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Healthy lifestyle. The basics.

Good health is very important for every person. They say: “Health is better than wealth.” How much we eat, exercise and sleep is a topic of discussion when mentioning health. What are the practical rules for healthy living? The formula for healthy life cannot be put into words — it can only be practiced. Some people break the rules of so-called healthy lifestyle every day and escape punishment and some look after their health and don't live any longer in the end.

It is known that healthy people live longer and their career is more successful. To look well you must follow some simple rules: don’t smoke and take drugs, don’t drink alcohol, don’t eat too much junk food as chips and sweets, eat more vegetables and fruits, sleep well, do exercises.

Everybody knows these simple rules but we continue to stuff ourselves with fast food — chips and pizzas, hamburgers and hot dogs. We are always in a hurry. We have no time to enjoy a home-cooked dinner with family and friends. We want to eat now and we want to eat fast. What is tasty is not always healthy. Doctors say that chips and pizzas are fattening, cola spoils our teeth and coffee shortens our lives. We should understand that food is an important part of our life. We should choose healthy food which is not harmful for us. I am against of fast food but sometimes I can allow having a snack when I am terribly hungry and I do not have enough time to eat properly. If we eat too much, we'll become obese, and obesity leads to heart disease, diabetes and other serious illnesses. But the world today is getting fatter and fatter. America is the world's leader in obesity, but our country is quickly catching up.

Lack of exercise is another serious problem. We spend hours in front of our computers and TV-sets. Few of us do morning exercises. We walk less, because we prefer to use cars or public transport. Research shows, however, that young people who don't take enough exercise often suffer from heart attacks. Remember that regular physical activity (20 to 30 minutes a day, three or four times per week) is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It helps prevent diseases and makes the quality of life better.

It's common knowledge that smoking and drinking can shorten our lives dramatically. Cigarette-smoking, for example, kills about 3 million people every year. Many of them die from lung cancer. Some aren't even smokers. They are people who live or work with heavy smokers. Yet many young people smoke and drink. Why? One answer is that tobacco and drinks companies invest enormous sums of money in advertising their products. For them cigarettes and alcoholic drinks mean money. For us they mean disease and even death. It is never too late to start anything or stop anything. Deciding to stop smoking and drinking alcohol is deciding to choose a healthy way of life.

Some people say that stress causes a lot of health problems. But we should remember that stress is an essential part of being alive — but the art of life is to arrange rules that stress does not become strain. A little of this stress can help keep you on your toes. And the nervous system quickly returns to its normal state. But long-term stressful situations can produce a lasting, low-level stress that’s hard on people. If the pressure is longlasting, the body continues to pump out extra stress hormones. This seriously weakens the immune system. What can you do to deal with stress overload or to avoid it? Here are some things that can help keep stress under control:

· Take a stand against overscheduling;

· Learn to relax;

· Treat your body well;

· Watch what you’re thinking.

Always remember that a healthy organism is extremely tough. It can withstand overwork, fatigue, anxiety, microbes — up to a certain point, of course.

Perhaps these health principles seem too theoretical, but they are golden rules which can stretch our powers and help us in our fight against harmful genes. Scientists say that in the future people will live longer. With healthier lifestyles and better medical care the average person will live to 90 or 100 instead of 70 and 75 like today. When the human genome is decoded, we'll probably live up to 150. Incurable diseases will be cured and "bad" genes replaced. But that's tomorrow and today we all know that the healthier we are, the better we feel. The better we feel, the longer we live. So why not take care of ourselves?


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