International Youth Day: Why should youngsters be concerned about their health?

Updated: August 12, 2021 1:07 PM

When we’re young, we think our bodies are invincible. As a result, we end up abusing our health, unaware of the consequences that lie ahead. Studies have shown that from the age of 27, one’s health starts deteriorating. Some of the most common unhealthy habits amongst youngsters and young adults nowadays include:

youngsters health A thirty-minute brisk walk routine is all it takes sometimes. (Photo source: PTI)

By Shweta Mahadik

International Youth Day: How often do you find yourself binge-watching your favourite show on Netflix till 3 or 4am in the morning? Do you skip meals, especially breakfast, because you’re too occupied with work or late for online classes?

When we’re young, we think our bodies are invincible. As a result, we end up abusing our health, unaware of the consequences that lie ahead. Studies have shown that from the age of 27, one’s health starts deteriorating. Some of the most common unhealthy habits amongst youngsters and young adults nowadays include:

Skipping Meals – 1 out of 5 young adults and even teenagers skip a meal during the day. As a result, the body’s metabolism rate and blood sugar decreases. In the long run, you might even develop multiple gastric problems, stomach ulcers, etc.

Caffeine Addiction – Excessive intake of caffeine is detrimental to ones health; it dehydrates the body and even worsens aAnxiety. It is most definitely not recommended for young minds, who are found hanging out at coffee shops.

Losing Sleep – Not having received enough sleep is one of the contributing factors to mental health disorders. Our bodies are not wired to function 24hrs a day. Lack of proper sleep makes it difficult for an individual to focus and increases irritation, impulsiveness. Without sleep, our brain is unable to form more brain tissue, thereby hindering our growth and overall development.

No exercise – With the pandemic, many young adults are hooked to the screens. Spending long hours working with less to no movement, eventually causing Fatty Liver, indigestion, type 2 Diabetes, cardiac problems, Obesity, back and neck pain, etc.

International Youth Day: How to keep lifestyle diseases at bay

Eat regularly & healthy: Our body needs to receive all the essential macro and micronutrients to develop. One should eat in smaller amounts but frequently. Avoid junk food and regular consumption of alcohol. These make your Liver vulnerable to irreversible conditions like Cirrhosis. Your diet must ideally contain leafy vegetables, protein, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fruits, etc.

Exercise: A thirty-minute brisk walk routine is all it takes sometimes. Even if you’re swamped with work and school assignments, take out half an hour for daily physical activities.

Adequate Sleep: For a teenager, 10hrs of sleep is required for proper development, and a minimum of 8hrs every day for young adults. Following an appropriate cycle of sleep helps us concentrate, think and work better.

Take care of your mental and physical health: Multiple studies have claimed that millennials and Gen Z are more anxious than other generations. A Harvard study showed that millennials were more prone to leaving their work owing to mental health concerns. Rising distress in the world, environmental and social pressures, have also brought in a feeling of helplessness amongst many Gen Z. No limitations to work hours, endless assignments, having no social life during the pandemic, also left many youngsters restless and fatigued. Hence, it is crucial we take time out to do something we enjoy and helps us relax.

One way to deal with pandemic related stress is to invest time in keeping healthy. Many have quit smoking and resorted to yoga, exercise to boost their immune system. We need to take care of our bodies from the early teenage years itself. This period determines how our health will shape in the later years. The pandemic has also shown how important it is to stay informed about health and healthcare needs. Thus, start leading a healthy life even when you’re young.

(The columnist is Clinical Nutritionist, Fortis Hospital Kalyan. Views expressed are the author’s own and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online.)

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