First publised on 2020-03-03 18:18:10
Given an option, most people would not like to live to be 100. But living a healthy life for as long as one is alive will be the dream of everyone. But how many of us actually take steps when needed to ensure that we live a healthy and happy life? Very few, if one goes by the ailments people face once they cross fifty. A sedentary lifestyle coupled with a careless attitude towards the body when one is young depreciates the healthy body one is born with. It requires just a few simple habits to prevent that. Yet, most of us are willing to risk being unhealthy while enjoying life in our youth. This is one trade-off that should be avoided.
Researchers at the T H Chan School of Public Health at Harvard have found that by following five simple habits one can live longer healthily. These habits are so simple that you do not need researchers to tell you about them. In India, the dadis and nanis have been doing that for years, based on the feedback they received from their dadis and nanis. But very few youngsters or middle-aged persons followed them, leading to a generation of obese and unhealthy people.
The researchers at Harvard have said that to live healthy, a person must:
1. Follow a healthy diet that takes in vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids. One must avoid less healthy or unhealthy foods like red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans-fat, and excess sodium.
2. Keep up a healthy physical activity level which means 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity like brisk walking, cycling or swimming.
3. Maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). A BMI from 18.5 to 24.9, calculated as per your weight and height, is considered ideal. Anything above 24.9 makes you overweight and susceptible to a host of diseases.
4. Give up smoking entirely.
5. Consume alcohol in moderation. Just a 60ml drink of distilled spirits is allowed in a day for men and half of that for women.
This is not a list that will scare anyone. Maybe smokers and regular drinkers will scoff at the last two suggestions but they are an integral part of being healthy. It needs not to be emphasized that healthy eating habits and bidding goodbye to a sedentary lifestyle in itself will ensure that one will tick the third point as it will lead to one having the ideal weight for one's body structure. If there is anything that needs to be added to the above, it is the need for quality sleep for at least 6 to 8 hours per day depending on one's age. If one is able to adhere to the above list and gets enough sleep, one is likely to live a healthy life.