A few thoughts on health and fitness

health and fitness

Health and fitness has been on everyone’s lips for the last few years. Everyone wants to know what is going to be good for them. But is “healthy” these days? And how can we be sure that we aren’t doing damage to our bodies?

Health and fitness has evolved a lot of the years. The advancements of medicine and technology have allowed us to reach new heights of human development. Men and women are so healthy that life spans are extended and we can push our bodies like never before. Despite these advances, there is still a lot of conflicting information out there.

Weight loss used to be one of the key factors in health and fitness. At one time it was believed that the skinnier you were, the healthier you were. Being fat was a sign of laziness and not taking care of yourself. This idea was flipped on its head when eating disorders, such as anorexia, threatened to claim the lives of countless young people, mainly women. During the late 1990’s the ideas on health and weight loss were thrown open and we looked hard at what it is to be a healthy skinny. Diet became the focus of our obsession. And it wasn’t enough to be “on a diet”, people were making sure that they adopted a lifestyle that reflected their diet.

Diet has become a word that can mean different things. Many people say that they are “on a diet”, while other say they “have a diet”. These statements, while similar, have two very different meanings. To be on a diet means that someone is restricting their diet in some way. They may be cutting out fat or sugar, but the undertone is that they are doing something that they are uncomfortable with. To have a diet suggests something else. People who have a diet have made a positive choice to alter their eating patterns and choices to improve their wellbeing. These people do not feel that they are giving anything up, unlike their “on a diet” counterparts. These two definitions of the word “diet” are used when a person has a choice. There are people who have dietary requirements, something completely different from the other two definitions. Dietary requirements are necessary for some people to live a normal life. Nuts are one of the more dangerous dietary requirements as they can cause a severe allergic reaction. Gluten and  lactose can also have an effect on a person’s body. These are not known to cause severe reactions but can cause a lot of discomfort if someone’s dietary requirements are to avoid them.

In recent years, we have seen a rise in different healthy eating fads, the most recent being the vegan diet. Vegans have existed for many years now but recently the lifestyle has become mainstream. Everyone is trying out the latest vegan cookbook in the hopes to become healthy and skinny. Some people have begun avoiding dairy and gluten in the hopes to lose weight. This is different from those who need to avoid gluten or dairy for health reasons. This avoidance can be more of a problem to a person’s health than a benefit. For a normal person, it is important to include all food groups, including dairy for bones and fibre for digestion. Avoiding these when you don’t have a dietary requirement can cause health problems and weight gain.

Whatever your reasons for examining your diet, it pays to do your research. It may be you want to lose weight or just want to be a bit healthier. Whatever your reasons, always check with your doctor, never starve yourself, and enjoy everything in moderation. That includes some exercise too.

Image source- Fitness

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