A healthy lifestyle means maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet as well
as engaging in sports or other fitness related activities. A healthy diet alone
is however inadequate to ensure a healthy body as physical activity helps to
keep one in shape and free of sickness and disease.
According to the WHO, only one in ten people exercise regularly and a
majority of humans do not follow a healthy diet. The major culprit is our
penchant for junk food as can be seen from the popularity of fast food chains
and other eateries. Fast foods such as fried noodles, fried rice and snacks,
and savories are laden with fat and calories. Thus, consuming this type of
food on a daily basis can contribute to weight gain. Overweight and obese
people suffer from many health complications such as diabetes, high blood
pressure, high cholesterol and even cancer.
Hence, the emphasis on healthy lifestyle should start at a young age. Parents
must urge their children to eat more of vegetables, fruits, juices, wholemeal
and wholegrain foods. Many parents, due to time constraint, usually find the
easy way out by cooking two-minute noodles or heading towards the nearest
fast food joint for a quick meal. They do not realize that sets the stage for an
unhealthy lifestyle for their children who quickly become habitual to such
food items. Thus, parents can combat this problem by preparing meals that
do not take up time such as cheese sandwiches, soup, stir-fried vegetables
or buy pre-packed meals from supermarkets which can be warmed up in the
Dining out usually involves eating heavily and unhealthily. Most of us are
prone to ordering deep fried food and oily dishes as opposed to steamed or
baked food. As going out to eat is unavoidable, parents of children and
adults as a whole should order fresh food and foods that are nutritious and
not laden with oil, fat or sugar. Once a pattern of healthy eating is
established, it would be easier to carry through such a lifestyle and for the
children to follow suit.
School canteens must be urged to sell only highly nutritious food and drinks.
Vending machines that sell soft drinks and drinks that are spiked with sugar
should be limited. Hence, school going children would be exposed to a
healthy eating from a young age.
Daily exercise is vital. Schools should implement Physical education on a
daily basis. It is observed that only a minority of children are actively
engaged in sports. Most students are sedentary and prefer to concentrate on
academics; they consider indulging in physical activities a waste of time. By enforcing
regular exercise daily, these students would be exposed to the
importance and benefits of exercise.
Many parents and adults do not allocate time for physical activity. A large
number of them work long hours and return home late thereby depriving
themselves of the benefits of exercise. Parents must lead an exemplary life
which can benefit their children by increasing awareness on the health
benefits of exercising regularly. Bringing their children for walks in the
morning or evening is a good start to achieve this goal. They should become
members of clubs which have swimming pools and gym facilities. During
the weekend, the family can strengthen their bond by adjourning to clubs for
exercise and a healthy meal after that.
Summarizing, leading a healthy lifestyle is a conscious decision. One can
ignore that and lead a life that exposes you to many health hazards. It is
important to recognize that a healthy living ensures a longer lifespan as well
as a life free of disease and complications.