Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Remarkable Machine

It is the most prolific version of a machine that evolves with time, fixes itself, self-replicates, grows to encompass the world around itself. It compensates for errors, uses logic to understand and makes predictions for the future. It makes and breaks things and creates structures of great dimension. It soars to heights and dives to greater depths unfathomable to any other species. This is the human machine.

We are blessed to take this ride of life in this container. How we choose to take care of ourselves is personal. There are a few simple but magical self-care cards that we can extract from our sleeves. Basic of all is moderation.

Moderation remains the best defense against disease. Limit caloric intake to 25-30% below the daily requirement. Ample data of mice and men suggest that a 75% dietary intake leads to a 20% increase in longevity. Ok one may not want to live to be too old. Yet the living that can be done is healthier with less disease. Besides food, there are other consumables such as alcohol, drugs that must be kept to a minimum. 

Human society feeds on two very important staples that when consumed in excess cause a large percentage of diseases: Salt and Sugar. From Hypertension, heart attacks and strokes to Diabetes Mellitus and its related complications of heart disease, vascular compromise, kidney disease and nerve damage to a whole slew of damages that are inflicted on this wonderful machine. Limiting excesses of these two will reduce the body's stressors.

The modern world has evolved around a pace that prevents proper rest. The only relaxation is the one week dash to the beaches of luxurious resorts. Here one tries to have compressed fun like jamming a fist through the keyhole. Relaxation must be a state of mind, evolved trough the steady pace of living, not a rush job.

We are slowly growing into a comfortable, entitled culture of little is more. With remote controls and computer games the youth spend hours sitting rather than playing. Over time this leads to obesity. Children must be allowed to be children, allowed to explore and understand the world around them and not coddled into complacency and comfort. Exercise remains the mainstay for good health of the body and the brain. Those who exercise live healthier and more productive lives. They carry a larger share of utilizable information in their heads. And information is key to success and happiness.

Health is self propagated. Health is effort. Health is care of the human machine. 

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