Use It or Lose It! Keeping The Body Healthy

Sadhguru explains that the key to keeping the body healthy is to use it well, and build up our level of activity over a period…

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Sadhguru explains that the key to keeping the body healthy is to use it well, and build up our level of activity over a period of time.

Sadhguru: There was once a young physician. He had some problems with a diagnosis of a patient, so he went to a senior colleague for advice. The senior colleague said, “Oh! Nerves and vomiting, is it? Hmm…” “Yes,” replied the young man, “but I don’t find any medical reason for him to have nerves and vomiting.” So the senior colleague suggested, “Ask him if he is playing golf. If he does play, tell him to stop. If he says he doesn’t, ask him to play. He’ll become ok!” Health is like that!

You can keep this body well only by using it. The more you use it the better it gets.

Some people are over-worked and have ill-health. But most people are under-worked and have ill-health. If you had lived 200 years ago, you would be doing at least 20 times more physical activity than what you are doing right now. You would have walked everywhere and would have done everything with your hands. If you were doing that much activity, I would have told you to take a break and get some rest. But for most people today, the body has not been used enough. In terms of physical activity, many 20-year-olds would not be able to do what a 60-year-old was doing 100 years ago. That means we are just weakening humanity. You can keep this body well only by using it. The more you use it the better it gets.


Many years ago, I took a bunch of people and went trekking in the Western Ghats. These are areas in the Hassan-Mangalore segment that I had trekked extensively, so I know the beauty and charm of these places. They are absolutely magical – full of wildlife and thick vegetation. A few weeks before that, a naval helicopter going to Bangalore had crashed in the area somewhere in the forest. The search teams did all kinds of aerial stuff but couldn’t find it. Then they brought in a battalion of over 200 army personnel who began combing the forest, and they could not locate the helicopter even after a few weeks. That’s how thick the vegetation is!

One of the simplest things about health is just to use the body. If you use the body sufficiently, it has everything to create health for itself.

There were about 35-40 of us walking through this area. We were having problems cooking and everything because it was pouring rain and we had walked for a whole day. Then we walked into this army camp and made ourselves uninvited guests because the food smelt good! You really know the value of food only when you have used your body like that. We walked in and the commanding officer was very generous – he welcomed us and was very happy to have us join them.

One of the sergeants of the battalion asked us why we were walking, and when we said we were doing it because we wanted to, he couldn’t believe it. “Just like that?” he asked. “We are here for so many weeks just waiting when this damn thing will be over. Every day we have to walk 20-30 kilometers searching for this damn helicopter which we can’t find and you are just walking for fun?!” He just wouldn’t believe us, “Is it possible that somebody could just walk for fun? With all the blisters in your legs and everything!” He didn’t understand that what he was doing as a forced exercise was keeping him so healthy and well.

Allow Life to Function Fully

One of the simplest things about health is just to use the body. If you use the body sufficiently, it has everything to create health for itself. I would say, if we physically used our bodies as much as we should, 80% of the ailments on this planet would just disappear. Of the remaining 20%, another 10% is because of the type of foods people are eating. If you change that, another 10% would disappear. That means only 10% of the ailments would remain. That has happened because of a variety of reasons. One is karmic, another could be atmospheric and there are other aspects that could have happened in the system, which can be looked at. Out of all the sick people, if 90% of them become healthy just by using the body and eating the right food, 10% could be easily handled. But now, the volume of ailment is so big because we don’t eat properly or we eat very properly and we don’t use the body properly.

You just have to use your body, your head and your energies. If these three things are well-exercised and balanced, you will be healthy.

People are acting as if health is our idea and we created health. Health is not something that you invent. It is not your idea. When the life process is happening well, that’s health. If you allow life to function fully, it is healthy.

So you just have to use your body, your head and your energies. If these three things are well-exercised and balanced, you will be healthy. This happened to me once. This was way back during the second or third Bhava Spandana program. I was conducting it in one of those little places where I had to run up and down the staircase any number of times because the arrangement was like that. I just counted on one particular day when I was conducting the program and I had to manage the kitchen too, I went up and down the staircase 125 times, and I felt very healthy at the end of the program.

A sudden burst of activity may lay you down, but if you build activity – physical, mental and energy – into your life, health will come. Your body is working well, your mind is working well and your energy is supporting the two making sure nothing goes wrong – that’s health. Life is happening in full flow, that’s health.

Editor’s Note: If you’re looking for tips on how food and health connect, try out our very popular ebooklet Food Body. Pay what you want and download it. (Set 0 for free).

Editor’s Note: Subscribe to the official Sadhguru YouTube channel to watch new videos every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
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