Students should practice healthy lifestyle

By Meor Harith

A healthy lifestyle is a way of living that helps to keep and improve one’s health and well-being, overcome stress, and lower the risk of being infected by serious diseases. Not all diseases are preventable, but deaths particularly from coronary heart disease and lung cancer can be avoided.

Students nowadays are found to have neglected the practices of a healthy lifestyle and seemed to normalise unhealthy habits. Practices of a healthy lifestyle are very essential to assure a healthy body and mind. Despite knowing this fact, most students tend to take it lightly and neglect the practices as they prioritise more on meeting their self-satisfaction. 

The unhealthy lifestyle practices by students had become worse particularly due to the lockdowns which caused students to become less active or productive. The lockdown had actually caused most students to normalise unhealthy lifestyle as they sat down in their rooms and not doing any exercise.

Studies that have been conducted show that most students have the habit of overeating unhealthy food or consumed mainly fast foods. Regular consumption of fast foods will have a greater chance to become obese if the person consumes less vegetables and fruits and lack physical activities to burn up their excessive fats. Other than that, it may lead to heart disease, diabetes, and atherosclerosis.

In Islam, it has already been stated in the Quran about eating habits. “And eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He (Allah S.W.T.) likes not those who commit excess” (Al-A’raf  7:31). Thus, we must be mindful of our consumption for the sake of our own health and benefit.

Another research shows high usage of cigarettes and e-cigarettes among university students. A study conducted using cross-sectional research involving six universities in Malaysia revealed that 74.9% of the respondents smoked e-cigarettes, 40.3% used both cigarettes and e-cigarettes (dual users), and 34.5% were exclusive e-cigarette users. The respondents were between the ages of 18 to 40 years.

Smoking, whether cigarettes or e-cigarettes, can cause many health problems such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases and diabetes. 

In Islam, we are prohibited from doing something that can cause harm to us as mentioned in the Quran, “And do not throw yourselves into danger. And do good, indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.” (Al-Baqarah  2:195).

The main reason for the unhealthy lifestyle in the university is because of lack of self-motivation and awareness, and the perception that the unhealthy practices do not affect their health as much which led students to take lightly on the issue.

There is the misperception of a healthy lifestyle among university students whereby a healthy lifestyle is normally seen as something unnecessary and only for older people, who they think are the only people who are easily affected by the diseases. The reality is that everyone regardless of their age is possible to be affected by diseases.

Students tend to think that their evening exercise is enough to consider a healthy lifestyle. They never think of their other unhealthy lifestyle practices such as eating too much fast food, eating late at night, smoking cigarettes or vaping, and insufficient sleep. All these unhealthy habits can easily lead to numerous diseases and health problems.

Thus, health should be the priority in one’s life although only a small number of people is actually aware of the importance of taking care of their health at a young age. Most of them tend to take lightly on the health issue. University students should participate in health programmes that are organised by clubs and organisations in their university campus as an initiative to change their live styles for the better and to promote healthy lifestyle practices.

The responsible parties like universities should encourage clubs and organisations to take the initiatives to spread awareness on the importance of healthy lifestyle. This is a call for all institutions to normalise health programmes and campaigns. ***

(This article is written as part of an exercise in the fulfilment of the UNGS 1201 course.)

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