Thursday, April 5, 2012

Good Health Need Not Be Elusive

The main themes of the World Health Day of 2012 that falls on 7 April are Aging and Health. The official slogan that has been released is "Good health adds life to years". Though it is true that many people have started realizing the benefits of staying healthy, we can not assume that every one is taking good care of their health. Modern lifestyles are one of the main contributors for some of the major health problems.

Many young people are increasingly getting interested in knowing the benefits of staying healthy. At the same time, the number of people who are affected by non-communicable diseases is also increasing alarmingly. Among the non-communicable diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular ailments and so on, cancer and cardiovascular diseases can be more fatal. A WHO report on South Asia says that these diseases are likely to increase to 7 per cent of the population from 4.4 per cent in another 15 years. The major disturbing fact is that even young people are affected by these diseases. Earlier, youth were considered healthy because their systems used to be quite active. But, thanks to the changes in lifestyles, young age does not guarantee good health any more.

Unfortunately, a large number of young people do not accord the right type of importance to their health. They eat junk foods and lead a stressful life. If they continue leading such lifestyles, they will be accelerating their aging process. They may be affected by serious diseases like heart problems, diabetes, stress-related problems like blood pressure, etc. They should realize this mistake and start bestowing more attention on their health. If they make a few important changes to their lifestyles, they can benefit immensely and lead a healthy life. They can postpone their aging also.

- The foremost step for delaying the aging process and leading a healthy life is to switch to fiber foods. Fiber foods are fresh fruits and green vegetables, wholesome grains, beans, nuts, etc. Instead of eating junk foods and carbohydrate-filled sweets and snacks, if we eat vegetables and fruits, we can really "add life to our years". Likewise, our food should contain good carbohydrates and good fats. It should supply sufficient doses of proteins also.

- The importance of exercises need not be over-emphasized. By doing regular exercises, we can not only have good health but will be able to sustain it also. Exercises improve blood circulation. When all the parts of our body are supplied with sufficient nutrients, we can be more efficient in whatever we do.

- We must drink sufficient quantity of water. By drinking more than 2 liters of water daily, we can hydrate our body both internally and externally. Our skin gets moisturized also if we drink sufficient water. Lack of water leads to many problems. We should never wait for feeling thirsty. We can get rid of constipation problem also if we make it a point to drink sufficient quantity of water daily.

- Sleeping for 7 to 8 hours a day is a must for keeping good health. The body gets repaired when we have sufficient sleep during nights. Hormone-secretion gets regulated also during a good night's sleep.

- We should learn to manage our stress levels. Stress has been found to be a major contributor for many health problems. Yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, etc. can be very effective for managing our stress levels.

These steps will help us to postpone our aging. We can lead a healthy life also.