Today, the Tolstoy Weekend Theater Festival starts in Yasnaya Polyana - both Russian and foreign theaters will show their productions based on the works of Leo Tolstoy. However, few people know that the writer, among other things, was still a supporter of a healthy lifestyle. The main healthy rules of Leo Nikolaevich are below.
In the minds of many, Leo Tolstoy is a wise old man, an ascetic who devoted his life to literature and good deeds: teaching peasant children, helping the poor. But did you know that this intellectual was one of the main trendsetters of his time, a popularizer of sports, a lover of fashion experiments and a pioneer of all the newest and most relevant? The great Russian writer, who during his life became a classic and a living legend, was in the center of attention of contemporaries not only thanks to his literary works, but also an active and informed way of life.
We have examined the principles of a healthy lifestyle of Lev Nikolaevich and we can say with confidence: even a century and a half later, it is worth learning a lot from him.
L. N. Tolstoy, 1900s // photo from the collections of the museum-estate of L. N.
Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana" ©
The key to health and longevity is the correct daily routine, and it requires self-discipline and willpower. Tolstoy singled out three kinds of will: bodily, sensual, and rational. The writer called the latter the main form of will, but considered it necessary to develop all three at the same time. From his diary entries it follows that the beginnings of bodily will are in everyone, therefore, with the proper desire to develop it, it will not be difficult.
First of all, Tolstoy advises compiling a to-do list for the day, in which it is necessary to devote time to physical activity, as well as to mental activities - reading books, learning something new.
It is necessary to clearly follow the plan. Another rule is sleep control: it is important to find the best time for yourself and not break the regime. The compulsory morning program of the writer, regardless of mood or weather, included exercise and a long walk - on foot or on horseback. In the afternoon, Lev Nikolaevich certainly worked for several hours in his office in complete solitude. Before lunch, which began at about five in the afternoon, there were walks and sports.
In the evening, all home and guests read books, played chess and arranged chamber concerts.
A clear time plan, following the daily routine, changing activities will train willpower and develop the mind, and morning exercises give a charge of energy for the whole day and increase productivity. It is very important not only to make plans for the day, but also to analyze their implementation, as Tolstoy did. Thus, you can start planning your time not only for a week, but also for longer periods, gradually achieve goals that previously seemed unattainable.
In his diaries, Tolstoy often noted that for the development of bodily will you need to "regularly make movements" .
Every day, the writer found time to exercise and exercise, preferring to practice in the fresh air - near the house was "garden gymnastics" with rings and a horizontal bar. With ease, the writer performed the exercise, which received the name "Ivan Mikhailovich" in the family. To do this, it was necessary to hang on the arms on the crossbar, put your legs between them and, lifting up, sit on the crossbar. Lev Nikolaevich also loved exercises with dumbbells, not without pride he recalled how in his youth he could be baptized with two-pound weights.
Largely thanks to gymnastics, the writer remained in great shape until he was old.
He taught his children to this occupation: in the morning they all did exercises together, often practiced Swedish gymnastics. In front of the house, Tolstoy installed "giant steps" - a kind of children's carousel, but in order to ride on it, it was necessary to apply certain physical efforts.
Make it a rule, like Leo Tolstoy, to do gymnastics every day. Regular exercises at least 15 minutes a day contribute to comprehensive physical development, improve coordination of movements, train endurance, improve the functioning of the nervous system, accelerate blood flow, activate metabolic processes and form posture. And remember: the strength of the body gives rise to pep.
Games united all family members: in them both adults and children participated - usually started in the afternoon, and ended in the dark. The writer became interested in tennis in the second half of the 1890s. He played enthusiastically, with excitement and amazing dexterity.
Having described the episode with the game of lawn tennis in the novel "Anna Karenina", Lev Nikolaevich predetermined the fashion for this sport. The writer managed to present on the pages of the novel a game unusual at that time with the knowledge of an experienced tennis player: "They began to play lawn-tennis.
The players, divided into two games, were placed on a carefully aligned and killed croquet ground, on both sides of a stretched net with gilded columns .lt; ....
gt; Sviyazhsky and Vronsky both played very well and seriously. They vigilantly watched the ball thrown at them, without rushing and without delay, deftly ran to it, waited for the jump and, accurately and correctly yielding the ball with a racket, threw it over the net ".
Game sports are an ideal way to recharge your batteries, relax and exercise. Scientists have proven that during sports games, the production of the hormone of happiness is stimulated, and the risk of developing hypertension and many other disorders caused by stress is reduced. All this leads to a balance of energy in the body.
In his diary, Tolstoy left a note that he enjoys the game like a child. We advise you to follow the example of a writer: choose a team game to your liking and play sports while relaxing.
A game of lawn tennis. Yasnaya Polyana // photo from the collections of the museum-estate of L. N.
Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana" ©
At 55, Leo Tolstoy became a vegetarian. This was largely due to the period of the writer's spiritual crisis, marked by a search for the meaning of human life. One of the reasons for refusing meat was Tolstoy's visit to a slaughterhouse. Vegetarianism for Lev Nikolaevich is a logical continuation of his philosophical teaching on the immoral nature of any violence.
The writer was not a strict vegetarian: he allowed himself eggs and dairy products.
Moreover, his diet was very simple: he could drink up to three bottles of kefir a day and eat up to five eggs, he also liked oatmeal, rice puree and puff cake. Tolstoy actively promoted the principles of vegetarianism in Russia: he contributed to the development of the journal Vegetarianism, supported the opening of vegetarian restaurants and hotels, and was an honorary member of numerous vegetarian communities. Largely due to the influence of Tolstoy, Nikolai Ge, Ilya Repin and Nikolai Leskov refused meat.
At the same time, Lev Nikolaevich believed that the crucial role for spiritual growth is played by refusing not only meat, but also a huge number of unnecessary things, whims and bad habits, which primarily include idleness and gluttony. Therefore, if you are not ready to give up meat, then start with proper nutrition, a conscious attitude to food and the environment in general.
"Drive away from yourself everything that prevents you from seeing your connection with all living things ," wrote Tolstoy.
Tolstoy truly surprised his contemporaries and family members when at age 67 he started cycling. At the dawn of the development of this sport in Russia, the Moscow Society of Cyclists presented the writer with a bicycle from the English company Rover as a gift. Lev Nikolaevich quickly mastered it and soon freely traveled not only through the streets of Moscow, but also made long trips from Tula to Yasnaya Polyana. Tolstoy became the face of a new sports fashion: cycling enthusiasts enthusiastically accepted the classic's enthusiasm - this is confirmed by an article in the Cyclist magazine devoted to Tolstoy and his children-cyclists.
Since, in the 19th century, many considered cycling harmful, Tolstoy’s activities were not approved by some of his friends and even his wife Sofya Andreevna. But in the XXI century it has already been proven that training on a bicycle strengthens muscles, improves respiratory processes and has a positive effect on metabolism. The writer saw in this sport benefits not only for the development of the body, but also for the mind. He believed that cycling allows you to relax from thoughts. Since you need to monitor the roughness of the road and the obstacles on the way, the brain is fully concentrated on one process and is not distracted by anything.
Concentration is one way of developing the "will of the mind" . When you ride a bicycle, try to feel this state of full concentration too.
One of Lev Nikolaevich’s favorite sports was horseback riding. Horse rides aroused the writer’s real enthusiasm, his hobby began in childhood and lasted until the last year of his life (the writer lived 82 years). Tolstoy thoroughly knew the habits and psychology of horses, they often became the heroes of his works, for example, the story "Kholstomer" is the story of piebald gelding.
Tolstoy was engaged in horse riding almost every day before dinner, regardless of the weather and well-being. In the last years of his life, he took walks around the surroundings of Yasnaya Polyana on his beloved semi-Arabian horse Delir, trying to visit new places every time.
Walking in the saddle is a great tool for emotional relaxation and stress management. Scientists have proven that a quiet horseback ride is tantamount to walking and a gallop is a jog. At the same time, the load on the spine and joints is significantly lower, due to which equestrian sport has become one of the most suitable types of therapy after injuries.
Riding strengthens the posture, with regular training, a habit is formed to keep your back straight, metabolism improves. Horseback riding is effective for orthopedic diseases and impaired coordination of movements.
Tolstoy remained an active person all his life. For him, playing sports was not just a way to stay in shape, but also one of the most important components of daily work on himself. By his example, Lev Nikolaevich proved how important it is to follow the simple rules of a healthy lifestyle, to be able to rejoice in a childish way, spend every day to good use and become better.
Chertkov V.G. On a walk. 1909 // photo from the collections of the museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana" ©