Nutrition and Fitness
Keeping a healthy lifestyle is a major challenge for every individual. It takes a lot of discipline, effort, and determination to maintain a physically fit and healthy body. Each and every person has their own way of keeping his or her body in good condition. People resort to different kinds of activities, exercises, and diet in order for them to live longer and healthier and to keep away from various kinds of diseases and illnesses. Still, it is a sad fact to know that very few people are concerned and care about their health and physique. In addition, as their tasks pile up, people are too busy that they forget to eat right, be in shape, and live healthily (Guarino, 2007).
As an individual, I can say that I am still able to manage to be physically fit and healthy. I am a very health conscious person, and I am totally concerned with my body and my physical appearance because I highly value living a healthy lifestyle. For this reason, I see to it that I work out everyday. Exercising five times a week keeps me going and gives me the energy and stamina to accomplish my tasks for the day. I believe that regular exercise keeps a person’s body in good shape.
Aside from working out on a regular basis, I regularly eat nutritious meals as well. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are important meals and should be eaten habitually on time. I am very careful in choosing what foods to eat, and I see to it that I eat a balanced diet. I also do not normally eat at fast food restaurants like many people do. Eating fast food meals everyday does not help make the body healthy, since it was proven that fast food contains a lot of calories and can make people fat and unhealthy. Thus, I only eat low fat and low calorie foods since I do not want to become fat and overweight or worse, obese.
It is said that a lot of people in the United States are obese and overweight. Research findings reveal that more than 60% of the population is overweight and obese due to the poor and unhealthy lifestyles that most people have nowadays. Many people consume a high amount of fat and calories with the food that they eat. In addition to this, they fail to burn all those consumed fats and calories since they are busy with their job and responsibilities, consequently making them fat, overweight, or obese (Hughes, 2006).
Due to the escalating number of overweight and obese Americans, it is said that obesity is one of the serious problems in the society today due to several serious health risks that obesity poses. One of these health risks is the premature death of a person because of having too many complications in the body. Being overweight or obese increases one’s risk of having a heart disease. Thus, if a person is overweight or obese, he or she is more likely to have a heart attack, cardiac death, congestive heart failure, and chest pain. High blood pressure is also common among overweight and obese people. Obesity also increases the risk of stroke. Eating high-calorie and high-fat foods leads to atherosclerosis, a condition in which the arteries, the passageway of the blood, tighten due to the fatty substances accumulating in the inner wall of the arteries. Experts claim that atherosclerosis can result in stroke. Another disease that is associated with obesity is type 2 diabetes. Obesity also increases a person’s chance of getting cancer. Specifically, obesity has been attributed to endometrial cancer, otherwise known as cancer of the lining of the uterus, colon cancer, gall bladder, kidney, and breast cancer. Studies also report that obesity may also cause a person to develop breathing problems; thus, obesity has been associated with asthma and severe bronchitis. Lastly, obesity places the life of expectant mothers and their baby at risk during and right after the mother gives birth. If the mother is obese, she can get a high blood pressure during the pregnancy period. The aforementioned health problems only pertain to the major risk factors of obesity in a person. Aside from these, it is said that there are more diseases that are associated with being overweight or obese (Collins, 2007).
Fitness habits can certainly help to make the body physically fit and healthy, although they require commitment and hard work. There are habits that I can incorporate into my lifestyle that might be very challenging for me to accomplish, but I am rather willing and enthusiastic to try new different habits that can add to being physically fit. One new habit that I can add to my present lifestyle is becoming aware of my physical health and condition by having a regular check up with a doctor. It is very important for people to regularly visit their doctors even if they feel that there is nothing wrong with their health because they are not aware of what is going on inside their body. Therefore, habitually visiting a doctor would ensure my fitness and health. As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure” (Ayushveda Informatics India, 2008).
Second, as an alternative to working out in the gym and exercising, engaging in sports can also improve my health and lifestyle. Making it a habit to play sports such as swimming can be very beneficial to my health and can contribute to my physical fitness (Guarino, 2007). At the same time, by playing sports, I can get to meet new friends who share my interests in living a healthy lifestyle.
Lastly, eliminating bad habits can do something good to a person’s body. In my case, have a bad habit of staying up late at night. Since I am a busy student who spends a lot of time in studying especially on weekdays, I often lack sleep because I need to stay up all night to review for exams and complete my homework and projects in school. I also stay up late at night even on weekends to party or watch TV, affecting my physical health. It is said that lack of sleep makes a person’s energy level and cognitive functioning low. In addition, it can also make an individual vulnerable to sickness. In contrast, getting enough and sleep on a regular basis makes the body more efficient and improves one’s concentration throughout the day (Guarino, 2007). Hence, from now on, I will include having enough sleep on my daily fitness habit. I will also try to my best to avoid staying up late at night.
The three new fitness habits mentioned earlier complement my healthy habit of exercising. With these new habits, my health would certainly improve (Guarino, 2007).
Watching one’s diet could be difficult for every person. It is very hard for individuals to keep track of what they eat, make sure that they are eating right foods, and maintain a balanced nutritional habit. As I have mentioned above, I eat regularly and make sure that I am eating right since I do not want to become overweight. Three nutritional habits that I can add to mine would be: eating organic foods, taking vitamins and supplements, and following a food chart in eating my meals. Committing to make these activities a habit sounds tough, because I need to work hard and exert more effort to turn them into a habit. However, I think it is just a matter of time management and discipline to do these three simple nutritional habits.
Organic foods are said to be healthier and more beneficial since they do not contain harmful chemicals that can have a negative effect on a person’s body. They also contain high level of antioxidants that are said to be good for reducing the risk of certain kinds of cancers. In addition, organic foods are pure and nourishing; they are the safest food to eat nowadays (“The Health Benefits of Organic Food Products,” 2007).
Taking vitamins and supplements is highly important. The food that people eat generally does not contain all the vitamins and minerals that their body needs. Therefore, I believe that taking vitamins and other food supplements can fill the gap for my nutritional needs. Vitamin C, E, D, calcium, potassium, and other minerals are essential to the body (Gorman, 2006). Since the foods that I eat cannot guarantee that they are giving sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals that my body requires, I can prevent vitamins and minerals deficiency by taking these supplements.
Lastly, having the guide of a food chart can be a very good guide for my eating habits. Since a food chart says what a healthy diet is, it can actually be a personal help to add to my nutritional habits. By preparing the food that I will eat, I can make sure that I am eating healthy meals. Thus, consulting a food chart is the last habit that I can add to my nutritional daily habit (Guarino, 2007).
Incorporating the three fitness habits and three nutritional habits discussed earlier can definitely promote healthy weight and help a person live a healthy, balanced life due to the numerous benefits that these habits can bring. Engaging into sports, consulting a doctor regularly, and eliminating bad habits can surely help people to prevent themselves from becoming overweight or obese. Likewise, the three nutritional habits such as eating organic foods, consulting a food chart, and taking vitamins, minerals, and food supplements also contribute to a healthy weight as all these habits promote healthy foods. These fitness and nutritional habits are highly beneficial not only to my health but also to other people’s health, if they follow these habits and make a commitment to make them permanent in their lives.
With people’s busy lifestyles nowadays, I believe that incorporating these new habits mentioned above will not take most of their time. On the contrary, these activities require only a little time to fit them in into their hectic lifestyles. Due to their positive effects to people’s health, these new habits can also help them function normally and promote a healthy living for each and every people in the world.
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