When we reached China, it seemed we have entered a new World, at the same time all the new things we experienced had been all around before. Chinese culture expands in all the World after all. Even if loads of Chinese habits and practices do seemed to be too strange to be explained, there is so much we can learn from Chinese lifestyle. They are still practicing methods that have been there for centuries. And some of these ancient knowledge pearls we wish to share!

1. Drinking hot water

This was the first strange thing we noticed when we started our trip in China. Hot water is available everywhere – in the train, at the airport, in every corner shop. And Chinese drink it often without putting any tea leaf or other ingredients inside. But it turns out that drinking hot water activates the digestive tract, it is dissolving things that body has problems digesting. While muscles are contracting when you drink cold water, hot water increases the blood flow to the tissues, allowing muscles to relax. It also calms down the central nervous system thus helping with all kinds of pain. Drinking hot water relieves nasal congestion and can even help you to lose weight as it activates metabolism and gives body the ability to burn more calories throughout the day. What a magic, right? So since China trip we are drinking hot water after we wake up, before bed and along every meal we take. Though when you drink hot water — pay attention to the temperature not to burn your mouth and throat!

2. Eating Yin & Yang

According to Chinese practices, everything always should be in balance, and that is represented by Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang are the qualities that shape everything, those are energies in our body, so they should be considered when having a meal as well.

Chinese classify food according to flavors of salty, bitter, sour, sweet, and pungent. Also into cold, cool, warm and hot. And there are ingredients that are put under Yin and Yang. Yin foods moisten and cool down the body, while Yang foods are drying and heat it up. Yin foods are usually carbohydrates like certain fruits (lemon, pomegranates, pears), certain vegetables (radish, tomatoes, zucchinis), soy products, fish, honey and cold drinks. Yang foods are usually proteins like eggs, mushrooms, certain meat (chicken, pork, beef, lamb), certain vegetables (black beans, basil, cabbages), mussels, outs and alcohol. Yin foods should be used more in hot weather while Yang foods that are higher in calories should be consumed more in colder weather.

Chinese believe that the food you eat determine your health. So if the food is not in balance, you should think which kind of foods are you lacking. When Yin energy is deficient, the body will show you that by greater wish for cooling drinks or even having swellings. In this case you should avoid foods that heat up your body. On the other hand, when Yang energy is deficient, you become inactive and start to wish warming foods and drinks. In this case avoid raw foods and those foods and drinks, which are cooling your body down.

3. Morning workout

In China it is so common to see people working out early in the morning – alone or in a group that most likely practices Tai Chi, play badminton or run. And can you imagine how good impact on your body this morning routine leaves? Whenever you are eating, your body transforms gained calories, which then become either source of energy, body replenish or get in the storage as fat. If you exercise first and eat after, you replenish your body, consumed calories won`t become fat. And morning workout is natural energy load for all the day! Don’t forget that it is also easier to work out in the morning as then you are fresh, not yet exhausted after a long day. And there are no other urgent issues that could appear as they might during the day or eve. Moreover, you will sleep better if you exercise just after you wake up! But that’s not it! Morning exercises increase concentration, because your body is aroused. So everything you do next will be more successful!

4. After–dinner walk

Oh, what a pleasure is just to lay down on the couch and watch TV after the dinner. But trust us, it’s not the best for your body and health. So there comes another good thing to learn from Chinese! Usually after the dinner they give their body time to digest the food while they themselves are walking or doing some evening exercises. It was surprising to see parks full of people in such a late hours! Even half an hour walk after dinner can do miracles! Look at Chinese – they are physically active, so they look younger and gain extra years of life.

Your digestive system converts food into the sugar glucose, which gives you energy. So after a meal your body is either using this energy immediately or storing it away for later use. If too much glucose remain in the blood, it can contribute to heart disease, stroke and other health problems. But an after-meal walk will help you to control blood sugar!

It also will help your digestion and ensure proper supply of oxygen and nutrients to the heart. But keep to moderate intensities! Then you will sleep better, feel better and be healthier!

5. Eating slowly and not counting calories

For Chinese food is a nourishment, not something that makes one overweight. So they are not counting calories, but keeping everything in balance and sticking to healthy foods. For example, many fruits have more calories than crisps or coke, but the healthiest choice is obvious. And if you are scared to eat more than it is necessary, learn from Chinese – eat slowly! It will give some time for the brain to understand that the stomach is full. If you are rushing, you might not even realize that it’s already way too much. Take your time and appreciate the food you are having. And remember that there is nothing more important than your health. Every basic thing in life starts with a healthy body and mind!

There are lots to learn from Chinese. Many of us think that all depend on our genes, but it is not true – most of our health and wealth depends on our lifestyle. So make a difference!


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