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How to Look to Other Cultures to Live Healthier

The internet is filled top-to-bottom with wellness advice. Book stores often are overflowing with self-help books from gurus and life coaches. Too often, we are so enamored with this system of wellness, that we forget about the wealth of knowledge found in other parts of the world.

Exercise

All exercise is good. Here in the west, you’ll find that most people focus on aerobic exercise like running, sports, hiking, and whatnot. Anaerobic weightlifting is also quite popular. What you’re missing from your current exercise routine is the more restrained, philosophical exercise that can be found in nations like India. Yoga is a fantastic way to increase flexibility and core strength. Other eastern countries, like China, utilize martial arts to increase their coordination, skill, and health of the body. These are found in the west, of course, but more often for sporting and competitive reasons. Tai chi, for example, is a slow and methodical martial art that is used for expressing and connecting one’s energy between the body, mind, and universe. You might be surprised just how much your physical and mental state improves.

Diet

While of course eating healthy is still a viable western option, the fact is that a lot of dietary norms in this part of the world can be damaging. Western diets are often high in fat and red meat, which can lead to digestive issues. It is also very common to find high concentrations of dairy – which can be bad for acne, and a whole lot of digestive systems as well. The final nail in the coffin is the high amount of preservatives found in so many of the processed foods in grocery stores. Latin or Asian markets, on the other hand, often have a wealth of imported, fresh ingredients that you may not be familiar with, but are quite healthy.

Spirituality

You might be a spiritual person – or you may not be. Regardless of what your preferred system of belief is, it is objectively helpful to practice mindfulness. Traditionally, practices of meditation came from the east. Daoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and many other eastern philosophies offer insights on the individual, the universe, and the energies in between that can be very helpful to some. Don’t be afraid to try it, even if it’s unfamiliar.

At the end of the day, we all have something to learn. There’s always a new perspective or a new understanding that can be met by taking a moment to familiarize oneself with another culture. And if you go about this respectfully and thoughtfully, you will find newfound insight you didn’t even know was there.

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