Have you ever wondered why our grandparents were healthier? You might have noticed this many times, but in your busy life, you did not have the time to think about it. Is it not true, that generation or the ones before that, might have not heard of most of the diseases that happen today? And I not talking of the pandemic here.
Our lifestyle is drastically different from our grandparents. No stress and more free time was a main reason why grandparents were healthier. It is important to introspect the reason behind this so that if possible, we can make changes which will be good for our kids too.
Food for Thought for Why Our Grandparents Were Healthier
You might be wondering why did I think about why our grandparents were healthier when there could be many other things I could think about. You know I am a thinkaholic and I tend to think about things many do not bother about.
Also what triggered this thought was an incident that happened with me. A few years back when my grandmom at an age of 81 was admitted to the hospital for the first time, I remember the nurse was shocked to know that she did not have any dentures and her teeth were all intact.
It is a shame that at less than half her age I have had two root canals and wisdom teeth extraction (I hope it has not made me less wise😉). Her medical reports, touchwood, are better looking than mine still. Though I am very proud of the fact of how well she has taken care of herself, but it also keeps me thinking about why our grandparents were healthier and maybe happier than us.
Why our Grandparents were Healthier?
Every day, I hear about new diseases and more and more cases of the ones I had heard of. Yes, I do agree that medical sciences have developed by leaps and bounds but I feel humans are the same, so why are we falling ill in such large numbers.
The so called old people trust me are fitter and more energetic than we are at our age. Have you ever noticed how our generation is living an extremely monotonous life and are just dragging ourselves to work? There is no doubt, that our grandparents’ generation had less tension, fewer health problems and definitely more self-satisfaction but could these be the reasons why they were healthier.
Here are some reasons why I think they were fitter and happier than us:
A Simple Life
The main reason I feel why they were happier and healthier was because they led a simple life where there was no internet. If they went out for a walk, it meant they were walking. How many times do you check your mails and WhatsApp while walking with your friend or partner? We cannot live without instant messaging and emails.
Trust me, even if this is convenient this adds to our stress. Stress because we expect instant replies and also because we want to attend to it at the earliest. We think replying to that mail as soon as we get it is more important than playing with our children or as I just said complete our walk.
Our grandparents lived in a world of snail mail and they could reply to it at their convenience. This reduced stress levels and more importantly anxiety levels.
Have you noticed when your parents or grandparents play with your child, they are least interested in the mail or that new WhatsApp notification. They had the art to cut off and concentrate and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, where we all miserably fail.
(You may like to read our post, Importance of Grandparent in a Child’s Life)
Healthy Food Habits
That generation ate real food; food free from preservatives, artificial sweeteners and genetically modified food. These foods did not exist in those times and they ate what was seasonal and available in the area they lived in.
Why our grandparents were healthier than us is because they did not have the luxury to eat apples in summers and watermelons in winters. Food was seasonal and grown in the right way with fewer pesticides making it healthy and more nutritious.
If you follow, the famous dietician RujutaDiwakar, you will realize she often emphasizesto eat local and seasonal fruits and vegetables. You can read her post, How to Eat Right in 2020. While writing it just came to my mind, that in that generation obesity was not a major issue and they did not need gymnasiums and health coaches and dieticians, and all this because they ate healthily.
They Did Not Diet
Does your grandmother know the Keto diet or have you ever seen her counting calories? They did not focus on who ate what and how much as the idea was to focus on the quality of food. Paranthas and puris were made everyday and there was no cholesterol and fat problem unlike our generation when these are more of luxury items.
They had regular food in the right proportions and were consistent about it. Also, they preferred to eat home-cooked food and this ensured that the right ingredients were used. We eat junk food and have no clue what goes into it, and once our health parameters or weight goes off track, we look for diets and dieticians. (I am guilty as well).
Can you imagine it is a fact that why our grandparents were healthier was because they did not diet and we do not do anything else but diet?
Be honest and tell me, which one are you following these days, Intermittent or Keto?
They Moved and Did Not Spend Hours Watching Netflix
I don’t know about yours but my grandmom has never owned any gym wear and does not even know what Pilates and Zumba are.They were active in doing their daily jobs. They had to look after the house and did not have a fleet of maids and servants doing their daily chores. They did not sit on a desk all day looking at a screen. They had no televisions and Netflix and Amazon Prime, and entertainment meant to go meet people.
Please note what I said, ‘go and meet people’. They would most of the times walk to their friends and relatives and meet them or may be use public transport or car. This made them physically and socially active. Many times, weeks pass when we do not meet friends and this does have an impact on our health. Our staying in touch Is about social media and WhatsApp. This makes a huge difference and more than often we do not realize it.
They Interacted With Family and Friends
As I said earlier too, our grandparents lived in a world free of the internet. They would meet people personally and talk and laugh. This made them happier. Spending time with family and friends is always good for the body and mind.
Trust me, they did not have social media then but they were far more social than us. They were more connected with the people around them than we are. This gave them more chances for laughter, fun and happiness making them happier and healthier.
We are continuously working towards buying the latest phone in town or the next expensive car we can afford or another luxury brand handbag. We are spoilt for choices and we like to hear it or not, we all live in a materialistic world.
Options were less in those times and so were expectations from life. Small things could give them happiness. They lived a tougher life than all of us can even imagine but they knew how to appreciate the simple pleasures of life and be positive and move on.
Our grandparents lived in a healthier environment which had less pollution. They led a more disciplined life. They ate on time and slept on time. Their immunity was better as they inhaled fresh air. They had fewer distractions and they focused on work and family.
Have you not noticed in the last one year when most of us have been home, the pollution levels are low and how good you are feeling? Your skin and hair are good without those salon visits, there are lesser breakouts and we are feeling healthier.
A crisis situation made the world to experience this; this was normal for them. And this explains why our grandparents were healthier.
(You may like to read our post On Natural Ways to Combat Pollution)
Times were different and so was life. I am not saying that we can live a simple life like theirs but all I am saying we can try and simplify things around us. All we need to do is sometimes slow down and enjoy the small joys life has to offer us. 2020 has proved this and you will all agree this is true. Ultimately, it is all about the choices we make!!!As Marjorie Pay Hinckley said,
“The trick is to enjoy life, don’t wish away your days waiting for better ones ahead.’’
We have a lot to learn from our grandparents and the most important is we teach our children these simple things from the beginning. Unlearning many things becomes an issue. Why do you think our grandparents were healthier than us? Do let me know your thoughts in comments.