Topic of the day: Take care of your body and health


Modern life brought a great revolution in science, particularly in the field of medicine. Many diseases that were deadly in the past can now be treated and even for the ones without cure, some treatments can reduce the effects and increase life expectancy. However, even with the development in many fields, our society still suffers from various health related problems. Most of them are now associated with bad habits, such as an inadequate nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle.

A common example is obesity which is rapidly increasing in developed and developing countries. The easy access to industrialized (and in many cases unhealthy) food is creating a generation of obese people who are suffering from many diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and other illnesses affecting internal organs, such as the liver, kidneys, stomach, etc. The severity of these problems is increased because they are generally silent and the person may discover it too late.

In other cases, some problems that could be diagnosed in the first stages are neglected and ignored until when the symptoms are too strong for the person to hold. Cancer is a good example of this, especially considering that it can affect any part of the human body. A strange nodule or a recurrent pain in any part of the body should be investigated by a doctor. It may be nothing important but it could also be the first symptoms of something serious.

There is an old saying that “our body talks” and we have to be aware of this in order to “listen” to the initial signals that something is not so well.

If you want to have a healthy and long life, doing everything you want and keeping the vitality that you have/had when in your twenties and thirties, I believe that it’s just up to you. Of course, you may be diagnosed with some serious illness and then life will change completely. Luckily, for most people, this is not the case and as long as you keep a healthy lifestyle, your later years can be as enjoyable as during the early adulthood. In my case, I have some examples of relatives who suffered from diabetes, cancer and hypertension. I cannot judge them, but for sure their lifestyle influenced at least in the severity of their diseases.

That’s one of the reasons that I decided to change my habits during my late twenties. I had always been an active child, playing soccer, running, cycling and playing with friends outside, which was a benefit of living in the countryside. When I started my bachelor’s degree and during my first years after graduation I neglected this and decreased considerably my level of activities, together with a bad nutrition, sometimes not even having breakfast and eating junk food quite often.

When I noticed that my overall health was getting worse and I was gaining weight, I decided to change some habits and improve my standards. I started going to the gym regularly for a few years and later, when I got bored of doing that, I decided to start mountain biking, running and swimming over the next years. I also learned the importance of going regularly to the doctor and dentist. Every year I do a medical checkup in which I have a global picture of my health. I also became aware of the food I eat, reducing considerably the consumption of canned food, and especially junk food. In the last two years that I’m living abroad, I started cooking my own food and using diverse vegetables and fruit.

There are many things you can do to improve your health. I suggest starting with a medical checkup to see your current conditions. I believe that the money spent on prevention is not an expenditure; it’s actually an investment in our health. You will certainly beneficiate from this extra care taken over the years.

Another important aspect is reducing the consumption of carbohydrates (particularly sugars) which are abundant in most biscuits, cakes and sweets and bakery products in general. This type of food is produced to be tasty and create a subconscious desire for eating more. If you like soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, reduce it as much as you can.

Start also drinking more water. Our body is made of around 70% of water and nearly all processes in our organs use water as the medium. The common recommendation is to drink at least 2 liters of water on a daily basis, but this may vary depending on your metabolism and level of activity. I created a habit of having a bottle nearby and drinking around at least a glass of water just after waking up. Some specialists say that our organs will speed up faster after the night resting and this water will also help to clean up internally.

Exercising is another item to be included in your regular routine. It can be anything from a walk to an intense spinning session. The objective is to exercise at least 3 times a week for more than half an hour. The beginning may be hard but over time it becomes easier. Another tip is to find a sport that you enjoy doing. The pleasure practising this sport will be a strong motivation for exercising. There are many options available and you don’t even need to spend money on it if you wanna start something like running. I found mountain biking and running as my favourite sports nowadays and I engage in personal challenges to make them even more fun.

Take your health seriously, change some habits and create a better future. The hours and money invested on it will be easily returned when you get old.