Nowadays, unhealthy lifestyle among young people has become a relatively common problem. Many young people lament that they actually know that they should go to bed early and get up early, exercise more, and worry less about things. However, in the fast-paced study, work and life, if they want to do these things, they will inevitably feel “overwhelmed”. How can young people break these practical dilemmas? Starting from the little things in life, where exactly should you start? To this end, the reporter interviewed Liu Jinying, director of the Nutrition Department of Shenzhen Hospital, Cancer Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and a registered dietitian of the Chinese Nutrition Society.
Reporter: Recently, terms such as “crisp youth” and “crisp college students” have become popular. Why are young people’s bodies now “brittle”?
Liu Jinying: I think there are many reasons. First, lack of exercise. Many young people have not developed good habits of exercise. During middle school, there were very few physical education classes at school and few took them seriously. At home, children of this age generally didn’t do much housework. Even if they did a little bit, some parents would take over it right away. In college, although the classwork is not as stressful as before, there are more “head-down people” and other situations, which have led to young people’s lack of sports awareness. Secondly, there is a problem with body management. Nowadays, many young people regard being thin as beautiful, but blindly losing weight and dieting lead to a lack of nutrition in the body and low immunity. There are also many young people who like to eat late-night snacks, which will increase the body’s secretion of synthetic hormones and enhance its ability to synthesize fat, which can easily lead to obesity and put pressure on the stomach. Both extreme situations of being obese and too thin are not good. Furthermore, not being able to bask in the sun or not liking to bask in the sun is also a big inducement. Sunbathing is beneficial to the production of vitamin D and is the most economical way to supplement vitamin D. It can better promote the absorption of calcium, prevent osteoporosis and improve the body’s immunity. In addition, young people nowadays are generally under great psychological pressure, which can easily lead to a series of adverse reactions such as emotional instability and overeating. Vitamin D also has a certain regulating effect on emotions.
Reporter: Considering the daily diet and living habits of young people today, what suggestions do you have?
Liu Jinying: In life, many young people do not pay attention to healthy diet, and their diet structure is unreasonable for a long time. This may not reflect much now, but by the time you are in your forties or fifties, the consequences will begin to show. So I suggest that the first thing is to ensure a reasonable diet.
Many young people don’t like to eat vegetables. You must eat more vegetables, and half of the vegetables you eat every day should be green leafy vegetables, because they contain magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and natural antioxidants. In addition, eat some beans, yams, sweet potatoes, etc., and ensure the intake of fruits and high-quality protein. Eat less fried, smoked and grilled foods, and you can also eat some nuts, yogurt, etc. If you cannot have a balanced diet, it is recommended to take a multivitamin and mineral nutrient tablet every day or three times a week. Of course, it is best to supplement it from a natural diet.
There is also sleep, which is also a “chronic problem” for young people. If you want to sleep well, you must develop good work and rest habits. Don’t stay up late, and try to go to bed earlier so that you can get up earlier in the morning. If you really can’t go to bed early, try to get a good nap at noon. The two periods corresponding to the meridian nap are from 11 o’clock at night to 1 o’clock in the morning the next day, and from 11 o’clock in the afternoon to 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Midnight nap is closely related to our body’s biological clock. Taking a good nap at noon is extremely important for health.
Reporter: How can other entities contribute to helping young people achieve a healthy body?
Liu Jinying: From the employer’s perspective, if it can realize the importance of employees’ health issues and combine some measures to help employees pay attention to their health, it will have a certain promotion effect. For example, our hospital holds sports meets every year, as well as some table tennis competitions, etc., providing employees with an atmosphere and environment that values exercise. For students, schools should also pay attention to physical exercise, supervise and urge them to do well in recess exercises, take good physical education classes, etc.
Youth organizations and institutions in society should, on the one hand, provide scientific guidance to young people in this regard. On the other hand, they can also organize some activities to provide young people with venues and opportunities for activities. Under the influence of the group, I believe young people will have more motivation and confidence in exercising.
Our country has been emphasizing Healthy China in recent years. I think we should continue to call for it to increase the attention of young people and increase their sense of crisis. At the same time, the country must also pay attention to the health problems faced by young people and solve them in a timely manner.
Reporter: Based on the actual work scenarios of young people, what practical suggestions do you have to help everyone get moving?
Liu Jinying: In work settings, due to space and time constraints, people often find it difficult to exercise. In fact, running and jumping in place is also very useful. In addition, you can also bring your own elastic rubber bands, or fill two mineral water bottles with water and use them as dumbbells. Doing several sets of corresponding movements on the spot can effectively stretch the muscles and have a good exercise effect. Moreover, offices generally have walls. You can also use the walls to do modified push-ups, which can also exercise muscles and strengthen bones. Many young people like to take the elevator. I suggest climbing two floors first and then taking the elevator. A little more exercise every day is much better than no activity at all.
We can actually exercise anytime and anywhere, it just depends on whether we have this awareness. I suggest that you set phased goals for yourself, carry out exercise in stages, check in, and reward yourself after completing the task. This will make it easier to stick to the exercise.