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Staying Fit - Healthier and Wealthier Life


By: Vera Mae Padilla Ferrer Cabataña


Health is one of the main catalysts for a person's success. To be able to have a sound mind and body indicates our capability to act out our dreams.

Many people are deprived of this assurance and continue to suffer under an unhealthy lifestyle. Some habitually lack sleep, some do not maintain a proper diet and neglect their responsibility to their bodies by skipping exercise and engaging in harmful physical activities such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol and using illegal drugs.

Sleep is a focal point in maximizing our health. It helps us regenerate the energy we expend during the day for the next. Nowadays, sleep deficiency has become common among teenagers and young adults and taking part in it is the surging mania towards today’s technology. People can't seem to put down their gadgets once in a while and before they knew it, their sleep cycle became abnormal. There is lack of sleep during night time resulting in a very listless and unproductive day. It will be a recurring event and finally, it becomes a habit. If this habit continues, this will considerably yield undesirable results such as higher risk of obesity. It is the role of sleep to be able to maintain the ghrelin and leptin hormones of your body. While ghrelin is responsible for our ability to feel hunger, leptin is the hormone in charge for making us feel full. A higher risk of obesity is made possible through an increase in ghrelin and a decrease in leptin caused by sleep deficiency. In this manner, the person is anticipated to feel amplified hunger resulting for him to crave for more food than usual. Negative effects of sleep deficiency do not merely limit to obesity but also increased risk in heart and kidney diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes. Sleep regulates the insulin level of the body. If there is habitual lack of sleep, this may result to deterioration in insulin and high blood sugar level. This is how sleep takes part in minimizing the body’s risk of diabetes.

Moreover, sleep deficiency does not only confront physical health but also the mental health of a person. It impairs the ability of the human mind to solve problems, make decisions and control emotions. Sleep deficiency has also been relatively associated with suicide and depression. Most people that suffer from depression are sleep deficient. Although this is not the only factor that triggers depression it is considered a significant approach to determining people who are suffering from this struggle.

The emphasis on the importance of sleep is a reminder, if not a warning, to pay special attention to our sleeping habits in order to eliminate the risk of illnesses. However, keep in mind that alongside quality sleep are proper diet and exercise. Proper diet entails healthy weight and low risk for chronic diseases, diabetes, and obesity. Poor nutrition may also lead to high cholesterol. This phenomenon is often caused specifically by high-fat diets in which cholesterol-contained foods are packed with the high amount of saturated and trans fats.  Mixed with paranoia in terms of the bad effects of poor diet, people had developed a common misconception that all fats found in a food are considered unhealthy. However, there is a classification of healthy and unhealthy fats. Unhealthy fats are known as the saturated fat and trans fat. Although both of these fats are harmful to the body, trans fat is much worse since it possesses the ability to lower healthy cholesterol and raises lousy cholesterol level during a process called hydrogenation in which liquid oil becomes a solid fat, another method of causing heart diseases. To overcome filling the body with unhealthy fats, the person must be able to limit his daily intake of meat and dairy products and instead focus on eating healthy fats (in moderation) such as unsaturated and omega-3 fats for lower risk of heart disease.


Observing proper diet shows the person's will to maintain good nutrition for his body. It is not very easy to be able to restrain yourself from too many sweets, too much junk foods or greasy foods and it is mainly because of our lack of awareness towards the consequences that come with having too much. Too much of everything is bad. That is why it is important to involve moderation in your diet. This way, nothing could ever go wrong.


Proper diet is slowly being fulfilled but what about smoking and drinking? Good nutrition could help prevent diseases, however, it does not outweigh the damage frequent smoking and drinking has brought upon the body. Cigarettes contain four-hundred toxic chemicals that include tar, carbon monoxide, DDT, arsenic, and formaldehyde. Not to mention the nicotine that makes them highly addictive. Smoking is a risk factor for lung cancer, coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke. Meanwhile, heavy alcohol consumption causes high blood pressure, gastric problems, liver cirrhosis, memory impairment, and liver cancer. But this does not end here. It also causes alcohol and smoking dependence and other psychological conditions.


Some people engage in smoking, unhealthy alcohol consumption, and worse-illegal drugs. (cocaine or any other street drugs) that gives harmful ingredients that can trigger the brain to release dopamine and creates a euphoric feeling. The high is intense but short-lived, which leads people to use it repeatedly to try to keep the feeling going. But they did not know what will be the effects of it increased heart rate, high blood pressure, increased body temperature, stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite, malnourishment, heart damage, heart attack and stroke. These engagements we have to avoid to lessen the risks of early death.


Daily exercise must be included in a person’s routine to help regulate the body. When we exercise it gives the proper flow of blood and helps decreases a person's risk of developing certain diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.  


Although these may be facts, people who engage in these harmful activities are still entitled to their own rights. It is their liberty to do these things in which the other people had no control over. The strong will to live healthily is the most essential characteristic one must possess in order to achieve a healthy life all throughout. Without this, there can only be an endless cycle of damage to the body.


So healthy living and staying fit is not a fad or a trend but it’s a lifestyle we must follow to enjoy the beauty of life.



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