Source: The Mercury, 11 March, 2001, p.24
By DR JAMES WRIGHT GOOD health is meaningless, especially in youth, until suddenly it vanishes. Then the things you heard and read about for years suddenly become meaningful. However, the key to good health, mental acuity, long life and freedom from illness is pretty simple. You do not need pills and potions, no expensive gear, no subscriptions to gyms and clubs, just a bit of commonsense, a little time and some effort ... plus the determination to get started in the first place. Basically, it can be written down in a few words-sensible nutrition, a high-fibre low-fat food intake, at least 30 minutes of active exercise a day, and reduce weight if obese. Drink lots of water; do not smoke, and avoid the passive smoke of others check and treat elevate] blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol blood levels, take a positive outlook on life, get adequate rest at night; interact with people (preferably- positive and friendly). That's about it. Mainstream medical journals now readily attest to the value of simple lifestyle measures, which some have been following for years, probably decades and, in some cases, generations. Each cigarette smoked chops 11 minutes off your life, but smoking also causes a vast range Of heart and cancer problems. A simple 30-minute walk per day, ideally on as many days of the week as possible, can extend life by 10 years. Also, it reduces final illness into a compacted period of time, instead of being ill for months or years. The food story is now etched in stone. Include an abundance of fruit, vegetables, - legumes (peas, beans, lentils), cereals, nuts, seeds, lowfat dairy products, soy eggs and probably fish in your regular menu. Eggs are rich in vitamins and food value, and contain the "good" type of cholesterol, but do not fry. Olive oil is the ideal "good fat" to use. You cannot tell the difference if you do not add butter or margarine to sandwiches or toast, so leave it off. Fat is fat and is hard to shed once eaten.
Where to next?
Student Questions for this article
Teacher Discussion of this article
Index - Related articles
Index - Number
Main Index - Numeracy in the News