Have you ever wanted to go back in time and change a few things in your life, move some stuff around, maybe do some things differently. Everyone has that feeling once in a while. However, we might not be able to do that for ourselves, but maybe what we learnt could help someone else. We asked six people to share health advice they wish they had followed when they were younger.
Here’s what they had to say:
Kritika Khanna, 34
Two things: Ditch the diets and stop being embarrassed about your sexual health.
I have tried everything from the tomato soup diet, to the General Motors diet, from Atkins and Keto to South Beach and while I’ve seen small successes, I know now for sure that none of them work for me. So I’d say ditch the diets and focus on staying active instead. It does wonders for your mental and physical health, and your skin. As someone who has been overweight all her life, I am a huge advocate for mobility and strength. You want to be walking up hills well into your 80s, even if you’re carrying 90 kilos on your body.
Try to be more open about conversations surrounding your sexual health and periods. If you are lucky enough to have a gynaecologist you can talk to and trust, that’s great. But if not, talk to your friends, mom, aunts, cousins – anyone who won’t judge. Sometimes we just need somebody to tell us that what our body is doing is normal!
Samia Khan, 34
I’d tell myself that there is such a thing as your metabolism coming to an almost standstill when you hit 30. You are not invincible — how you live today will come back to bite you later. Here’s what I’d tell my younger self: Don’t live on junk food — eat three meals a day. Work out — don’t want to be a panting, lethargic bum when you are 30, right? Don’t underestimate a good night’s sleep — get proper 8 hours every night. Be happier — it just helps
Nikhil Baksi, 37
- You love playing outdoor sports. Go play soccer a few times a week. Take tennis lessons – you have been meaning to do so forever. Find a pool, go swimming, you always liked it.
- You are not one of those gym dudes – so don’t waste money on them and personal trainers!
- Eat at home more often and dial down on the four-pub days a week.
- Be responsible – it is easy to feel guilty about putting on weight and then drink and eat even more while spiraling into the “too late to do anything” mindset.
- Get a check-up done every 6 months. They are free because your employer provided insurance covers it – so no excuses.
- Take care of your knees – they are in bad shape so any extra weight is only going to make it worse.
- You will develop a taste for single malts and bourbon and brewed beer and BBQ meats. Go easy on them. By all means enjoy them but sit out a few of those excessive drinking weekends.
Remember you are doing all of the above for you and you only so be selfish about the right things. If you stay healthy you can travel, explore and learn more.
Sameer Zaidi, 38
One big health advice I will give my younger self is ‘NO SMOKING’. Can’t stress on this enough. Young people often start smoking because their friends do and they think it’s cool and fashionable. Moreover, one does not realise that that one small act of ‘rebellion’ becomes a painful habit.
In addition to not smoking, I would advise my younger self to continue playing the sports I played.
Diya Mehta, 35
I led a fairly active lifestyle when I was younger. But it would have been nice to be more disciplined with my eating and sleeping habits. Building that discipline is so important early in life so you don’t suffer in your thirties, when your metabolism suddenly slows down. Secondly, no one told me this but I should have gotten the HPV vaccine as well, since you can get it only upto the age of 26. I would say that there has to be more awareness about health issues like cervical cancer amongst younger women so they can make the right choices for their health and bodies. I would also like to tell my younger self to be kinder to myself and not judge myself and my body too harshly, after all it doesn’t matter how you look, but how kind you are, how much you read and know, and what difference you can make in the world.
Health Advice to my younger self:
- Try to exercise for at least 15 mins every day
- Don’t ever skip your meals
- Invest in mental health – find a therapist and stick with it
- Understand what works for your body and mind and make lifestyle choices as per that.
(Some of the names have been changed on request.)
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