In today’s Detroit Free Press, a quick news brief mentions a British study that reveals in the 1950s, women were thinner and fitter because housework was harder. They didn’t sit in front of computers all day, and the car on either end; they lugged 25-pound vacuum cleaners up and down the stairs and burned some 1,000 calories a day making dinner and scrubbing the toilets.
It’s really that simple. If you’re sitting in front of the TV, gobbling a Big Mac, you can’t be surprised when the doctor diagnoses heart disease, high blood pressure, or worse. If you choose foods high in chemicals and preservatives, or adulterated with antibiotics, hormones, and other unnatural ingredients, you can’t claim ignorance.
When I was in Bali in March, we walked everywhere, ate the freshest local produce at every meal (including vegetable juices) and did yoga twice a day. I also swam laps in the best pool I’ve ever slipped into. I slept well at night, my emotions were even and easy, and I came home refreshed and energized, with a new perspective on life.
It’s not easy to pick up and travel halfway around the world, leaving work and family behind in order to work out several times a day. (Although I’d argue that we MUST take ourselves out of our normal lives if we are to find clarity and guidance toward making our day-to-day lives better.)
But it IS easy to find ways every day to make different decisions. The more you do, the more you can do. And really, it’s a matter of life or death.
I pledge to travel the globe so that I can better understand my place in it. I can’t afford to do it all right now – but I can do it bit by bit, soaking up the energy and inspiration of every place I visit, learning from everyone but my fellow Americans how to cherish life and live a healthy one.
Everywhere around the world, people seem to understand that all things in moderation is a great rule to live by. Everywhere else, people eat local, fresh, unadulterated food. Everywhere else, they walk to market, take hikes or siestas or meditate in the middle of the day and have six weeks of paid vacation when they start work at 22.
Everyone else has it right. Let’s try to get on board.