By Dr Renita D’Souza
Ayurveda has mentioned appropriate healthy lifestyle to preserve health and fast recovery from disease condition thus improving the quality and span of life. Today lets explore healthy lifestyle in different disease conditions.
Healthy lifestyle in Ayurveda is called pathya vihara which gives physical health, peace and calm mental status with happy social life.
Pathya – Wholesome
Vihara – Regimen
Treatment in Ayurveda is complete when healthy lifestyle and diet is followed along with medicines.
Read – Importance Of Diet (Pathya) For Specific Diseases
General rule for selecting the diet and regimen for good health is by adapting that diet and regimen with opposite quality to that of ones constitution. The normal individual possessing good health should be accustomed to diet consisting of all tastes in appropriate quantity.
Read – Six Tastes Of Ayurveda: Qualities, Benefits, Therapeutic Action (Shad Rasa)
Daily healthy habits
Factors involved in healthy life style (Hita vihara) –
Hita is that which is good concerned to oneself and others. Hita vihara is adapting such a lifestyle that benefits oneself as well as others. It includes not only our daily activity but also involves good personal and social attitude.
Daily healthy lifestyle –
This includes few regimens that has to be adapted as daily routine.
- Wake up at early morning
- Attend natural urges
- Brush teeth and remove coating over the tongue
- Sip water
- Exercise – Mild exercise is done with empty stomach
- Intake healthy diet
- Follow diet rules
- Drinking warm water
- Do not suppress the natural urges.
(Suppression Of Natural Urges, Symptoms And Treatment)
- Oil massage is done before morning or evening bath for empty stomach
- Avoid taking food, sleeping, studying, walking for long distance, indulging in intercourse during evening time.
- Food taken at night should be of lesser quantity than the food taken in the afternoon and should be easy for digestion.
- Avoid sleeping soon after food instead sit comfortably till heaviness settles down then walk hundred steps.
- Sleep on comfortable bed turning to the left side with pleasant mind offering prayers to God.
Seasonal healthy adaptations
Seasonal healthy lifestyle –
This includes healthy regimen and diet that should be adapted in particular seasons.
Mental health care
Healthy regimen for mental health
Code of conduct – Sadvritta In Ayurveda – Code Of Conduct For Healthy Life
Achara Rasayana – Behavioral Therapy For Calm Mind And Long Life
Factors responsible for disease free condition.(Cha. Sha 2/46, 47)
- Following beneficial diet and regimen.
- One who is aware of his action
- Generosity, charitable
- One who is impartial
- Respect for elders and wise people
- Excellent, delightful thoughts, speech and action.
- Endowed with good knowledge
- Who observes spiritual acts
- Who practice meditation.
Unhealthy habits, lifestyle
- Not observing rules of daily regimen, seasonal regimen and code of conduct
- Excessive exercise, exposure to sun, wind, travelling, exhaustion
- Day sleep
- Keeping awake late night
- Loud speech
- mithyayoga of sense organs
- Drinking alcohol
- Drinking excess of cold drinks
- Intake of refrigerated food items
- Suppressing natural urges
- Violating diet rules
Read – Eating Etiquette: Healthy Eating Rules
Habits/changes recommended diseasewise
Appropriate lifestyle to be adapted in disease condition.
- One should take complete rest, wait for recovery
- Avoid intake of incompatible food and that which is difficult to digest, spicy and unwholesome food.
- Avoid excess exercise, travelling, exposure to wind, sunlight.
- Ayurveda restricts having bath during fever.
- Avoid excess anger, grief, fear etc as this causes imbalance in pitta and vata dosha.
Read – Ayurveda Lifestyle and Diet For Fever
- Day sleep soon after food
- Taking bath soon after food
- Sitz bath done soon after food
- Keeping awake at night
- Skipping meals
- Drinking water while hungry
- Suppressing urges
- Food which is stale, acidic, sour, incompatible. Example – alcohol, tomato, tamarind, chilly, spices, pickle, horsegram, sesame etc
- Pitta provoking factor such as anger, exposure to heat and fire, smoking, tobacco
Read – What Is The Right Time To Sleep? How To Plan Your Sleep?
- Avoid hot, spicy, sour, salty, alkaline, penetrating food like chilly, spices, alcohol, pickle etc
- Exposure to hot sun, fire is strictly prohibited as it causes imbalance in pitta dosha which further vitiate blood.
- Over exertion, physical exercise, excess walking or travelling
- Avoid mental stress, grief, anger
Read – How To Analyse Effects Of Exercise On Health? Ayurvedic View
- Avoid excessive physical exertion, day sleep, exposure to sun
- Overuse of sour, saline, spicy food vitiates blood tissue causing paleness
- Alcohol, smoking should be avoided
- Avoid incompatible, fermented food.
Dyspnea and Asthma
- Suppression of natural urges
- Intake of dry, heavy foods which is difficult to digest. Example – curd, milk, banana, butter, black gram, fish, dry fish, meat of animals from marshy place like buffalo meat etc, oily, fried, refrigerated items, ice creams
- Cool residence, exposure to cold wind, morning dew, polluted air, smoke, hot sun and air.
- Excess physical exertions, carrying heavy loads
- Walking on long distance
Read – Chronic Asthma Causes, Diet, Natural Remedies
- Excess drinking of water, irregular diet
- Suppression urges
- Day sleep and keeping awake at night
- Intake of food before digestion of previous diet, taking food with aversion
- Mental factors like jealousy, fear, anger, frustration, greedy, grief, depression etc all these factors alters the digestive strength to such extent that food even taken in proper quantity or quality will not be properly broken down into absorbable components.
- Having bath, sitz bath, oil massage etc
Anorexia – Loss of taste
- Taking disliked food
- Suppressing hunger, urge to drink water, urge of belching and urge to weep.
- Mental factors like greed, jealous, depression, fear, grief etc
- Excess intake of liquid diet
- Oily, saline and disliked food
- Taking food in hurry, untimely, in excess quantity and that not accustomed to ones constitution.
- Excess physical exertion, fear, anxiety
- Consumption of food which is difficult to digest, excess liquids, oily, dry, hot, cold and wrong diets. Example – meat, banana,milk, sweets etc
- Taking food before digestion of previously taken food, irregular food habits
- Swimming while withholding natural urges (Ma. Ni)
- Grief, stress, fear, anxiety etc . Ayurveda mentions diarrhea caused by grief as the separate type of diarrhea.
- Excess physical exertion, exercise, exposure to sun, smoke, oil massage.
Read – Prevention And Lifestyle Tips For Dysentery and Diarrhoea
Shoola / Abdominal colic pain (Ma . Ni)
Pain due to vata dosha
- Indulging in excessive physical exercise, travelling, exposure to trauma
- Drinking cold water excessively or taking any refrigerated food items
- Suppressing natural urges
- Excessive laughing and talking
- Keeping awake at night
- Excessive use of horsegram, greengram, peas, dry vegetables, incompatible food, dry meat, germinated pulses.
- Excess stress, grief, depression etc
Read –Effect of Stress, Anxiety on Stomach And Intestines: Remedies
Pain due to pitta dosha
- Use of alkalies, penetrating, hot and burning food items, oil, beans, sesame oil cakes, horsegram soup, pungent – sour wines, raw, uncooked or semicooked food.
- Anger, exposure to sun, physical exertion etc
Pain due to kapha dosha
- Use of meat of animals living in cold climate, aquatic animals, kilata (preparation of buttermilk), sugarcane, milk products, blackgram soup etc
- Exposure to sun, fire, dust etc
- consumption of alcohol, honey, asafoetida, garlic, pungent food items, saline, sour taste food, alkaline etc
- Other pitta aggravating factor such as anger, smoking, suppressing urge of thirst etc
Read – Burning Sensation – Ayurvedic Understanding And Treatment
Ascites / Udararoga
- Excessive drinking of water alone
- Excessive physical exercise, walking for long distance, day sleep, travelling etc
- Consumption of aquatic meat, meat of animals living in marshy places, vegetables, preparations of sesame, hot, saline, sour, burning, heavy food. Examples – crab, frawns, fish, cheese, snacks, baked food, pickle etc.
Read – Ascites: Ayurvedic Treatment, Remedies, Medicines
- Sitting on uneven, hard seat for long time
- Excessive physical exercise, day sleep, night vigils, travelling, riding vehicles etc
- Excessive straining, suppressing urge to pass bowel, forcibly trying to evacuate bowel without urge to pass.
- Spicy, dry, saline, sour, heavy, burning food. Example – mustard oil, pickle, spices, meat, jaggery, curd, potato, sweet potato, chilly, snacks, baked food.
- Consume fresh butter milk, warm water, dry grapes, ripe banana, yam, gooseberry, wheat, snake gourd, jowar, goat’s milk, orange, pomegranate, ghee etc
- Sitz bath
- Day sleep, night vigils, suppressing natural urges
- Morning climate, cold wind
- Consuming food before digestion,
- Taking food in excess quantity, heavy or oily food during indigestion
Read – Rheumatoid arthritis diet – food to avoid
- Avoid day sleep, smoking
- Do not suppress the urge of micturition
- Follow regular exercises, walking
- Avoid sedentary habits, consuming oily food, ghee, jaggery, alcohol, vinegar, sugarcane, curd, meat of animals living in marshy places etc
Read – Exercise and diabetes treatment
- Day sleep, sitting idle, Sedentary habits, over eating
- Oil massage
- Taking kapha increasing diet. Example – sweets, milk, fish, potato, butter, ghee, tubers, wheat etc
Read – Weight Loss, Weight Gain Treatment, Sleep
Reserch – World Health Organisation have found evidence to show the impact of lifestyle in improving health. (A)