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Choose To Live An Active And Healthy Lifestyle

The World Health Organization defines health as: “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. This definition goes well beyond a condition of physical health but includes mental health and general well-being. Sport and physical activity has long been used as a tool to improve mental, physical and social well-being. There is plenty of scientific evidence on the positive effects of sport and physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle. The effects of engaging in regular physical activity aids in the prevention of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis. During recent decades, there has been a decline in the level of physical activity in people’s daily lives in developed countries. For a majority of people, little physical effort is involved any more in their work, domestic chores, transportation and leisure.

However, after the sport and physical activity is over, all hard work can be undone by eating unhealthy food and drinking soft drinks. It also sets up habits are likely to continue through life, even when they are no longer playing team sports. To encourage and support more kids to eat and drink healthier, Australia’s New South Wales Ministry of Health started a state-wide program called Finish with the Right Stuff – an exciting new program that encourages children who participate in junior community sport to drink water and make healthier food and drink choices before, during and after their game. Thus, it is important to live an active lifestyle and make wise choices in what you drink and eat.

Strenuous activities in hot climate can lead to water loss of up to two litres per hour through sweat. If you sweat more than two per cent of your body weight your heart is placed under stress, your body temperature goes up, and your physical and mental performance declines, so it is important to replace lost water during sports and other physical activities. Our sense of thirst is slow to respond to dehydration, so if you are exercising hard in hot climate it is a good idea to drink before you become thirsty. In fact, you need to drink before, during and after exercise.

Sports drinks are sometimes promoted as better than water. When the sugar and salt in sports drinks are at the right concentrations, they may help to maximise the speed with which water moves from your gut into your bloodstream. However, sports drinks are acidic and can erode dental enamel. Often the salt in sports drinks could be undesirable for children as that exceeds their maximum recommended intake.

The typical modern day diet for many people in especially the developing and developed countries is loaded with sugar and processed foods, which throws off your body’s ability to optimize your pH. While our body has mechanisms to buffer pH, many of us are likely living in a state of low-grade acidosis. The acidity of your blood is measured by determining its pH. A lower pH means that your blood is more acidic. Many of the body’s processes produce acid. Both the lungs and kidneys can usually compensate for slight pH imbalances. Acidosis occurs when the kidneys and lungs cannot keep the body’s pH in balance.