The easiest way to remain active in the social media era is to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily
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Dr. Dana Ryan, a leading sports nutritionist and director of sports performance and education of Herbalife Nutrition, shared some tips on how Filipinos can remain healthy in the age of social media.
Dr. Ryan pointed out that the Philippines is the fastest growing market today in terms of purchasing gym memberships and sports nutrition. This means that Filipinos are actually aware of and are engaging in fitness. However, she also pointed out that one handicap to living a healthy lifestyle in this generation is the internet. She says that Filipinos spend more than 10 hours a day online, which leads to insufficient physical activity.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors of death worldwide. Dr. Ryan says this may also lead to serious diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Aside from weight gain and the risk of diseases, social media has also affected the way people perceive their health. Dr. Ryan says that social media has become detrimental to one’s health because half of the world’s population is looking online and checking how other people are living their lives.
Social media platforms like Instagram can be bad for your mental health because the content that is constantly being posted on the platform changes the way you see things. She also mentions that people go online to feel a sense of belongingness but little do they know that they are governed by what social media tells them to be.
So how do we stay healthy?
“Not all of us can afford a gym membership, but that doesn’t excuse us from not being physically active on our own,” says Dr. Ryan. “Take up some physical activity that you love. That way, you won’t see it as a chore so you can do it regularly.”
Dedicate 30 minutes of your day to physical activity
The easiest way to remain active today is to get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. According to Dr. Ryan, the best way to do this is to walk to work (if you can), setting reminders to stand up every 30 minutes, standing during breaks, getting up during TV commercials, and using the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
Encourage body neutrality
Body positivity means loving your body for what it is instead of creating a picture of what a healthy body is supposed to be. Dr. Ryan says it’s about prioritizing your health over image, which means working out and eating healthy to feel good instead of looking good.
Another concept to remember is the idea of body neutrality, which is thinking less of what the body looks like and more of what it’s capable of doing. Instead of saying that you must love and accept the fats on your arms, you can simply just accept the fact that they don’t and that’s okay. You do not have to force yourself to love your body but instead appreciate it for what it can do for you.
As for social media, it should be used as a community to lift each other up instead of comparing one another. Follow accounts that encourage and motivate people to be the best version of yourself instead of those that dictate what a healthy life looks like.
Balance is key
Dr. Ryan points out the importance of balancing your food intake and what they burn, saying, “Some people believe that they only need protein and cut out carbs from their diet. This is not true. When it comes to keeping healthy, just always remember balance, as the body needs a complex blend of nutrients to remain healthy.”
Take it from the Herbalife Nutrition philosophy, which recommends that the right meal is 40 percent of calories from beneficial carbohydrates—whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. The other 30 percent comes from proteins while another 30 percent comes from fats.
Don’t depend too much on data online
Whether it’s how to burn fat or eating the right way, seek more options rather than basing everything on the internet. Not all online sources are credible—they can be one-sided or based solely on opinion. Ultimately, the best way to live a healthy lifestyle today is to practice balancing and incorporating both the proper food intake and physical exercise.