The lifestyles that we have in today’s day and age have made us lazier, unhealthier, and slower than our forefathers were in theirs. Although we have gained a lot from the convenience we have due to progress and technology, mostly in terms of time and money, but at the same time it has also negatively affected our health. When you can drive to the mall in 10 minutes, why would you want to walk the same distance in 45 minutes? Although a rational argument, it is this kind of sedentary lifestyle which causes us to be exposed to more diseases than we were a hundred years ago.
Not only are you skipping a walk, but at the same time releasing harmful gases from the vehicle that you are driving, affecting yourself and those around you. Today, people are more prone to diseases such as cancer, hypertension, and heart disease, than they were ever before. That being said, all hope is not lost. With the same progress, we have more avenues to keep ourselves healthy both mentally and physically. There are a lot of people who realize the need to keep our bodies and minds in top shape, as it is essential for better performance and success in life.
A person who is healthy skips fewer days at work, can work longer hours, and is in better mental health which helps him make better decisions. This not only helps him stay healthy, but at this same time leads to success in the workplace. Good health is not only a requirement for those whose profession requires it, such as Olympians and other sportspersons, but also those who want to succeed in life. Take, for example, politicians, students, or even workers at an oil rig who need to keep themselves healthy in order to be able to perform well and take better decisions.
For instance, think of when you have a cold and have an assignment due the next day. Just how much more difficult it becomes, in comparison to doing it when you are not bothered by the perils of ill health. The sad part is that as time passes by, more people become ignorant of importance of good health, most of them being from the younger generation. Some of you still might ask why we’re making such a big deal out of it. So what if I don’t actively look after my health, you might say.
You must realize that amidst all the laziness, pollution and the bad food, you are becoming more and more vulnerable to disease. Think of it this way, if you put bad fuel into the car too often and don’t service it from time to time, it will break down more often. In the same way, when we don’t take care of our bodies, coupled with all the stress, bad elements from our environment, and the excessive amounts of stress that we are faced with, we will collapse more often in just the same way. So what can we do about it?
One of the most important elements of a healthy lifestyle is a balanced diet. If we eat the proper foods at proper times, we can avoid a plethora of diseases. The most basic element of a good diet is taking in the right amount of energy that our body requires. The unit of measurement for energy in the human body is calories. Termed Kcal, an average 180 pound man requires 2000 calories from his food each day. Although it seems like an easy target, which frankly it is, these calories should also come from the right food sources.
The food sources for energy are basically protein, carbohydrates, and fat. The majority of our energy should be derived from a combination of protein and carbohydrates, and a minimal amount from fat. Although important, it is the high fat content of the food we eat today which has become the leading cause for obesity. Fast foods, which have apparently become a staple in our diets, contain a very hazardous type of fat called trans-fats. This fat is hard to burn, and is the leading cause for heart disease as it not only leads to higher body-fat but also higher blood pressure.
Although a good diet may seem complicated, it is easy to eat clean. All we have to do is avoid fatty and fried foods, and include more greens, dairy, and fiber-based food. If one consciously tries to eat better, the advantages of good health will seem more evident (Colbert,2007). Another important aspect of good health is keeping our selves physically active. This may sound chore-some, but is actually a constructive and beneficial way of keeping ourselves healthy.
With more avenues for physical activity and fitness than every before, we can choose whichever way we like to keep fit. Whether it is water sports, weight-lifting, martial arts, or even dancing, we can stay healthy and have fun at the same time. Although if at a lack of time, even washing the car can burn as much calories as can walking for 15 minutes. Another aspect, and in a way of highest importance, is our mental health. In today’s time, we are faced with higher amounts of stress than ever before.
Stress not only affects us mentally, but the physical impact can be just as strong. Stress has been linked as the leading cause of many diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, weaker immune systems, and even cancer. And regardless of all misconceptions, youngsters today face as much stress as adults do, with increase amount of pressure faced educationally and socially. Although the best way to battle stress is meditation, stress can be battled out with physical activity or even as much as 15 minutes of focused breathing.
All in all, we must realize that it is important for us to keep our lifestyles healthy, not only for the sake of our well-being but also for the sake of our growth and success. If this has helped you realize the value of good health, do not only consider it consciously but also push your family and friends to do the same, not just because you think its right but because you care for them too. Trust me when I say this, a healthy life leads to a happy life, not just for you but for everyone around you as well. Reference: Colbert, D. (2007). The Seven Pillars of Health. Siloam Press