Health and wellness in your 20s - SunStar Philippines

IT IS often human nature to take care of something when it’s already too late. Same is true for health and lifestyle. We take precautions on what we eat when we are already feeling or diagnosed with something.

On last Tuesday’s online episode of Twenty Something, guests Janice Juaban, head coach of Arcadia Lifestyle Center, and Mithi Miclat, Registered Nutritionist-Dietician, highlighted the importance of starting early as much as health investment is concerned.

According to Coach Janice, students should take Physical Education (PE) in school seriously and not treat it as just an additional unit. This is especially true, she said, for her students who take a totally different course such as engineering, for example, and think PE is just a minor subject. She said, it is important to note that pre-20s is also a crucial time for the body to get used to exercises so that by the time one reaches their 20s and 30s, it’s not as difficult. Being a part-time PE instructor, she said she would sometimes challenge her first year students who have small hips to maintain that size until 4th or 5th year and come back to her.

Mithi, on the other hand, shares how it is a common misconception for most people to enter into a diet they found on the internet or their friends are already doing and expect good results. She said diets, in whatever form and name, are not one-size-fits-all and should be consulted with a dietician as the case may be different from one person to another.

Mithi said an individual’s age, family health history, lifestyle, and many other factors must be taken into account before going through a fad diet.

Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) answered by both Coach Janice and Mithi during the live interview aired on SunStar Davao’s Facebook page last April 6.

What are the advantages when a young adult, say someone in their 20s or early 30s, starts investing in their health?

Mithi: As with investing, it’s always better to start early like in money and skin care. In the case of nutrition, when you’re in your 20s and 30s, when you crave something, kain ka lang kasi when you’re old, doon na bawal ‘yung mga pagkain. But that’s not true kasi usually with what happens, when you eat all of the things na “bawal”, or you don’t eat clean, the things will reflect later on in life. If now you always eat high-fat food, fastfood, you don’t eat vegetables, by the time you reach your 50s and 60s, that’s when hypertension, hyperacidity, all of these lifestyle illnesses come out. So it’s really better to practice early.

Janice: Develop that attitude first, that strong foundation and remember what your PE teacher told you. Yes, it’s not your major subject, not your major course but eventually, five years from now, it will play a major role if they have fitness in mind. Develop while you’re still young, when you’re not in your 20s yet. While you’re not in the workforce yet, engage in physical activities, put that in your mind so that when you get desk jobs, you know exactly what you’re going to do with your five mins. Pwede ka mag-ambak-ambak sa diha.

Do diets really work?

Mithi: Keto diet is a medical nutrition therapy that was created for epiliptic patients. And people have been using it in their daily lives. Pwede namang mag-specified diet pero dapat tama ang food choices and not disregard other healthy food.

In a way, diets work if (1) they fit your individual lifestyle for your body and (2) as much as possible prescribed by a professional. In this case, you would want to get an individualized diet with a registered nutrition-dietician. What we do actually is we look at a person’s physical activity, lifestyle whether they’re sedentary or active. Kasi iba yung kakainin ng mo if you always exercise. Iba din yung kakainin mo if, say, you’re always at home working. Your body will be fueled by the food that you eat so you really need to look at a lot of factors before going through a diet.

What type of home exercises do you recommend for young professionals with limited time?

Janice: If you despise running and jogging, why don’t you just go and march in place? Do that for five minutes. And if you feel like ganahan na ka muambak, might as well just start jumping. Hop in place. Hop in place before you frustrate yourself realizing you do not know how to use a jump rope. So praktisi sa ang ambak-ambak. Praktisi sa ang continuous walking for five to 10 minutes. Dili sa ta mudiretso og jump rope. Get that coordination going first.

Exercise you can do at home, push-ups, jump rope, jumping jacks, plank, mountain climbing, and all other exercises that only require your body weight. Sa mga girls, ma-frustrate dayon because they do not know how to do a floor push-up. Dili ta dayon muambak sa floor. Try to do a wall push-up first. After that, try it with a high table and then anam-anam na ka-baba inyong platform until you’re ready for floor push-up.

Young professionals have many alibis involving lack of time, motivation, money, equipment and so just so they can get away with exercising and eating healthy. I’m personally guilty of that. Hopefully the insights shared by Coach Janice and Mithi will change how we view health and wellness as young as we are.

To view the whole interview, click this link: