About this time of year, we all seem to be sick. And if you’re not sick, then your co-worker, partner or child must be. Flu, stomach bugs, respiratory crud—it’s everywhere. We’re reminded of this every week when we drive up to Holmes County, sniffling and coughing the whole way as we travel to pick up furniture from our Amish craftsmen.
We’re not just imagining it in the midst of our own cold and flu season-induced misery—there have actually been scientific studies to quantify the phenomenon of Amish health.
So what keeps them so hearty and hale?
Diet: The majority of food consumed by Amish communities has been raised organically, without pesticides or genetically engineered ingredients. They eat virtually no fast food or prepared convenience-type meals. Their faith keeps them from consuming alcohol or smoking tobacco, so that is absent from their lifestyle as well. Despite their diet being fairly high in fat (from butter, meat and raw dairy), their obesity rate is far lower than the average American.
Exercise: You won’t find Amish folks at the gym, but they are incredibly fit compared to most of us simply due to their daily activities. Most of their day consists of physical labor, rather than sitting behind a desk; travel often involves walking, rather than driving. Amish communities have an extremely low rate of obesity and cardiovascular disease and their model of physical activity is one that is functional and practical.
Stress: Being under stress has an enormous impact on your health and although it’s not realistic to assume that no stress exists in Amish communities, it is clear that their unique lifestyle keeps stress to a minimum. Amish communities are created through equality and cooperation; there is little competition and a slow-paced, patient lifestyle is the norm rather than the exception.
So despite not having many of the modern amenities that we take for granted, there is a lot to be admired about the quality of life that our Amish craftsmen enjoy. Here’s to a healthy 2014 for us all!
From our home to yours,