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'Health is a positive state of mind'

On World Health Day, we caught up with New-Delhi based wellness consultant, Dr Shikha Sharma.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 14:55 IST
Sudeshna B Baruah (
Sudeshna B Baruah (

On World Health Day we caught up with wellness consultant Dr Shikha Sharma to help us crack the health code.

Good health according to you is….
It is basically a positive state of mind. It is not necessary that only our physical state of wellness is an absolute indication of our good health. There may be times when one may be physically fit, but is plagued mentally. Health, to me hence is that optimal state of mind where you feel good about yourself.

Health and India ---- your take
The biggest problem in India is lethargy. Many of us are not enthusiastic about many things in life. I have come across people who cite hundreds of excuses not to adopt a healthy lifestyle. But see the irony our ancients scriptures are so rich in health-related information. Ayurveda for example gives us some simple tips to lead a healthy life. An 'amla' or 'shikakai' can cure you of many ailments.

How much is our growing sedentary lifestyle responsible for our ill-health? It is to a large extent. Even children these days spend most of their times with computer and video games. But we can definitely do something to bring about a balance. Why not take a walk in the early morning or go for a jogging. Even 15 minutes is enough.

This is true even for office-goers. Why not take the stairs at office rather than the elevators. In our effort toemulate the West, we are ignoring the benefits of Yoga and meditation.

Which part of the world you think scores on the health front?
Not Europe or America of course. America has a paradoxical culture. On one hand they have gadgets which strips them of physical movement, on the other hand they have a helluva lots of fitness centres.

Indeed, people in Singapore and Hong Kong are more conscious about their health. Walking is something they follow as a ritual. And it is one exercise which has a multiplicity of benefits.

Your comment on the Indian diet?
Here again it is lethargy to blame. As I have said, our ancestors followed the best diet. But we are again growing lethargic day by day. Surprisingly, over 60 per cent of what comprises a balanced diet is within our reach.

I always keep telling people that to stay healthy you need to make your kitchen healthy which requires simple effort.

Say let your breakfast comprise of whole grains, dalia, juice, poha, have mixed rotis (which contain barley, oats), dal cooked in less oil for lunch, not to forget curdand dinner with vegetable stuffed rotis, salads et al.

      Dr Shikha Sharma

Your health mantra…
The more you stay close to nature, the less likely disease get a chance to grab you. Hence add all the nature has provided you in your diet regimen. Be it natural grains, the whiff of fresh air in the morning, fruits. Have them as naturally as possible.

Does World Health Day serve any purpose?
No. Not many people are aware of this day. It is not very much publicised. The effort here has to come from the medical fraternity, media, schools, colleges.

Especially the significance of such a day has to percolate down to the villages as well, where malnutrition is rampant.

First Published: Apr 11, 2006 17:21 IST