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Changing patterns: We all want to live longer

By Mervin C. Castillo

Teacher I – Juan F. Triviño Memorial High School

It has always been considered that life’s greatest treasure is our health. We are always astonished by the aged who receives praise and awards when they live off a hundred year. Truth be told we also aim and wish to reach that certain age without compromising our health during our early lives. Would you take a bet that we can be able to achieve a century’s age?

In this new era, several ways have been developed and innovated for people to achieve healthy bodies and longer lives. Most people nowadays become health conscious that they always gatekeep every food intake they consume every meal of the day. Others would tend to limit calories by trying different ways of dieting. Some pursue to stay active and find time to spend hours in the gym doing routines to make their bodies fit. Some developed a hobby where they dedicate themselves to sports activities to be healthy and strong without compromising healthy meals and continuous exercise. Doing sports has been one of the oldest ways where people in recent years lived active, healthy, and happy.

Many have found out that by doing sports several benefits can be gained. According to a study conducted by Malm, Jacobson, and Isaksson (2019), positive effects from sports are achieved primarily through physical activity, but secondary effects bring health benefits such as psychosocial and personal development and less alcohol consumption. Likewise, physical activity and exercise have significant positive effects in preventing or alleviating mental illness, including depressive symptoms and anxiety- or stress-related disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that physical activity has significant health benefits for the heart, body, and mind. It contributes to preventing and managing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Physical activity reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety. It enhances thinking, learning, and judgment skills. It ensures healthy growth and development in young people. And it improves overall well-being.

Young ones can stay physically active due to their stages of development and are more likely to engage in outdoor activities. Teenagers who engage in sports activities tend to have several benefits not only physical health but also with their mental health. In a study conducted by Eime et al (2013), there were many different psychological and social health benefits reported, with the most commonly being improved self-esteem, and social interaction followed by fewer depressive symptoms. Sport may be associated with improved psychosocial health above and beyond improvements attributable to participation in PA. Specifically, team sport seems to be associated with improved health outcomes compared to individual activities, due to the social nature of the participation. According to the Australian Health Survey conducted in April 2012, active people dramatically reduce their risk of many diseases, including heart disease and osteoporosis. Regular exercise is also known to reduce the risk of emotional problems such as anxiety and depression. Habits are established early in life and evidence suggests that physically active children are more likely to mature into physically active adults.

However, due to the inclination of technological advancement children become hooked on playing games on their respective gadgets limiting social interaction and physical activities. Whenever they begin to have tantrums, parents would likely give their cellphones and let their children play without realizing its long-term effects on their child’s behavior and well-being. The Youth Physical Activity Report Cards are an evidence-based synthesis of children’s and adolescents’ behavior toward physical activity. The Philippines was graded an F in overall physical activity. In comparison, countries such as Finland and Slovenia scored an A-, due to various initiatives that promote physical activity among children. The grades came from “behaviors and characteristics” such as overall physical activity, organized sports, active play, active transportation, sedentary behavior, and physical fitness. A WHO report states that the current global estimates show one in four adults and 81 percent of adolescents do not meet the global recommended levels of physical activity. This also became evident when children developed diseases at a younger age. According to Gao et al (2018) inadequate physical exertion, in conjunction with easy access to an energy-dense diet, has led to dramatic increases in the prevalence of obesity. Obesity is a chronic disease that is associated with morbidities (e.g., cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes) and mortality.

So, is there any way to make the tables turn and let our children be active and healthy for their future? There are various ways to be physically active and healthy at the same time. And it boils down to the willingness to do so. Yes, it is true, we cannot start something if we are not willing and committed to start our routines. To be physically active, one must work out regularly, we don’t need to be near the gym always, instead, we can start the day doing some brisk walking or maybe have a round of jogging in your area and other activities that will make you burn body toxins by staying active. Let us also remember when starting to be physically active, knowing what you like to do is important. When you like what you are doing it will help you become more motivated and focused on your goal. Of course, involving your friends and family gives value to what you are trying to make better. You would also want them to be healthy so asking them to join you can also benefit them. And once you start, there is no turning back. You have to maintain your goal and achieve it, though sometimes you will be tempted to give up. However, all good things come from great sacrifices, and being healthy is also a sacrifice. You’ll need to forget your old routines, habits, and unhealthy lifestyle.

As much as it is a cliche, health is wealth. Thus, everyone must develop a sense of self-discipline to change their patterns and stay as healthy as possible to live longer. Because who doesn’t want to live longer, right? Living healthy and staying physically active is something that one must not take for granted. It is better to prevent a thing from it to happen than cure it when it is already too late.


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