Healthy Lifestyle Choices

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We all have some choices to make in our everyday lives. Our decisions have an impact on our well-being and overall health. We, as individuals, have to make sure we are making the right ones.

Choice # 1: To be physically active
To stay physically active during the summer, I went to the gym around two times a week, I swam whenever I got the chance, and I played different sports at the park like soccer, tennis and basketball. Ever since school started, the amount of physical activity and exercise I get has considerably dropped. In fact, the only exercise I get is at the gym twice a week and on my Friday after noon gym classes! That amounts to about 210 minutes of physical activity a week. The reason for such minimal exercise is that with schoolwork, a job, sleep and a social life that’s unfortunately all that I have time for. As for the benefits of exercising, we have the obvious physical benefit that is to help control your weight. A lot of people make new acquaintances at their local gym; this is a social benefit of exercising. Last but not least, exercising also has its emotional benefits. According to livestrong.com, ‘’ making time in your day to exercise helps stimulate the release of endorphins, feel-good chemicals that can help you feel relaxed and happy.’’

Choice # 2: To eat well
Yes, I do consume three well-balanced meals throughout the day. My mornings usually consist of fruits, my lunches consist of a salad and a sandwich and my dinners vary from day to day. Of course, there are days that I give in to the temptation of unhealthy foods but I am proud to say that I have made some changes in my eating habits in the past couple of months. I used to eat out quite a lot in high school, not to mention I barely ever brought my own lunch. Over the summer, I decided I wasn’t going to eat out anymore. Unfortunately, I didn’t completely eliminate fast food and restaurants from my diet but they now occupy a much smaller place. As for snacks, they usually consist of fruits, ice cream, cookies or chocolate. The first category is clearly the healthier choice, but I sometimes settle for ice cream, cookies or chocolate because of my lack of will power. Luckily, my parents don’t buy much snacks and I honestly believe this is what helps me keep away from unhealthy snacks.

Poor diets have a long list of health risks. For example, according to the American Heart Association, eating foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats can increase your risks of heart disease. Diabetes is another common risk factor of a bad diet high in sugar and fats. According to BBC World Service, excessive consumption of these nutrients makes it hard for your body to regulate your blood sugar, thus leading to the need of another source of insulin.

Choice # 3: To manage your stress
We all have to deal with stress but many of us don’t really know how. The Discovery Health website tells us that spending some time in silence everyday helps us cope with stress. They also suggest getting a massage, which promotes ‘’emotional release’’ and muscular relaxation.

On another note, according to them, failure of successfully dealing with the stress we are subjected to can lead to sleeping problems, heart issues, digestive issues and many more.

Choice # 4: To smoke or not to smoke
I myself am a non-smoker, never have been and hopefully never will be. I choose not to smoke because I personally find it smells very bad (probably tastes bad too), it ruins your teeth, affects your lungs and it just has never attracted me.

Even If I do not smoke, I still have to protect my lungs. The Canadian Lung Association has a list of ten tips on how to protect your lungs and prevent lung disease. Here are three of those tips: 1. ‘’ Avoid second-hand smoke. Breathing the smoke from cigarettes and pipes increases your risk for the same diseases that affect people who smoke. Don't allow smoking in your home, in the car, or at work....
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