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Want to stay fit? Here's what not to do

It's World Health Day, and if you are aiming for a healthy life, go for regular health checkups, junk the junk food and stop going on crash diets. Pledge not to make these health blunders.

health and fitness Updated: Apr 07, 2012 12:40 IST
Aishwarya Sati
Aishwarya Sati
Hindustan Times
Hindustan times,aerated drinks,crash diets

Today is World Health Day, and if you are aiming for a healthy life, pledge not to make these health blunders.

1 Avoiding checkups
One may think that medical tests are mandatory only for middle-aged or old people. But it’s people between the age group of 18-25 who are more prone to diseases of the heart, liver and lungs, say doctors. Dr Meenakshi Jain, senior consultant, Max Hospital, says, “Youngsters should get regular health checkups done. Lipid profile for cholesterol, sugar fasting for fluctuating sugar levels also the vitamin B12 and D3 tests are very important. An annual eye checkup too is mandatory due to high stress levels faced by today’s generation.”

Junk2 Not getting enough sleep

It’s necessary to get enough sleep to recharge our system. Dr Shruti Tandon, clinical nutritionist, Fortis, La Femme, says, "A good 7-8 hours of sleep is essential. Lack of sleep can lead to increased levels of stress, restlessness, fatigue, loss of appetite and also weight gain, as one tends to indulge in binging at odd hours."

3 Thriving on junk food
Junk food is empty calories. Tandon says, “Burgers, fries, pizzas are great for taste, but are devoid of carbohydrates. It’s essential to include fruits, vegetables and lean meat like fish and chicken in your diet. Also, avoid junk food at night as your metabolism is low at night. If one wants to indulge, then daytime is a better time.”

4 Going on crash diets
It’s a myth that if one stops eating they will lose weight. “Many people stop consuming visible fat like oil, ghee, butter, etc. Five to six spoons of fat consumption is essential every day. Omega 3 and fatty acids are essential for the brain, else one tends to feel tired and suffer from lack of concentration. Staying hungry can give you dull skin and a weak immune
system,” says Tandon.

5 Pairing meals with aerated drinks
It’s best to avoid aerated drinks and artificial juices along with meals as they are high on sugar and contain empty calories. “These drinks wash away the benefits of all the iron and vitamins that we gain from our food,” says Tandon.

6 Not exercising daily
It’s not only important to exercise daily but to exercise in a right manner. Tandon says, “Half an hour of exercise daily is the mantra to good health. It’s not necessary to hit a gym. One can go for a 20-minute jog or brisk walk.”

7 Guzzling alcohol
Partying hard often means drinking lots of alcohol for youngsters, which lead to serious ailments. Dr M S Paul, gastroenterologist, says, “There is a rapid increase in the number of alcohol abusers, who are in the age group of 25 to 28 years. Once you cross the safe limit (14 hard drinks a week for men and 7 hard drinks for women), you are prone to fatty liver (100% people get it), which leads to liver inflammation, and even liver failure.”

8 Not kicking the butt
Smoking is one of the greatest causes of premature deaths. “The number of chain smokers, specially young women, is increasing at an alarming rate, resulting in dangerous health disorders,” says Paul. Bad lungs, chronic cough, asthma, stomach ulcer, and even lung cancer are common consequences of smoking.

9 Ignoring burnout symptoms
Unrelenting stress can result in a burnout — a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. You could feel worn out, detached, and defeated. “A large number of young people are suffering from burnout, and are not even aware of it. It’s important to watch out for the symptoms, and seek professional help,” says Dr Avdesh Sharma, psychiatrist.

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First Published: Apr 06, 2012 19:05 IST