Healthy lifestyle is a way of living that helps us enjoy more aspects of our life. Health is not just about avoiding illnesses or diseases, it is also about physical, psychological and social well-being (WHO, 1999).
With an advancement of technologies, our way of living today is totally different from how our ancestors lived. This advancement, however, has causes Malaysian adults to face many challenges in managing a healthy lifestyle. Here, we will discuss 3 of the issues: Firstly, the ignorance of benefit of physical activities; secondly, improper diet and thirdly, mental health issue.
Many Malaysian adults are either ignorant or simply does not care about the benefits of physical activities. This is until they are diagnosed with any health related problems. According to Cai Lian , Bonn , Si Han, Chin Choo, & Chee Piau , 2016, the rate of physical inactivity amongst Malaysian has been in dramatic rise over the past 20 years. Malaysia has also been identified as one of the least physically active countries in the world with over 60% of adults being physically inactive.
Such inactiveness is mainly due to the advancement of technological convenience, such as online shopping and the ease of getting transportation by just using their phones. This sedentary lifestyle makes people inactive even in their daily lives.
We could not deny the benefits of physical activities. A simple solution for this is to identify when you could be more physical. For example, if you usually drive to the nearest convenience shop, try to walk there. Having regular exercises or participating in outdoor activities could also be good for your overall health (HealthDirect, 2016). The involvement in physical activities should start in an early age.
Out of convenience, people often choose to neglect their health. This tendency is reflected on their choices of food. It is undeniable that people likes fast food. The easy access to many fast food outlets in Malaysia has welcomed people who eat it as proper meal. Furthermore, it is the trend now that people likes to have casual meetings and their number one choice of the venue is usually a fast food chain (Malay Mail Online, 2016).
For convenience, people also eat canned food and instant food which are low in nutritional value. Unhealthy diet is one of the reasons of being underweight or overweight, which will lead to many other health complications.
As the saying goes, you are what you eat. We need to watch what we consume for our long-term health benefits. To know the proper balance diet, there are many sources online where we can research. A well balance diet means we should avoid taking foods that are high in salt and saturation. We should consume more vegetables, fruits, fish and milk. Eating a well-prepared home cook is much healthier and less expensive than eating out at a fast food outlet (Carrison, 1996).
Malaysia Ministry of Health says about 30% of the population face mental health issues (AB Razak, 2017), such as depression and anxiety. Although uncertain, it is believed that mental illness are related to emotional stress and difficulty in coping with conflicts or adjusting to adverse events. Other known factors are biochemical imbalance, deterioration of brain cells and alcohol or drug abuse. Many of these cases remain unreported. Unlike the Westerners, Asians find it is a taboo to talk about mental health issues.
The society should be aware of the seriousness of mental illness in order to cure or prevent. We should not find having emotional problem embarrassing. There are support and help for this problem and almost 90% of the patients can be restored to normal. Although such patients could still have a relapse as their emotions are more sensitive, they can be cured with the right help (The Star Online, 2017). Being open by seeking and building sturdy social guidance for uncontrollable feelings and emotions can help to achieve emotional balance that we need in order to combat negative thoughts (OUM, 2016).
When a healthy lifestyle is adopted, a positive influence will be provided to the people around. While it is important to enjoy the food we eat, eating it in a healthy way is proven to have an ultimate benefit to our health. Besides the intake of food, our mental health should also be taken care of to maintain a perfect healthy well-being.
AB Razak, A. (2017, April 14). Cultural Construction of Psychiatric Illness in Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, 24(2), 1.
Cai Lian , T., Bonn , G., Si Han, Y., Chin Choo, Y., & Chee Piau , W. (2016, June 22). Physical Activity and Its Correlates among Adults in Malaysia: A Cross-Sectional Descriptive Study. Retrieved July 20, 2017, from Physical Activity and Its Correlates among Adults in Malaysia: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/authors?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0157730
Carrison, H. (1996). Creative Kids. Woodway, TX, United States of America: Prufrock Press.
HealthDirect. (2016, October). How to start exercising. (HealthDirect) Retrieved July 20, 2017, from https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/tips-for-getting-active
Malay Mail Online. (2016, March 17). Unhealthy diets killing more Malaysians, statistician says. Retrieved July 21, 2017, from http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/unhealthy-diets-killing-more-malaysians-statistician-says
OUM. (2016). In MPU3313 Health and Welness (pp. 35-36). Open University Malaysia.
The Star Online. (2017, April 2). Depression: 40% of Malaysians will suffer from mental health issues in their lifetime. Retrieved July 21, 2017, from http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/04/02/malaysians-will-suffer-from-mental-health-issues-in-their-lifetime/
WHO. (1999). Healthy living : what is a healthy lifestyle? (W. H. Organization, Producer, & World Health Organization) Retrieved July 18, 2017, from http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/108180/1/EUR_ICP_LVNG_01_07_02.pdf