• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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The role of physical activity and nutrition in our personal health

The role of physical activity and nutrition in our personal health

Luna hated queues. It seemed like that’s all she had been doing these days. She queued at the filling station to get fuel. She queued at the bank to get cash, last month she queued at her polling unit to vote and queued the month before to get her PVC to enable her cast said vote. She queued at the grocery store, at the embassy, even to get into her favourite spot for ‘Suya Tuesdays’. She figured she’d be used to queuing by now, after all it was the norm for many living in Lagos.

Why then did she feel so anxious as she sat in yet another queue, waiting to see Dr. Gbamgbose? This wasn’t the first time she came in for a health check, so why was she so nervous? In an attempt to distract herself she absentmindedly picked up her phone to text her mom while she waited. She was scrolling looking for her mother’s name and a tear rolled down her cheek. She knew why she was so nervous.

Last month, Luna lost her mother to complications from diabetes. A disease no one knew she had. Luna’s mother had always been plump, for as long as she knew her. “We all have big bones in our family” Her mum always said, whenever she was challenged about not taking her health seriously. “It’s just a little rice, it wouldn’t hurt” she would continue, and laugh it off.

Luna wished she had pushed her mother to pay more attention to her diet and take exercise more seriously. Maybe if she did, she would not be sitting in the Dr’s waiting room crying at her mother’s name in her phone. Luna wiped her tears and stood up; her name had been called. From the day her mother died, she vowed to get a health check-up every month, so she could live long for her own daughter. So even though she hated queuing so much, a queue at the doctor’s office, was one she didn’t mind at all.

Physical activity and nutrition are two important components of a healthy lifestyle. Both can have a positive impact on an individual’s physical and mental health, as well as overall wellbeing. Physical activity is any form of movement which increases the heart rate. It can include walking, running, cycling, swimming, playing sports, and sexual intercourse.

1. Improved cardiovascular health: Regular physical activity strengthens our heart and lungs, which improves our cardiovascular health. It also lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.
2. Increased strength and endurance: Engaging in strength training exercises and other physical activities regularly can increase our muscle strength and endurance, making it easier to perform daily activities.
3. Weight management: Physical activity burns calories, which helps to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if necessary.
4. Reduced risk of chronic diseases: Regular physical activity can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, and osteoporosis.
5. Improved mental health: Physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters. It can also reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall mental well-being.

Read also: A good self-esteem and the benefits it has to your personal health

Nutrition is the process of obtaining the necessary nutrients from food. Eating a balanced diet is essential for maintaining good health. Eating a variety of foods from the five main food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and proteins) helps to ensure that the body gets all the nutrients it needs. Eating a healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. It helps boost one’s energy levels and improve mood.

1. Improved energy levels: Consuming a balanced diet that includes complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats can provide us with sustained energy throughout the day.
2. Stronger immune system: Proper nutrition provides our bodies with the necessary nutrients to build a strong immune system that can fight off infections and illnesses.
3. Healthy weight management: A balanced diet can help us maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases.
4. Improved mental health: A healthy diet can positively impact our mental health by reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
5. Reduced risk of chronic diseases: Consuming a healthy diet can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer.
Incorporating physical activity and nutrition into our daily lives is essential for maintaining good personal health. Here are some tips for incorporating physical activity and nutrition into your daily routine:
1. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week.
2. Incorporate strength training exercises into your weekly routine to build muscle strength and endurance.
3. Choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
4. Avoid highly processed and sugary foods and drinks.
5. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
6. Make small changes to your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to nearby locations instead of driving.

In conclusion, physical activity and nutrition are essential for maintaining good personal health. Engaging in regular physical activity and consuming a balanced and healthy diet can have numerous benefits for our physical and mental well-being. By incorporating physical activity and nutrition into our daily routine, we can improve our overall health and quality of life.