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Public health is declining due to the increase in chronic lifestyle-related diseases. These diseases can be prevented and even reversed. However, this requires a sustainable behavioural change to be successful.

Many people, although they have already heard about “healthy lifestyles,” nevertheless are still unclear why but especially how to start changing their lifestyle habits. Following a healthy lifestyle has been irrefutably proven to have great health benefits in terms of primary prevention, i.e., before the onset, or secondary prevention, i.e., when the disease has already occurred, of many chronic-degenerative diseases.

In particular, there is strong scientific evidence that a healthy lifestyle has beneficial effects on the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, such as myocardial infarction, high blood pressure, angina and heart failure; diseases such as diabetes and the metabolic syndrome; and cancer, particularly breast and colon cancer.

The situation becomes more complicated and delicate than when it comes to us young people. Convincing a teenager that drinking alcohol, or smoking, or eating improperly will jeopardize his or her health in the future is no easy feat; young people live in the present, and the concept of prevention can be difficult to get across, but there are role models and figures to whom the teenager turns with confidence who can influence a teen’s choices.

I think that understanding the essence of a healthy lifestyle is not just about being exercised, but is a broader and more complex concept really means learning to listen to one’s body and mind by going beyond stereotypes and social conventions. So eating well leads to loving your physique and consequently keeping it fit by training, at the same time your mind will benefit because it will be healthy and well-trained. All of course must be well coordinated with the ‘environment and nature around us.
Article written by the student Gabriele Macrina