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What the Amish can teach us about health and happiness


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(NaturalNews) Often viewed as outcasts by mainstream society, the Amish may seem downright bizarre to the average American. Foregoing technological advancements that many of us would be lost without, the Amish have created a way of life that fosters a connection with the land and environment, while also cultivating an impressive sense of community. And they are healthy -- exceedingly so. The Amish rarely experience disorders like cancer or cardiovascular disease, seemingly able to bypass illness altogether. What's their secret?

One of the most striking aspects of the Amish is how they lead their lives, free from modern inventions like electricity, telephones, cars and the myriad of gadgets most of us consider so essential for our productivity and happiness.

They also farm much in the same way as their 18th century ancestors -- without the use of motorized farm equipment. Upon first glance, this may seem like a time-wasting hassle more than anything else. But this lifestyle choice is one of the reasons why the Amish are so darn healthy. That is to say, when you don't rely on machinery, human power is required. Not to mention they walk -- a lot.

This high level of daily physical activity helps to keep their obesity rates low and cardiovascular health in top form. As noted in LA Healthy Living:

"The Amish were able to show us just how far we've fallen in the last 150 years or so in terms of the amount of physical activity we typically perform. Their lifestyle indicates that physical activity played a critical role in keeping our ancestors fit and healthy." -- University of Tennessee professor David R. Bassett, PhD, FACSM.

Nervous tension, diet and vaccinations

Associated with a variety of disorders, from inflammation to endocrine system imbalance, stress is an absolute disaster for health. One of the main contributors to stress is the speed at which we move, think and process. We are bombarded with sensory information at every turn. Add to this a lack of connection and support, and stress can become an overwhelming presence in our day-to-day lives.

Not so with the Amish. Their communities are based on patience and a slower way of being. Competition is frowned upon, while cooperation and harmony are respected. Social support is strong. Through traditional gender roles, each person has a valued part to play within the community.

A study published in Scientific Research discovered that mental health is enhanced by the structure of Amish society. Martial stability, mutual support, a secure parental base and care for the elderly were found to be contributing factors in cultivating happiness and contentment.

Moreover, the Amish tend to have low vaccination rates. Instead, they rely on clean living and a healthy diet of homegrown, organic produce, raw dairy and nourishing fats to keep immunity strong.

Does this mean we need to move to an Amish farm to be healthy and happy? Of course not. But we can weave their wisdom into our daily lives and reap the benefits. We can slow down, develop deeper connections with friends and family, grow our own organic food, stay physically active and unplug on a regular basis. Give it a try. You may just be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Sources:

http://www.lahealthyliving.com

http://www.lef.org

http://file.scirp.org

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org

http://www.jacionline.org

About the author:
Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, wellness coach and natural foods chef, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.

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Read her other articles on Natural News here:

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