What does it mean to be healthy?
In the Preamble to its Constitution, which came into force in 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not only the absence of affections or diseases.”
This state and the absence of disease have a direct impact on our quality of life and the years that we enjoy it. In fact, medical advances and increased economic development have allowed Spaniards to live longer. Thus, in recent decades, life expectancy has improved a lot throughout the world and also in Spain, which, according to data from the WHO publication “World Health Statistics 2014”, is among the top ten countries in the world with longer life expectancy. Spanish women are, in fact, the longest living in the world, only behind Japanese women (85.1 years on average compared to 87.0), while Spanish men have a life expectancy of 79, 99 years.
However, at the same time, this situation has given rise to an older population: according to the “Guide to nutritional guidance for the elderly” published by Madrid Salud, in Spain 16% of the population is already over 65 years of age and this percentage is expected to reach 20% in 2020.
Do we Spaniards stay healthy?
According to the February 2015 barometer published by the Center for Sociological Research (CIS), Spaniards perceive that in general they are in good health: 71.4% say it is “good” or “very good”, compared to 28, 6% who consider it “regular”, or “bad or very bad”. At the same time, one in ten Spaniards claim to have suffered difficulties often or very often in their work or in carrying out household tasks in the last month for health reasons, while 16.3% claim to have suffered some ache or pain. In this sense, according to the results of the latest “National Health Survey”, which the INE published in 2013, in the previous five years there was an increase in chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes.
How much physical exercise should we practice?
In addition to promoting a sense of well-being, physical exercise helps the heart work more efficiently, helps regulate cholesterol and insulin sensitivity, improves muscle tone, and prevents obesity and overweight, among other benefits (discover more here).
Therefore, it is necessary to flee from sedentary lifestyle and walk between half and an hour a day or practice aerobic activities such as dancing, swimming or cycling three times a week, for which it is advisable to reserve moments in our daily or weekly routine.
And, in addition to doing sports or physical exercise, we must strive to lead an active life on a day-to-day basis. For example, it is advisable to walk instead of traveling by car or take the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
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