Topic of the day: Nutrition and a healthy lifestyle

One important aspect that we should consider in our younger ages is to have a balanced life, especially regarding nutrition and exercising. Our late years in life will be strongly influenced by how we well we managed our lives until that point. In a world where (low quality) food is easily available in supermarkets and sedentarism is a serious problem that is increasing with the use of the new technologies, being trapped in a low-quality lifestyle is a situation that many people live…and they don’t know how to get rid of.

Our body is like a machine, a very well designed and adaptative machine that accepts many types of food, different kinds of exercise levels, short or long sleep, more or less water, but it never performs the same way when bad conditions are present. This means that we pay the price for bad habits, or receive the bonus for good quality lifestyle. By using this term I’m generalizing a series of habits that we have to create to perform in high levels during our entire life:

*** Good nutrition means eating more natural food with a balance of proteins, fibres, and carbohydrates. Regarding nutrition, we should definitely avoid high levels of saturated fat, sugars, and salt, for example, which can easily be evaluated reading the nutrition facts in the food package. Raw or home-cooked food is better than industrialized products.

*** Hydration is as important as food in our body. Water keeps the organs “lubricated” and is essential for a series of metabolic processes as well as for cleaning our system (with the piss for example). So, drink enough water (at least 2 litres a day).

*** Sleeping is another aspect so important and unfortunately, people are getting less and less with the advance of the telecommunications…in the past, it was usual for a family to have dinner, then have some talks and watch TV for a while before going to sleep. Now with the internet everywhere, most people use their smartphones even when in bed and consequently, they sleep less and with lower quality, as our brain is still highly stimulated before the sleep. Try to avoid the use of smartphones at least half an hour before sleeping and take the sleeping period as a resting time for your body to recover.

*** An active lifestyle is another really important aspect to have if you want to have a long life with good quality. Actually is a repetitive topic that I wrote before but is still so important that I prefer to emphasize this relevance in our life. Our muscles were made for moving and when this doesn’t happen, the fibres get weaker and the cells’ recycling process is reduced, causing several problems in the later years. Besides that, exercising has various benefits for our health such as reducing the risk of serious diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cancer.

I like to compare our body to a system and the word “balance” is used to make an energetic evaluation of this system. Our food is our main input of energy and exercising is one of our main ways to use this energy. The term “calories burnt” is often used in the fitness world because our body stores the energy (calories) that are not used for its basic processes and exercising is how we burn this excess. This excess of calories not burnt is in most cases stored as fat and depending on your energy balance (calories ingested with the food consumed - calories burnt in our body processes/exercising), you may gain or lose weight.

So the choice is yours. To have a better future regarding your health, the best time to invest was yesterday, the second best time is now. Don’t wait until you get old to find out that you could have taken better care of yourself.