Ancient Lessons For Modern Health

Ancient Lessons For Modern Health

Certain things were better in past, our forebears maintained certain mindsets and ideals that resulted in healthy, balanced lives.

Although these practices date back millennia, if you look closely at the main values that drove people like the ancient Greeks you will discover that many of their principles are still relevant.

You can apply many of these lessons to your life for greater fitness and health.


Exercise, Not daily but constantly:


The ancient considered activity and exercise indispensable in living a full life. The modern word “gym” is derived from the Greek work gymnasia.

Those who frequented the gym spent their time running, jumping, throwing and wrestling, while professors and scholars taught students everything from philosophy to trade practices and economics.

Many citizens spent their entire day in the gym, and often business was located nearby so trade people could readily access both.

The modern takeaway is not to compartmentalize your workouts as separate and distinct activities from the rest of your life. View yourself through the lens of an athlete and conduct all your activities in accordance. If that means a lunchtime run or walk and a quick sink bath before heading back to the desk, so be it.


Don’t eat sometimes. And when you do, eat mostly plants.


The idea of eating three square meals a day is a very modern one. Unfortunately, so is it worldwide epidemic of obesity. The ancient people practiced intermittent fasting as a way to purge impurities from the body and the spirit and to normalize metabolic functions. Even today many people are doing this. Ancient people diet was largely plant-based, consisting of leafy greens, olives, nuts, seeds, olive oil, lean meats, and fish.

And this diet is still popular as a healthy diet also called as the Mediterranean diet.


Get lost once in a while. On purpose.


Many people think only in terms of training for a stated purpose, such as getting in bathing -suit shape for summer. While there is nothing wrong with training for a goal, it can seem tedious at points and lead to abandonment. The ancient people would sometimes venture out for long runs with no stated purpose other than the pure enjoyment of running. They advocate exercise as a state of play. Just fill your backpack with food and water and set out for the day with no particular timeline or route.

It will do wonders in improving your endurance. In your daily fitness routine try something new, and wander, run or walk longer than you normally would do, it keeps things fresh.


Never stop. Ever. 


An ancient proverb states “Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still. Endurance, in both running and life, requires the gritty resolve to keep moving forward. People in their lives are discouraged when goals seem unattainable or impossible, so we simply give up. But success is often about perseverance more than speed. So one should never give it up our ancients knew it and we should also keep it in mind when facing adversity.


Plan for tomorrow. But live for today.


This principle can be applied to your daily training, but also to living a richer life. Make a plan for your workout and get yourself there. Remember plan will be only as good as your everyday commitment to train your best.


We all maintain goals and aspirations, but life is a precious gift that is best enjoyed in the now. Life is to be taken seriously, but not too seriously.

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.