How to Balance Life Essay Example

  • Category: Life, Lifestyle,
  • Words: 2670 Pages: 10
  • Published: 12 May 2021
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The pursuit of a more wholesome and well-balanced life has lead society to a better understanding of exercises and sports. Although, commonly overlooked, is the nutrition needed to complete these exercises and workouts efficiently. Nutrition provides the foundation for a strong and healthy body which is important for effectively working out. This is more complex of an issue as every body is different and might require different nutritional needs. Nutrition can vary depending on weight, height, activity, gender, and many more factors. This arises misconceptions and confusion as new health fads and information contradicts many findings.

Therefore, bringing to light the issues within the health and fitness world as many people in the community are lacking in understanding of what the body needs during exercise. This lack of understanding can profoundly affect the health of young athletes and the future performance and life of said athletes. Health issues as a result of poor nutrition during exercise can range from hindering the performance of an athlete to effecting the future health of the body to being life threatening. Therefore, emphasizing the need for change in the understanding of the nutrition needed for fitness throughout the community. Because poor nutrition during exercise can result in health issues such as bone density and muscle mass loss, there needs to be a better understanding of what the body needs for exercise. 

As society has pushed towards better health, women have continuously become more involved in sports and exercise, thus, revealing an absence in understanding of nutrition. This involvement is a step in a positive direction as women are finally able to take steps towards equality, on the other hand, this arises the issues of overtraining and nutrition. This emerges as many sports and industries emphasize the need to be thin. This is especially true in endurance sports such as running. Therefore, resulting in a rise of disordered eating among young female athletes. According to Lola Ramos, Bachelor’s in Kinesiology, and exercise physiologist Gregory L. Welch, "According to a 1997 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey, 34 percent of adolescent females were likely to consider themselves "too fat" and, therefore, limited their dietary intake."

A limitation in dietary intake of an athlete can ultimately result in disordered eating in young female athletes. Disordered eating, although seemingly a minor issue, if prolonged can negatively harm the body of the athlete. Karen Hind, PhD, describes, "Inadequate dietary intake and prolonged amenorrhea in women athletes can lead to bone loss, particularly at the spine, which may be irreversible." This reveals how detrimental disordered eating can be to the body during exercise. Bone density is a vital aspect to a healthy life and by damaging it at such a young age, female athletes are increasing the likelihood of developing osteoporosis. This issue is developed in the female triad.

Malnutrition during exercise can result from disordered eating as a result of the struggle to be thin which leads to the creation of the female triad. The female triad includes disordered eating, amenorrhea, and loss of bone density. These issues can be detrimental to the health of the woman and her performance during sports and exercises. Ramos and Welch state, “If not dealt with appropriately, the female triad can damage women's wellness throughout their lives."

This reveals the further implications of malnutrition during exercise. The female triad can profoundly affect the future health of a female athlete as the loss of bone density can lead to early signs of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis typically presents itself as someone having low bone density and fragile bones which can lead to many issues like stress fractures. John Hopkins Medicine describes, "The hallmark of osteoporosis is weakened bones that fracture easily." (OSTEOPOROSIS). This increased risk of fractures can cause injuries during sports and can lead to more struggles at an older age as fall risk increases. Therefore, revealing the need for a better understanding of the importance of nutrition during exercise. This is furthered as men can also be affected by nutrition problems. 

Issues relating to nutrition and exercise is not limited to female athletes as males can be affected by illnesses resulting from poor nutrition. Male athletes, although less likely to develop bone density loss, can struggle with the loss of muscle mass. As reported by Caroline Kaufman, MS and RDN, "Without strength training and proper nutrition, men can lose up to half of their muscle mass by the age of 70, leaving them frail and injury-prone." This loss of muscle mass can profoundly alter the future life of a male athlete. Muscle mass is vital to the functioning of the body from day to day.

Without this mass, adult males will be unable to function properly which can greatly hinder daily activities. Harvard Medical School states, “Less muscle means greater weakness and less mobility, both of which may increase your risk of falls and fractures.” This increased risk of falls and fractures can especially become prevalent as men age. This can lead to hip fractures and many other commonly seen issues in elderly citizens. Improper nutrition during and after exercise, thus, can have far reaching consequences in the future health of men. Therefore, revealing the need for protein and the proper nutrition during exercise to build up these muscles. Proper nutrition is not limited to just the food a person intakes as the body requires constant fluids.

Proper fluids is another commonly overlooked aspect of training which can result in far-reaching health issues. Sports and workouts exert the body, resulting in a rise in temperature. Therefore, causing the body to need to cool itself down. This results in the body utilizing fluids to control the temperature of the body through the sweat glands. Without enough fluids in the body to effectively cool down, the body can begin to overheat. Matthew Berria, PhD, describes, “As internal temperatures rise, however, brain function becomes slower because important proteins and enzymes lose their ability to operate effectively.”

This rise in temperature can begin to affect cognitive abilities. Therefore, affecting the performance of an athlete and the ability for the athlete to think properly. Monique Ryan,  a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and a licensed dietitian and nutritionist (LDN) in Illinois, states, "When fluid losses through sweat are not replaced, your body temperature rises further and exercise becomes harder." A lack of proper fluids, thus, can hinder the performance of an athlete as working out can become more difficult to complete. This is furthered as a rise in temperature of the body, if prolonged, can ultimately lead to heat related illnesses. These illnesses can result in the athlete facing life threatening consequences. Berria adds, "The loss of evaporative cooling causes the body temperature to continue rising rapidly, soon reaching a level that can lead to organ damage." Organ damage can be detrimental to the functioning of the body. This emphasizes the importance of proper fluids to a body during exercise. Athletes, hence, need to have a proper understanding of the fluids the body needs during exercise in order to prevent these repercussions.

Common issues with improper nutrition arises from the misunderstanding of what a proper diet looks like, therefore, revealing the need for more information on nutrition. As society has moved towards a health and fitness craze, there has been a release of new ideas of what this perfectly healthy diet looks like. However, this has lead to false information as diet fads have taken over media. This false information can lead to misconceptions on what the body truly needs to exercise and workout efficiently.

This false information can be seen with the protein craze that has engulfed society in recent years. Protein, although highly important for a healthy diet as seen with men, can be obtained through a balanced diet. Obtaining this extra protein actually will not directly increase your muscle mass. Sharon Denny, author at Food & Nutrition magazine, exclaims, "But eating extra protein will not make your muscles bigger or stronger." This reveals the gap in the understanding of what the body needs to be efficient as protein powders and shakes have become widely sought after. Renowned published journalist Rachel Cernansky describes:

“Preventive cardiologist Stephen Devries, the executive director of the nonprofit Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology in Deerfield, Ill., recommends avoiding or only eating only minimal amounts of animal protein; he is also cautious about what he calls "artificially enhanced protein," such as protein powders, even ones derived from plants.” 

Too much protein intake, especially powders, can actually impose a risk to the health of the person. Therefore, bringing to light the deceptions within media and its focus on emphasizing all forms of protein. This need for a better balanced diet is furthered as many people in society overthink a healthy diet to excess. 

A balanced diet is the most efficient way to achieve a healthier lifestyle whether exercising or not, thus, resolving the health issues resulting from malnutrition during exercise. Yet, media has imposed different sides on this issue resulting in confusion over what can be considered healthy. The main misconception is the belief that healthy foods should be eaten in exclusion to those deemed as “unhealthy.” This misconception is untrue as Scholastic, an educational magazine, mentions, "For the average person, active or inactive, the basic nutritional needs is for a balanced diet." (“Eating for exercise”).

This reveals that a healthy diet should consist of a wide variety of different foods. It should not be limited, furthermore, excluding too many foods can actually do the opposite. Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D., describes, "But when eaten to exclusion of other items, they contribute to a "bad diet." Too healthy of a diet can actually become unhealthy. A healthy diet must include a good balance of different foods. Clark even goes on to elaborate, “Any food, in moderation--even chips and hot dogs--can fit into an overall wholesome meal plan.” Therefore, eating a donut every now and then will not be detrimental to a healthy diet. This highlights how media has imposed misconceptions on a healthy diet. There has to be a good balance for any diet to be healthy for the body. Hence, emphasizing the need for better information and understanding of what the body truly needs when it comes to nutrition. 

A lack of proper nutrition during exercise can profoundly affect the life of an athlete, however, prevention can solve this issue. These issues arise as nutrition is the basis for the energy the body needs to complete these tasks, but there are solutions for this issue, the main and most important solution is prevention. Athletes must properly prepare for workouts by obtaining the proper nutrition that the body needs. Berria describes, "As with most illnesses, prevention is the best medicine for heat exhaustion and heatstroke." By obtaining adequate fluids before working out, an athlete can avoid issues related to heat illnesses.

This can vastly protect the body from damage that would result from heat issues. Prevention is also greatly beneficial to avoiding malnutrition related injuries and illnesses. Karen Chapman-Novakofsk, PhD., adds, "A diet high in potassium and low in sodium is recommended to prevent hypertension." This reveals how one can prevent health issues during exercise by obtaining the proper balance of nutrients. This can protect the body from damage and keep it functioning. However, when prevention is not put into effect these far-reaching health issues can be reversed. 

Lack of proper nutrition during exercise can result in far-reaching health issues, however, these can be reversed if addressed promptly. A case study following a women runner with poor nutrition revealed her lack of key nutrition for the body which resulted in health issues. The case study revealed, "The athlete presented with secondary amenorrhea (0-3 menstrual cycles per year) for 6 years between the ages of 18 and 25 years..." (Hind). This brings to light the initial issues faced by the runner. However, as recommended by a doctor, a more rounded diet was put into effect. Hind uncovers, "yet substantial bone mass deficits were recovered to a normal level through weight gain, improved nutrition and a resumption of menses.”

This data uncovers the effects of solving a poor diet, that through a proper diet, initial health concerns as a result of the runner’s disordered eating can be reversed. Nevertheless revealing,  "peak bone mass accrual and infertility may not be completely jeopardized in formerly amenorrheic athletes, providing recovery through diet, weight gain…" (Hind). These affects as seen in women during the female triad can cause long lasting consequences, however, these effects can be reversed if addressed initially. A female affected by amenorrhea and loss of bone density can lose fertility and lack crucial bone mass, although, these can be solved through the implication of a balanced diet. 

Improper nutrition results from a lack in the understanding of what the body requires during exercise, however, there are many tips on how to solve this issue. This arises important questions about what proper nutrition for exercise looks like. Experts have released many tips on what to consume before and after exercise. Expert describes, "In fact, the best meal before a game or hard exercise should include carbohydrates such as bread, cereals, and pasta." ("Eating for exercise."). This reveals the need for nutrition before working out. These carbohydrates before provide the body with the energy it needs to efficiently move.

This need for carbohydrates brings to light the misunderstanding of carbohydrates in society as many industries are pushing towards low carb diets. However, nutrition before working out should not be the only focus of a proper diet as the body needs acceptable food to properly recover. “Replenishing fluids and energy after exercising is just as important as the pre-event meal." (Denny). Exercise depeats the stored energy and nutrients in the body. Therefore, a person must properly replenish these sources after exercise in order to maintain a healthy body. As a result, the meal after exercise is just as important as before. This information reveals the complexity of nutrition for exercise and sports as there are many aspects that go into maintaining a healthy body. 

As revealed, the body requires adequate nutrition for exercise in order to maintain a healthy life, yet as misconceptions have arisen, there is a profound need for more information on this subject. In society, more young children are growing up playing sports. These sports give kids valuable exercise, decreasing the likelihood of childhood obesity. Nonetheless, many of these young athletes do not understand what proper nutrition for the body looks like as society has begun to overly emphasize thin models.

This accentuates the need for more lessons for adolescents in healthy diets as sports intensity begins. Chapman-Novakofski expresses, "Consequently it is important for the sports nutrition specialist working with athletes to ensure that athletes are well-fed and consume enough calories to offset the increased energy demands of training, and maintain body weight." This brings forth the need for professional advice within high school and grade school classrooms as children are growing up with a twisted view of nutrition. This view involves a constant pressure to lose weight in order to gain a leaner figure. This can be detrimental to a growing body as it needs the proper nutrition to develop strong muscles and bones.

This can also create a gap in the understanding of nutritional needs which needs to be addressed as many people in society fall victim to the consequences. This reveals that by receiving professional advice and guidance, this misunderstanding can be remedied. Denny adds, "What do these professional athletes have in common--football and baseball players, tennis stars, Olympic gymnasts, marathon runners…All have used the expertise of sports nutritionists to enhance their competitive edge." Denny provides insight into how beneficial professional guidance can be to improve performance during sports and exercises.

This professional help can close the gap in the understanding of nutrition and allow for people in society to perform at the highest level possible. By resolving this gap, society will be less likely to fall victim to the health related issues from malnutrition resulting from a poor diet during exercise. This, therefore, reveals that by offering more professional help in society, the gap within the understanding of what the body requires for exercise can be resolved which can allow for people to avoid health related issues and perform at the highest level.

Malnutrition as a result of a poor diet during exercise can be highly detrimental to the body. This results from the fact that the body requires certain nutrients in order to compete and perform at the highest level. However, society likes to paint a picture of a thin and lean figure as this idea body image. This results in many people in society developing disordered eating and twisted views of the nutrition needed during exercise. This twisted view also results from many new health fads that have become prevalent in society. This creates a profound gap in the understanding of nutrition in society which can lead to many health related illnesses as a result of this misunderstanding.

This, nevertheless, poses a threat to the health of those who workout and train. Therefore, revealing the need for a change in society which can range from more professional help to prevention. By closing this gap in the understanding of nutrition, the health of those can be protected. Therefore, as society overly emphasizes the need to be thin, there needs to be more information available on what the body needs to perform efficiently during exercise in order to protect society from the health issues as a result of poor nutrition.

 

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