A fitness coach with connections to the Amish has put together a list of four things the Amish do which she says make for a healthier life.
Sometimes these “learn from the Amish” pieces idealize the Amish and gloss over nuance, but I think each of these has a good basis.
You can read the full article by Valerie Orsoni here, but if you don’t have the time, I summarized her points below. Do you do any of these?
- Cutting down technology, especially media tech – Obviously, Amish restrict tech, and in particular a lot of the media technologies. This leads to reduced stress since you get less bad news exposure. You’re also more engaged with others around you.
- Eating local food – The author claims the locally grown foods and seasonal produce Amish eat are “supercharged in vitamins”. I don’t know about that, but I do notice I feel better when I eat fresh and simple foods. Buying locally also build bonds with people in your community.
- Active living – Amish are more active because they don’t drive everywhere or spend a lot of time plopped in front of the TV. The kids play the way kids used to in the 1950s, in other words outside and without a video game controller glued to the hand. Amish lives are just more active even though fewer of them farm.
- Slower living – Living “slower” lets you connect to nature and “smell the roses”. This also creates healthier relationships because you take time to visit people instead of doing everything by text message.
I can relate to #1 in particular. The author describes the sleep being “amazingly restful” without all that pre-bedtime internet checking and TV. I’ve noticed something similar when I hit the hay in an Amish home.
Any other “Amish health habits” you’d add?
“Health” of course can have a pretty broad definition. Physical, mental, emotional, and other meanings apply.
Image credit: Tim Parkinson/flickr