Much as I love the excitement of a trip to the Big Smoke, I always return remembering why I live here in Devon.
Initially, I am impressed by what London has to offer, in terms of my favourite coconut products at every local shop, or the range of classes at the health clubs there.
Then I remember.
It doesn’t matter how virtuous the diet, how gruelling the exercise regime; if you’re working 15 hours a day, eating lunch at your desk, not getting enough sleep, or spending more time on the underground than outside, it’s doubtful that you are feeling tip-top.
We think of being healthy in terms of diet and exercise. But it’s actually more about having the balance right, in our bodies and in our lifestyles.
The best gym is right outside.
The best food we can eat does not need a television advert.
The best medicine we have is in nature, and the closer we are to nature, the healthier we are.
We are the most evolved species on the planet, yet we have almost completely disconnected to nature. I believe the only way we can reclaim our health is to go back to basics. If we are unwell, we need to look at how we may have moved away from our natural state, and how we can regain our balance.
The answer is going to be different for everyone, and it requires an objective look at your own lifestyle, but here are some of my top tips for living “as nature intended”:
1. Learn to walk before you can run.
Running with bad posture or poor technique is not healthy. Walking, especially in nature, is almost always a better option.
2. Eat clean. That is, eat only real food.
No matter how “natural” sounding that “protein shake” is, it is not real food. Read the label, it is more like a chemistry experiment. Instead think meat, fish, eggs, avocados, bananas, berries, nuts, and plants, lots of plants.
3. Get enough sleep.
All your healthy eating and exercise plans are useless without this.
4. Slow down. Take time to breathe, especially if you’re stressed.
Notice how good it feels after you’ve taken a few deep breaths from your belly.
5. Spend time every day outside in nature.
As Thoreau said: “Always maintain a kind of summer, even in the middle of winter”.
When we spend more time in nature, living as close as we can to how nature intended, we start to return to our own true nature.
And it is here, in our natural habitat, that we reside, healthy and happy.
As published in the Express and Echo Monday edition. http://www.expressandecho.co.uk.