Forward Planning: Why You Should Start Putting Your Health First Now

Many of us are guilty of assuming that our youth will shield us from health problems. Sadly, although it’s true that many illnesses are more common in older people, this doesn’t mean that you can live like a rockstar without any implications. The truth is that health should be an issue that concerns all of us, no matter our age. Even if you’re a sprightly 20 or 30-year old, it’s important to start putting your health first now, as the choices you make will impact you later in life. Here are some simple ways you can make the future brighter.

Your diet
You may think that you’re healthy because you fit in the normal category of the BMI chart, but if you analyzed your diet, would it be given the thumbs up by a dietitian? You don’t have to eat nothing but pulses, seeds, fruit, and vegetables every day to be healthy, but it’s so important to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs. Try and include a range of foods, and focus on including all the major food groups. The bulk of your diet should comprise complex carbohydrates, and you’ll then need to add protein, fats and fruit and vegetables. Aim for five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, opt for whole grains whenever possible and keep an eye on your intake of sugar and saturated fats. The best sources of fats are those that contain essential omega acids. Examples include oily fish and olive oil.

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Your alcohol intake
Most people enjoy an alcoholic drink from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with drinking in moderation and you don’t need to have your intake monitored with an EtG test. However, it is a good idea to keep track of how much you drink in an average week. There may be days when you drink more than usual, for example, if you’re going to a wedding or celebrating a birthday, but if you exceed the recommended weekly intake of 14 units on a regular basis, it’s wise to try and cut down. Drinking too much can increase your risk of liver cirrhosis and some forms of cancer.

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Your activity levels
Did you know that 80 percent of American adults fail to hit weekly activity targets? If you don’t do enough exercise and you have a sedentary lifestyle, being more active will benefit you now and in the future. Regular exercise helps to increase strength, endurance, and flexibility and it can also improve your mental health. If you don’t want to lift weights or run for miles on a treadmill at the gym, don’t worry. There are countless other methods of getting fit you can try and even making simple changes to your daily routine can help. Go for a walk on your lunch break or cycle to work instead of catching a bus. You could join a local tennis, netball or hockey club, you could sign up for spinning, dancing or yoga classes or you could order some DVDs and work out at home. Government recommendations suggest 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

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Even if you’re young and you think you’re healthy, it’s never too early to make your health your priority.