Important to be Healthy

Health, by definition, is a state of physical, mental, and social well-being. It implies the absence of infirmity or disease, but their mere absence does not imply being healthy. Earning and maintaining health is an active process. Good health is a result of proper nutrition, regular exercise, good health care, and hygiene. One of the most important factors that determine the mental health of an individual is his/her happiness quotient. Hence, effective stress management is a vital factor in remaining healthy.

Human beings are the most important assets of a nation. It is people who drive the world towards progress and also benefit from it. To advance in life and reap the advantages of this development, what we need first is good health. To be able to enjoy anything, we first need to be fit, both physically and mentally. The absence of health can make the world come to a standstill. Lack of health means passivity, incapacity, and unhappiness. An unhealthy living robs us of the pleasures in life. The true definition of health brings out the real essence of a healthy life. The concept of being healthy is a composition of different facets of life. It includes physical well-being, which can be brought about by a healthy diet and exercise; it constitutes the maintenance of health through proper precaution and cures for physical ailments. The conveniently ignored facet of being healthy is the mental well-being. One’s happiness and positivism are highly influential in the maintenance of one’s health.

To progress in life, one needs to receive some sort of formal or practical education and then earn one’s living. To meet one’s basic needs in life and survive; one needs to be healthy. Different streams of education involve different amounts of physical and mental activity. These activities are an integral part of every profession or field of work. To perform these activities effectively, one needs to be healthy. In order to socialize (which is required in almost every walk of life), one needs to be physically and mentally fit. That’s because, when you are a part of a group, you need to interact with one another, you need to work together; there is collaboration as well as competition. That’s the essence of being a part of the society. And to be able to stand strong in a competitive world, or in order to make collaborated efforts, one needs good health.

Basically, physical fitness gives you the energy to work, which when coupled with mental fitness, makes you more productive. In almost every walk of life, one needs to socialize. To be able to give one’s best to the work at hand (be it in education, or in one’s personal or professional life), one’s primary need is good health.

As a part of society, every human being has a set of duties to perform. There are certain family responsibilities as also some responsibilities towards the society. For an individual to be able to shoulder these responsibilities capably, it is important for him to be healthy. To make progress, to work towards the betterment of society, to contribute to overall social welfare and thus be a valuable asset of society, it is extremely important to be healthy.

As one grows from a child to an adult, one’s set of rights and responsibilities expands. In order to perform one’s duties and exercise one’s rights, it is absolutely important to be fit. To raise a family, to bring up children, and to take care of the elderly, good health is essential.

We obtain education, we work, we earn, we strive to bring comfort and luxuries to our living, we earn money to lead an easy life. Weakness, health problems, and bad habits come in the way of this enjoyment. The absence of good health does not allow us to live happily. Health and happiness go hand in hand. To live life to the fullest and enjoy every bit of it, it is extremely important for us to be healthy.

Diet for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is often associated with obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and even infertility. Nowadays, doctors recommend weight loss as a part of the treatment, and this can be achieved through exercises and a change in the diet.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition caused by imbalance of hormones in females. The symptoms of the disease include obesity, irregular menstruation or amenorrhea, insulin resistance, depression, hair loss, excess of male hormones characterized by increase in facial and body hair, and enlarged ovaries with many small cysts. PCOS may also lead to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, high blood cholesterol, miscarriage, and endometrial cancer. The symptoms and the associated medical conditions vary from one woman to another.

The treatment for this condition is tailored to fit individual problems, like abnormal growth of body hair and infertility; but the most important part is controlling or managing the long-term risks. Long term risks include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. As all these conditions are directly or indirectly related to obesity, doctors suggest weight loss as a part of the overall treatment plan. It is believed that, maintaining a healthy body weight can be beneficial in reducing and controlling the symptoms and conditions associated with PCOS.

Obesity and PCOS

Studies show that about 50 to 60 percent of the women affected with PCOS are obese. Such obesity is linked to the levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas to break down carbohydrates, and to carry sugar from the blood to the muscles and cells. These cells convert the sugar into energy or store it as fat. It is said that 80 percent of the women affected by PCOS are insulin resistant.

In women with PCOS, cells are resistant to insulin, which affects the process of transporting sugar from the blood to the cells. This leads to an increase in production of insulin, causing hyperinsulinemia (high levels of insulin in blood), which in turn could lead to many other problems, like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and polycystic ovaries. Hence, it is suggested that, the underlying cause of PCOS is insulin resistance; and so, apart from the conventional medication, weight loss and lifestyle changes are also necessary for tackling this disease. It would be beneficial to adopt a diet for PCOS.

Carbohydrate Intake

A diet, which is low in fats, but high in carbohydrates may not be beneficial for women with PCOS. High levels of carbohydrates can trigger overproduction of insulin, which will have a negative effect. Hence, a diet which is low in carbohydrates, is considered ideal; but avoid refined food, like breads, pastas, cookies, and ice creams. You can include more complex carbohydrates, like whole-grain breads and cereals, whole-wheat pasta, barley, brown rice, and beans. Prefer low glycemic foods, which take more time to turn into blood sugar. They have higher fiber content than the high glycemic foods (foods that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream).

The daily consumption of carbohydrates should not be less than 40 grams. A lower intake of carbohydrates can cause ketosis. Maintain proper intervals in between meals. If you consume the whole recommended level of carbohydrate in a single meal, it can cause a rapid rise in the blood sugar and insulin level. Try to drink more water and liquids, but avoid caffeinated beverages. A diet for polycystic ovarian syndrome does not contain foods with saturated and trans fats. Such foods include red meat, whole dairy products, butter, margarine, and fried and spicy foods. Foods high in monounsaturated fats and omega-3-fatty acids are good for the health of the heart.

According to some studies, dietary changes and regular exercise are found to be beneficial in restoring regular menstrual cycle and ovulation. It is also helpful in controlling health problems associated with PCOS. Above all, a healthy diet and exercise are good for the overall well-being of any human being.

Understanding Balanced Health Triangle

The term ‘health triangle’ was conceptualized in 1997 by 120 eighth-graders of the Tanana Middle School in Fairbanks, Alaska. The students were given a task of writing essays on health problems that plagued them and other eight graders in their district. The research was part of the district’s health curriculum that took approximately 10 days to finish. Everyday 1 hour of school time was dedicated to analyzing and pondering over various health issues. Finally, the study boiled down to researching on key aspects of health―physical, mental, and social―that affected overall well-being. The health triaSectionCardngle correlates all 3 aspects of health, meaning if any one aspect is not healthy, it can have a negative impact on the other two. It is elaborated below:

Consider a party person who may show good social skills, but the habit of partying late at night can disturb his sleeping pattern, in turn, affecting his physical and mental health. Now, consider a person who religiously follows his diet and exercise, but ignores attending social events and interacting with friends. This lack of social mobility can also be bad for mental health as the person may feel isolated, which may lead to depression. So, one can see how the sides of the triangle that stand for different aspects of life are interdependent on each other. Therefore, it is essential to balance all the sides of the triangle to achieve overall well-being. A balanced health triangle is an indication of high levels of well-being and life satisfaction. The following Buzzle article elaborates more on ways to have a balanced health triangle.

Balancing Health Triangle
In order to achieve a balanced health triangle, it is necessary to take care of the physical, mental, and social aspect of the health. Lifestyle changes that promotes overall well-being is the key to balancing the personal health triangle. It is discussed below.

Choose Healthy Foods

Making wise food choices is critical to balance the health triangle. Eating nutritious foods should be your top priority as it has a positive impact on your physical health and quality of life. The physical side of the health triangle depends on eating healthy foods. Follow a well-balanced diet, which means, eat healthy foods from each food group. Vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and proteins are the 5 food groups that provide ample nutrition.
Add variety to your diet by including different foods within each food group. Fat-free milk, low-fat yogurt, beans, peas, nuts (almonds and walnuts), salmon, and lean meat are some of the healthy choices from dairy and protein food groups. When it comes to eating healthy, one simply cannot forget fruits and vegetables that are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. Eating vegetables in the form of salads is an easy way to add nutrition to your diet. As far as grains are concerned, choose whole grain products as they are more nutritious than refined grain products.

Exercise Daily

Besides eating healthy foodstuffs, it is imperative to exercise daily to stay physically fit. Exercising for at least half an hour can go a long way in keeping you fit and fine. Simple low-impact activity, such as brisk walking for around 45 minutes, can provide high health dividends and balance the physical aspect of the triangle of health. If possible, you could go to a gym and get a good dose of cardio and weight training. In case you feel exercising at a gym is not your cup of tea, there are other ways to stay in shape. Going for swim or playing sports like soccer, basketball, and tennis, or any other activity that you enjoy along with your friends, can also help you to stay fit.

Stay Mentally Active

While physical activity is important, one should not ignore the mental aspect of life to achieve a balanced health triangle. So, to stay mentally active, one can solve crosswords, jigsaws, puzzles or any other brain teasers. These brain exercising games that boost mental activity have been proven to reduce the risk of age-related mental decline. Practicing relaxation techniques, such as meditation and yoga, can also help improve mental health.

Avoid Unhealthy Influences

To maintain good health and to stay in the best of shape, refrain from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Smoking and risky sexual behavior along with poor eating habits can negatively affect all 3 sides of the health triangle; hence, these need to be avoided.

Practice Good Grooming Habits

Practicing good grooming habits makes us feel good, which in turn has a positive impact on our physical and mental health. This also facilitates social interactions. So, make sure you shower everyday, wear deodorant, brush twice daily, put on clean, ironed clothes, wash your hands and shave whenever necessary, comb your hair, and most importantly, ensure that your shoes are clean and well-polished. These habits of good personal hygiene can also help increase confidence, self-esteem, and moreover, encourage positive interactions.

Take Rest

Yes, exercise and healthy diet are crucial for good health, but that does not mean you should ignore rest. Inadequate rest or sleep can lead to medical issues and ruin your health. Not taking enough sleep has been linked to obesity, behavioral problems, and weight gain. So, make sure that you get enough ‘shut eye’ (7 to 9 hours) to stay healthy and feel energetic throughout the day.

Be Social

The social aspect is as important as physical and mental aspect of your health, in balancing the health triangle. Research has shown that social interaction also has a positive influence on our health. A healthy social life can go a long way in reducing stress, elevating our mood and enabling us to manage the ups and downs in life in a better way. Being surrounded by good friends is a lot more comforting, and provides social and emotional support especially in times of grief. Friends and companionship can act as an emotional healer and can have a major impact on our well-being. As simple as sharing meals can help strengthen relationships. You can improve your social health by making new friends and taking part in group games that help nurture friendships.

Healthy Eating Tips

Our overall health and well-being depends on what we eat. Food is the main source to get an adequate amount of nutrients that are essential for normal growth and functioning of the body. Hence, it is very important to develop eating habits for good health and physical fitness.

Your diet should be healthy and balanced. It should consist of adequate amounts of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fibers. You should include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits as well as dairy products in your daily diet. Generally, it should be low in fats and rich in proteins and carbohydrates.

Healthy Eating Tips
A key to healthy eating is the time-tested advice of variety, balance and moderation. You should eat a variety of foods without gaining excessive calories or any of nutrients. Here are some useful tips for healthy eating:

More than 40 different nutrients are required for normal growth and functioning of the body. Our daily meals should contain whole-grain products, fresh vegetables and fruits, poultry, dairy products, fish, meat and other protein foods. Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals and low in fats, sodium and calories. Most vegetables contain and antioxidants phytochemicals, which prevent some chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancers.

Don’t skip a breakfast. After not eating anything for past 10-12 hours during night, our body requires food to boost the energy levels. Your breakfast should consist of fruits and a glassful of milk or fresh fruit juice. Avoid eating oily, high calorie snacks in breakfast.

Your lunch should be the largest meal of the day. Start every meal with a low-fat starter including soup, salad, broth or a glass of water. Your lunch should include enough quantity of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Include some raw vegetables and fruits in your lunch. Eat slowly and take care that you are not eating more than required. Your lunch should be followed by a fruit juice or fruit salad.

We all need some snacks in between two meals. So choose the snacks very carefully. Avoid eating junk foods, which lack in nutrients and contain high calories. Instead, select some healthy snacks such as vegetables, fruits, cottage cheese with applesauce, low fat yogurt, whole-wheat crackers or some trail mix. Dietary sugars can be replaced with no-calorie sweeteners.

Drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday. It keeps your body hydrated. It is also helpful for body cleanse and weight loss.

If you keep a reasonable serving size, then it’s easy to eat adequate quantity of food and stay healthy. Excess eating can give rise to a number of health problems, including obesity.

If you are trying for weight loss, then don’t go for crash diets or don’t totally eliminate certain foods. You can reduce the foods that are rich in sugar, fat or salt. You can choose skim or low fat dairy products. If you are going to do some changes in your diet, then do it gradually. Sudden changes can give rise to food allergies.

Always remember, no food is good or bad. It’s up to you how to balance the variety of foods. Adopt healthy habits for good health and physical fitness, leading to a cheerful, healthy life.