Exercise is the Key to Good Health

Good health is very crucial and plays a very important part in one’s life span. In today’s world, it is awash in a rising tide of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and associated metabolic diseases such as diabetes. As prescription drugs become more common and readily available, people around the world are using more and more medications on a regular basis. When trying to prevent or manage various medical conditions, medications can be useful. However, medications are not designed to replace healthy lifestyle choices.

Lifestyle is defined as the basic personal behaviors that influence health, for example, diet and exercise, sleeping habits and substance use (including smoking, alcohol), and our stress-management styles among others. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, one must exercise regularly, have a balanced diet, and abstain from alcohol and smoking and not rely totally on medication. Thus, I agree that the key to good health is lifestyle rather than medicine.

A healthy lifestyle such as exercising and having a balanced diet can help to improve one’s health greatly. Two generations ago, most people were struggling to get enough food to survive. Their lifestyle includes long hours of toiling in their farms or in physically demanding conditions as miners, loggers, burning thousands of calories every day. However, the industrialization of farming has made food plentiful and physical labour less of a daily necessity. Now, we eat more and move less, accumulating metabolically active fat cells which in turn results in obesity.

Studies have shown that these excess fats increase the risk of heart disease, strokes, erectile dysfunction and some cancers. In other words, the poorer our lifestyle habits, the more fat cells we store and the greater our risk of disease, disability and untimely death. 'Diet and exercise' is the foundation of all diabetes management because it lowers blood sugar levels and prevents obesity. Therefore, exercising and having a healthy diet can improve health and reduce the need for medication.

Furthermore, maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps to lower the risk of getting health problems. Most people are engaged in drinking alcohol, it may have been to satisfy the curiosity, out of peer pressure or for work purposes. Though, there are those who consume alcohol excessively and too often that it becomes part of their lifestyle.

Consuming large amount of alcohol can lead to serious health problems as the liver becomes inflamed. It also puts you at risk for many health issues including cancer and diabetes. Similarly, there are many smokers around too. Smoking does not only cause lung cancer, but it can also cause respiratory problems, many other cancers and illnesses. It contains nicotine which is addictive and increases cholesterol levels in your body and carbon monoxide that reduces oxygen in the body.

Research has shown that on average, each cigarette shortens a smoker's life by around 11 minutes. These two substances can indirectly cause harms to one’s health. The more you smoke, and the longer you've smoked, the higher the risk of health problems. Henceforth, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by abstaining from alcohol and smoking so as to reduce the risk of getting health issues which in turns reduce the need for medication.

As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”. Medication may be useful in managing various medical conditions but in the long run, it is the lifestyle which matters most. As medication can help prevent or cure medical conditions, however, if the root of the problem is not solved, the illness may recrudescence after a period of quiescence.

A new study shows that European heart patients are taking more medication than ever before to lower their blood pressure and cholesterol, but bad habits such as overeating and smoking are undermining the drugs. Medication may also cause side effects when one consumes too many. Thus, medication is only a short term solution to good health. In order to ensure good health in the long run, a healthy lifestyle is very much needed.

Nevertheless, medicine can help to avoid deterioration of health especially for the senior citizens. As the aged has weaker immunity system and some may have difficulty in their movement, they may not be able to exercise much. Without exercise, the risk of diabetes and heart disease may increase. Thus medication may be a good way to strengthen their immunity and promote good health. Although this argument is sensible, but medication can be avoided by keeping a healthy lifestyle at younger age in order to maintain good health at old age.

Lastly, there are certain illnesses like cancer that are not curable nor totally preventable through lifestyle alone. Medication aids in cancer treatments which proven to be quite successful. Heart problems require medication to keep health check in control before the lifestyle can be adapted to maintain good health.

Therefore, although medicine is required to maintain good health at some point, lifestyle still plays a more important role in preventing diseases and illness as it reduces the risk of health issue instead of curing them only when the patients have experienced it. In conclusion, the key to good health is lifestyle rather than medicine.

As the best part about lifestyle is that anyone can apply it to his or her life, anytime and anywhere. No matter how old or young, where you live or what work you do, simple intentional changes can have a dramatic effect on your health today and in the years to come.