The first thought that must have come in the readers mind is as to why I have selected 15 to 30 years age bracket for tips .here is the explanation.
15 years is around the time when there are drastic changes in one’s life. School gets over and college starts. That means the teen gets independent. He is more matured but still impressionable. He or she can understand and grasps matters but ideas are not set and rigid. He starts eating more outside. Hence food habits change and can become bad. He may develop and nurture food fads which might lead to weight gain, obesity which can act as the precursor to getting diabetes and hypertension in future. He may develop addictions and his perfectly healthy milieu interior will get disturbed.
At the same time 15 is an age when a person’s physical endurance increases. He can exercise, start gym, run marathons and indulge in any kind of sport. And in doing so maintain good health.
The choices made during this age have a bearing on your future health just like it has a bearing on your career. Around 18-21 years of age the height stops increasing and hence whatever extra we eat just goes on to add the girth of the person. Which in Indians lead to abdominal obesity. The fat accumulation so acquired at this age group will later lead to formation of cellulite or resistant fats and also worsen the peripheral resistance of the body. This insulin resistance leads to diabetes.
Hence channelizing towards healthy lifestyle habits of this age group is very important.
Around 26 years of age is considered the peak of physical health. Hence most international sports players generally peak at this age .after 27 years generally the physical abilities start diminishing. Hence in athletics and games like lawn tennis players retire by 28-30 years.
By 30 years ideas and habits as well as ideologies becomes fixed and mostly inflexible. So whatever addictions if acquired will persists, food fads will continue, sedentary habits will carry on.
So the ability to shape your future health lies between 15 to 30 years of age. Beyond 30s the task just becomes more difficult if not impossible. Taking good care of health in childhood is important, however child health is in the hands of parents and child is generally not mature enough to understand health implications by themselves.
With this back ground, let’s see the 5 useful tips.
- EAT HEALTHY, well balanced diet, rich in VITAMINS, low in carbohydrates , slightly high proteins and low in fats and low calorie diet.
- EXERCISE DAILY. Since this is young age group and 99% will have no co-morbidities , they can indulge in any type of moderate to high intensity sporting activities like jogging, running , swimming ,cycling , hockey etc(consult doctor before doing heavy intensity exercises if any health issues)
- MAINTAIN IDEAL BODY WEIGHT AND BMI: stick to your ideal body weight by a combination of exercise and diet plan and never waver 2-3 kgs above ideal weight.
- AVOID ABDOMINAL OBESITY: many people may not become overweight but still develop abdominal obesity .This leads to prediabetes, impaired glucose tolerance and overt diabetes mellitus. Hence exercising to prevent abdominal obesity is very important.
- STAY AWAY FROM ADDICTIONS: consuming poison (smoking, alchohol, drugs) from one side and then resorting to fad detox programmes on the other side never helps. This is the age group where addictions develop and can become lifelong and endanger life itself. Hence staying away from all addictions is very important.
DR JACOB THOMAS