Keeping Healthy amidst Stressful Life - Personal Essay on Health

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1644 words
Harvey Mudd College
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The daily demands of life usually leave one in emotional distress. There are many obligations that one must fulfill for the sake of themselves and the society. The economic hardships of today have made paying bills costly among other expenses. Scientists recognize mental health as the key component of productivity. However, the strenuous demands of life make mental health hard to come by. Therefore, one must strive to keep fit for the sake of the mind and the body. Keeping the health of the body and mind is paramount for anyone facing stress in life. Perpetual emotional fluctuations lead to high energy consumption in the brain as cells spend many calories. Unchecked diet can lead to emaciation of the body and fatigue of the mind. Balancing the types of food that one consumes is very important for a constant supply of energy for the brain and the body. Additionally, regular exercises are mandatory for cardiorespiratory fitness. Since I am a candidate for unhealthy living, I must take all the necessary measures to promote my health in college and beyond.

I double up as a mother and a student. I am in my last year of study in college. Balancing time for the family and study is a mind-boggling task. I have to give time to my two children even when the exams are near. I also have to forego precious family time to read books and do my assignments. Being a woman accentuates my dutifulness towards my family. I thus find myself in stressful situations that put my mind under distress. Additionally, I do not observe regular exercise schedules due to lack of time. However, I recognize that my current mode of living is not healthy and may have negative effects on my health in the future. I, therefore, wish to adopt a healthier lifestyle going forward that will involve several changes.

First, I will have to visit health care professionals dealing with body fitness and diet. The first professional I will visit is a nutritionist. From his advice, I will learn to maintain a healthy diet that is required for normal body functioning. According to the research that I have done, carbohydrates are important for energy production, although they have a correlation with adiposity in the body. Additionally, I have discovered that fats are important in the body for shock absorption and also as energy reserves during starvation. However, fats are also dangerous because they contain cholesterol and other unhealthy fatty acids that may contribute to high blood pressure. Proteins on the other side are useful in building muscles, although the body may adversely react with different kinds of protein. The nutritionist will thus advise me on the correct proportions and types of nutrients to consume. They will also advise me on the balance between the three sources of energy and how relate with each other. For instance, I have some information that glucose obtained from carbohydrates can be converted to fats, and so there is no need to consume fats and oils. This information is also supplemented by some research that shows that some vitamins are only found in fats and not carbohydrates or proteins. These vitamins are called fat soluble since they cannot dissolve in water. These vitamins include A, D, E, and K. They are important in the body for vision, strong bones, and blood clotting. In fact, these vitamins are very essential in the body and are mostly found in fats and oils. The information I have gathered from my internet search is vast but of little use without the input of a nutritionist. This is the reason why I need to consult a specialist in matters of food and diet to make use of the information I have.

The body makes and consumes energy differently during different times of the day. When a person is engaged in heavy aerobic exercises, the body consumes a lot of energy in form of ATP. From my internet search, ATP is formed in the body cells when glucose and other nutrients are oxidized through chemical reactions. The downstream consumption of this energy then influences the upstream uptake of glucose. Therefore, when a person engages the muscles, the body consumes a lot of glucose and, therefore, one becomes hungry faster. Conversely, night-time energy consumption in the body is minimal. The body is engaged in the eat and digest function, and the muscles are at their most inactive state. Therefore, ATP production at night varies from that during the day. This differential energy consumption by the body means that diet should vary with the energy requirements of the body. In line with these facts, food consumption should adhere to certain times of the day. Having a heavy meal in the morning is thus reasonable than having the same meal at night. However, several other digestive factors have to come in play. Taking a heavy meal in the morning means that blood has to move to the intestines after a meal to collect the digested material and distribute it to the other body organs. Consequently, fatigue may set in after taking a heavy meal in the morning which may compromise ones productivity in the morning hours. Again, this controversy needs a nutritionist review on the correct times of taking meals throughout the day.

Besides observing a balanced diet and correct times for eating, regular aerobic exercises are mandatory for healthy living. Studies have proved that exercising promotes cardiorespiratory fitness. Cardio means biological processes related to the heart. Since this is the most important vital organ in the body, its health is paramount for the overall fitness of other organs. The heart pumps blood to the body through the action of its strong muscles called ventricles. Like all other muscles in the body, the ventricles are supplied with blood through arteries. These arteries can get clogged with fat called cholesterol. Since fats are also a source of energy during starvation, regular exercises consume cholesterol from the blood and leave the body to consume fats that may be clogged in the arteries. This, therefore, forms the link between cardiovascular fitness and aerobic exercise. The lungs, on the other side, are highly dependent on aeration. Regular exercises aerate the lungs and increase their air holding capacity. When the body is under heavy energy requirement, the lungs take in air faster to supply the required oxygen for the body. When a person gets used to exercising, the lungs adapt to the high downstream oxygen demand and increase their residual volume of air. Regular exercise will also help my brain to calm down and offload the piling pressure from family and studies.

Since adequate sleep has often been cited as one of the leading cause of fatigue and depression, scientists recommend that an adult must sleep for at least eight hours per day. However, there are a number of factors that make this requirement impracticable. As a mother and a student, time is always limited. I have to spend long hours preparing children for school, cooking meals, and sometimes helping with their homework. All these activities deny me time for sleep. Therefore, I often find myself having only five hours of sleep. I plan to improve on my bed-gong times. Due to pending work and assignments from school, I usually go to bed at around 11 at night and wake up at 5 the following morning. I will, therefore, start going to bed earlier and maintain the waking up time. Further, the regular exercising schedule that I will embark on will make this plan workable due to the accumulated fatigue from the work outs.

Finally, I will device some methods of managing my stress. One of the recommended ways of dealing with stress is exercising. However, I have noted that I am usually weak in socialization. Besides my children, I do not have any other people I normally associate with. I am poor with online communication or on-campus friendship. From now henceforth, I will spend more time talking with people either physically or on an online platform. I will create an account on Twitter and revive the one on Facebook. I will also add more friends on these accounts to increase my friends zone. After socialization, I will most likely find confidants with whom I will share my innermost troubles. I believe in the adage that a problem shared is half-solved. I also hope that my friends will help me revise for exams and complete school assignments. In the long run, I hope that the piled problems in my mind will be relieved as an impact of socialization.

Healthy living is a gem that one has to dig deep to get. It does not come easily especially because of other commitments that one must pursue. Being a mother of two children and a student at the same time has always put pressure in my head, and often denied me a chance to live a stress free life. The lifestyle I am about to adopt will give me a whole new experience. First, it will tone my body and improve my body mass index. I have noted with concern that I have gained weight due to uncontrolled and unplanned diet. I also do not have regular meal times, and I may have been overeating without noticing. Secondly, taking aerobic exercises will promote the health of my circulatory ad respiratory systems. The circulatory system may accumulate bad cholesterol due to unhealthy eating and lack of exercises. This cholesterol is responsible for hypertension and other lifestyle diseases. I will also have healthier breathing and pulse rates which will prevent me from excessive panting after doing little chores. Lastly, I expect to make new friends online and offline. The exercising joints will obviously offer new friends from whom I may get confidants. Increasing my circle of friends will eventually help me lead a stress free life.

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