The road to a healthy life
A healthy lifestyle is a way of living that lowers the risk of being seriously ill or dying early. We know that all diseases are not preventable, but a large proportion of deaths from coronary heart disease and lung cancer can be avoided by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Physical activity and exercise are a major contributor to a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise can help to prevent coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. Regular weight-bearing exercise can also help prevent osteoporosis by building bone strength. It also helps chronic arthritis sufferers to improve their capacity. Additionally, regular exercise can help increase self-esteem and self-confidence, control body weight, decrease stress and anxiety, enhance mood, and improve general mental health.
About 90% of men and 80% of women are affected by lung cancer in many parts of the world. Smoking or chewing tobacco causes cancers of the lung, mouth, lip, tongue, oesophagus, kidney, and bladder. Furthermore, it increases the risk of arterial diseases like heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, and other chronic lung disease. Besides that, secondhand smoke or passive smoking can also cause lung cancer. So to lead a healthy life we must avoid tobacco and/or must quit smoking.
About 60% of our body is water. It is one of the most essential elements of each cell of our body. That is why staying hydrated is important to keep good health. However, our body releases heat by expanding blood vessels which results in more blood flow. Dehydration lowers the blood volume, so if we drink more water, our hearts then can pump a large volume of blood, thus our body cell gets enough oxygen. Hence, we must drink enough water every day to remain well hydrated.
To have a sound mental and emotional state, we must surround ourselves with positive energy. We should surround ourselves with encouraging friends and people because it helps us to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. People with fewer or less active social contacts are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. That why a strong social connection is good for our overall health.
Obesity is one of the major causes that place us at risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance which can lead to the risk of cardiovascular disease. Good nutrition, controlling calorie levels, and physical activity are the only way to maintain a healthy weight.
In conclusion, becoming healthy is something we must be dedicated to because it takes a lot of time and energy. However, the benefits we receive from making these simple changes lead us to greater benefits. Lastly, eating vegetables and fruits instead of junk food, drinking enough water instead of artificial beverages, and being physically active will help us to lead a healthy life.
The writer is a Professor of Microbiology at BRAC University, Bangladesh.