healthy and young without doing anything else is just too hard to resist. In this modern day such idea is still capturing the minds of many but in a different form. Today, instead of exploring the thick jungle of the Amazon the so-called fountain of youth presents itself at your doorstep in a nice expensive packaging with terms like the 'ultimate anti-oxidants'; 'anti-cancer'; miracle drink etcetera.

Being healthy is not just looking good externally i.e. it is not just being thin- though that is the main aim of many who purchase these expensive dietary drinks or supplements. Being healthy to me is being able to climb five flight of stairs without even breaking a sweat. Being healthy is able to run after your kid in the house without huffing and puffing away. It is the cardiovascular health that is important; the health of the pump that helps to sustain our life from the 4th weeks of life as a foetus till the last beat of our death. No amount of 'miracle water' or supplement can keep the heart healthy if it does not get it fair amount of exercise.

The 20minutes of exercise three times a week is the minimal effort that is needed to keep your heart in top condition. However, the thought of spending your precious time for yourself is so daunting that people rather go in throngs to establishment that advertise " injections, no exercise needed...". To the doctor the standard answer to a suggestion of exercise is " No time la doctor". Uh...duh!

Another aspect of healthy living is eating well. Supplements are only needed if you do not get sufficient amounts from your diet. Knowing your food and its health content is essential aspect of keeping yourself healthy; and knowing your portions and the healthier way of cooking is essential in preventing obesity. All of this requires effort which many are not willing to undertake. Takeout counters are much easier than making your own sandwich.However, I must admit I too love the occasional McDonald drivethru excursions especially after a long day in the operating theatre... I am only human after all.

Lastly, no amount of rejuvenating anti-oxidant drinks could counter the ill effects of smoking and alcohol. So if you are thinking of purchasing the expensive bottles of some miracle berries to offset your nicotine and ethanol intake, don't. It is better to just stop smoking and drinking; and it is cheaper too, it doesn't cost you a cent.

So to those who are thinking of asking me how to keep oneself healthy and vibrant and expects a shortcut way, please don't. Just go and watch the Biggest Loser and exercise with Jillian Micheals/Bob Harper. As they say in the show there are no shortcuts.

(Note: this is written as a response to my non medical friends who keep bugging me for some secret to keep oneself thin and healthy; and then annoying me by not following my advice and then asking me about some miracle drinks or supplements that they spent hundreds purchasing)