Health and fitness, in general seem quite similar but they are not so. They are two different words symbolizing two different meanings. Health is the state of being free from illness or injury whereas fitness is considered a measure of the body’s ability to function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure activities, to resist diseases, and to meet emergency situations.
From a young age it is preached that being healthy and fit are critical to having a strong long life, however the amount of people that have the will power to take action in these parts of their lives are getting smaller and smaller, especially in this generation. It’s important that everyone, but especially teenagers, be acquainted with the advantages of a healthy life, and also acknowledge the ramifications of ignoring this cardinal part of life. Being active offers benefits beyond an improved physique and a healthy body. Health and fitness are crucial aspects of someone’s lifestyle and has the power to alter a person’s life in substantial ways.
Healthy eating, the benefits of being active, and consequences of a corrupting lifestyle are all things to keep in mind as one makes decisions and goes through life. Many people have the ability to eat whatever they want and not gain a pound, however what these people may not grasp is that all the bad food they are ingesting will catch up with them in later years of life, and may be setting them up for many health problems down the road.
It’s important to have a variety of different foods so your body has a healthy balanced diet. There are over forty nutrients that are essential to our life, and we need these nutrients because our bodies cannot produce them in large enough amounts for optimal health.
(Benefits of healthy eating, healthandliving.com) Different foods contain different nutrients, which is why it is imperative that we have this combination, and avoid overconsumption. Maintaining a healthy diet not only offers your body the energy and nutrition it needs to function but also offers many health benefits that can help one live longer and have a better life. Healthy eating helps to maintain a healthy body weight, makes one feel better about themselves, creates a stronger immune system, helps to sleep and feel more rested and gives mental alertness.
(Benefits From eating healthy, livestrong.com) Eating fruits and vegetables may reduce risks for a stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases and protects the body against certain types of cancer such as mouth cancer, and stomach cancer. Eating grains help with weight management, and reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Grains also have large amounts of dietary fiber which helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels, and lowers your risk of heart disease.
Each vitamin benefits your body in some way, for example potassium helps retain a healthy blood pressure, vitamin A keeps the skin and eyes healthy and protects against infections, and vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps the teeth and gums healthy. (Benefits of Healthy Diet, healthyforms.com) Eating healthy is something people need to consciously think about, because it does not come naturally. Sustaining a healthy diet is an essential part of leading a longer more vibrant life. (The 5 Key Benefits of eating healthy, ezinearticles.com)
Sustaining a healthy diet is not the only thing to keep in mind, being physically active is equally important. Being active may not always be fun, but the benefits will be worth it in the long run. Being active not only improves health and fitness but it also improves posture and balance, boosts the mood, helps one sleep, makes one stronger, reduces stress and controls the risk of heart disease, such as diabetes. It also protects people from a stroke, some types of cancer, lowers blood pressure and reduces anxiety and depression. (Benefits of Being Active, health.ca)
Studies have shown that child obesity is rapidly growing and will continue to grow if our generation does not take action of their health, which is why being active along with being healthy are both critical roles in not only developing as a person, but growing up healthy and happy. As mentioned earlier, child obesity rates are rising at a rapid pace. This is due to the fact that unhealthy foods cost significantly less than healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Right now 29% of adolescents are overweight, and this percent is growing by the day. Obesity as young kids and the food eating habits that they get into, carry into their adult life, leading to adult obesity. Currently, 59% of adult Canadians are either overweight or obese, and New Brunswick is one of the cities significantly higher in the overweight/obese population. (Statistics, childhoodobesityfoundation.ca) Not only do people get into bad eating habits that lead to obesity, but they also do not make time for exercise in there busy schedules, which only enhances the unhealthy lifestyle.
Being overweight can lead to cardiovascular disease such as a higher blood pressure, more likely to develop diabetes, and are at a greater risk for bone and joint problems because the body carrying more weight than it is equipped for. Sleep apnea, social and psychological problems, and a low self esteem are also causes of an unhealthy diet. Dental problems are another thing that comes with unhealthy eating.
Eating too much candy, or foods with lots of sugar and not enough other nutrients can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Another thing that many people are not aware of is the mood swings that come from unhealthy eating. Diets that do not include enough vitamins and minerals can lead to people suffering severe mood swings.
The body may become overly energetic and easily excitable only to crash later. In addition, a lack of vitamin B can lead to the hormone levels in the brain to be unbalanced, which can induce depression. (What are the Consequences of not Eating Healthy, ehow.com) Not being active can have many negative effects on the body. For example muscle atrophy is a cause of a lack of exercise.
Muscle atrophy is a medical term that describes the process of your muscles breaking down or wasting away because they are not being exercised to their full capacity. Not only do you lose muscle but you gain fatty tissue and slow down your metabolism, resulting in more weight gain.
Lack of exercise can also lead to increased levels of visceral fat, which is a fat that gets trapped inside your abdomen and is toxic because it causes heart disease and gallbladder problems, it also secrets dangerous hormones that can lead to the development of breast cancer. Cardiac decline is when the heart does not get enough exercise, and the heart, which is a muscle, isn’t being exercise and so it rapidly declines in its cardiovascular fitness.
The heart will not waste away like an arm or leg, however fat will begin to attack it which can lead to the development of heart disease. In 2006, approximately 2.4 million Americans died from heart disease. (The Effects of Lack of Exercise on the Body, livestrong.com) The effects that unhealthy eating and a lack of exercise has on your body can be life changing and detrimental.
This is why it is so important to have a balance between the two so you can avoid all the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle. It’s very important to keep these things in mind as you grow older, and make time for healthy meals and exercise. Balance it key. To have a healthy life one must have a balance between eating healthy, and exercising, however treating oneself ever once in awhile is not a sin.
Everything needs to be done in moderation. With the busy lives of people these days it can be hard to remember or consciously think about what we are putting into our mouths, or the amount of exercise we have gotten that day, which is why it is so easy to slip through the cracks. (Benefits From Healthy Eating, livestrong.com) However taking the few minutes to carefully think about these things can have a world of difference not only on your physical health, but on mental health as well.
The vitamins, minerals and nutrients are crucial to our lives and offer many health benefits that many may not be aware of. (Benefits of a Healthy Diet, liveforms.com) The body will also profit greatly from being physically active. Both of these things lower the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, helps sleep, and improves ones mood, leading them away from depression and anxiety.
(The Benefits of Fitness, millerhealth.com). If one does not choose to be aware of what they eat, or do physical activities then they run a large risk of becoming obese and overweight, and are opening themselves up to many health issues such as muscle atrophy, increased levels of a toxic fat, and declines in cardiovascular fitness, which in turn can lead to joint and muscle pain, heart disease, and a low self esteem.
(The Effects of Lack of Exercise on the Body, livestrong.com) Health and fitness are imperative parts of having a long healthy life, and the ramifications of not choosing to eat healthy and be active are a risk that should not be taken. Life should not be taken for granted, because without it you are nothing. Be conscious about the decisions in life now, so your body does not have to pay for them later.