Health and Lifestyle
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12 – HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE Lifestyle Lifestyle is the typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture. Lifestyle may include views on politics, religion, health, eating habits, fashion, and more. All of these aspects play a role in shaping someone's lifestyle. The lifestyle of each individual person depends very much on his or hers economic situation and the place where they live. Obviously, a successful lawyer from New York has a completely different lifestyle than an unemployed man from Mumbai slum. Another major aspect is a religion which influences human life very much. For instance, Jews cannot eat pork and Hindus are not allowed to eat beef, because the cow is considered to be a sacred animal in India. Therefore the lifestyle of a Hindu boy living in London has to be different from his English schoolmates. The history and traditions of the country are also very important for one´s life. It is impossible to say that one whole country has the same lifestyle but we are aware of some stereotypes connected with many countries. Now, I would like to talk about the UK ant the USA. The Britons are said to be very polite and have very good manners - they are never tired of saying their ‘favourite’ phrases such as ‘I beg your pardon’ or ‘Excuse me’. The English word ‘gentleman’ mean a man with good manners all over the world. But they are also said to be very conservative and ‘keeping themselves to themselves’ - they e.g. don’t shake hands or kiss hello as people on the (European) Continent. British people are very well known for keeping their traditions and old habits. For instance, the whole world knows an English tradition of “five o´clock tea” which has become one of the strongest stereotypes about the UK. British conservatism also caused the foreign policy of Splendid Isolation, pursued by Britain during the late 19th century, under the Conservative premierships of Benjamin Disraeli. This policy meant that the UK did not want to interfere with other, especially European countries and wanted to stay as much isolated as possible in all aspects. The Britons are also known as reserved people. They have a saying “My home is my castle” which means that you home is your domain. You are the ultimate ruler, have ultimate responsibility and should be able to do whatever you want in it. They spend lot of their leisure time at home with the family and pets - the main stage of an Englishman’s social life is the family and the job. They have houses with fences or hedges and they value their privacy very much. According to English people, everyone has a skeleton in the wardrobe... However, the Britons are also the democratic people and the world-famous saying ‘time is money’ shows the practical side of the British character indeed. The Americans are mainly the mobile (or moving) nation. They ‘move away’ (or commute) for new home, new work, for holidays etc. When speaking about American lifestyle it is important to mention the ‘American dream’ - belief that it is possible for anyone in America to succeed by their own efforts. The ideal American is the ‘self-made’ and ‘self-reliance’ man - it is said that the first American of this kind was Benjamin Franklin. The motto of the American dream is “from rags to riches”. The ideal of the ‘American dream’ appears in many works of the American literature, such as in the famous F.S.Fitzgerald’s novels. Another feature of the American lifestyle what is well-known all around the world is fast food eating habits. As well as the Europeans like to cook some food at home; the Americans like to go to McDonald’s or KFC or order some food in. On the other hand, there is another part of Americans who try to live a very healthy life; they do a lot of exercise, eat healthy food. Those people are called “healthy freaks”. The idea of freedom is very important for the USA. In normal life, we can mention it in the facts like absence of the fences around houses etc. The USA is called “the melting pot” because all the cultures which live there have given some of their habits to America and formed the mixture of many cultures. Health More and more people today start to realise that good health means a longer and happier life. That is why they take better care of their health than before. The idea is very simple. If you make your body strong and healthy, then you won’t become ill. There are three ways to do this. They are: diet, relaxation, exercise. For many people, bad health begins with a bad diet. Some eat the wrong kind of food. Others eat too much or too little. It’s not surprising that people like this often become ill. On the other hand, people concerned about their health eat healthier food. They try to eat regularly, avoid eating chips, hamburgers, food in tins and packets. Instead, they try to eat fresh fruit and vegetables, brown bread, fish and white meat and reduce the amount of salt, fat, and sugar. Modern life is full of pressure and problems. Some people can control these. They sleep well, enjoy life, don’t worry very much and try to avoid stressful situations as much as possible. They know how to relax and that relaxation helps the body to rest and repair itself. Others are the opposite. They sleep badly, don’t enjoy life and worry all the time. People like this are suffering from stress. Stress is a kind of illness itself and it can lead to many others. Exercise is very important for good health. Without it the body becomes slow and fat. It also becomes weak and less able to fight illness. Unfortunately, modern life makes it very easy to be lazy. When we are ill, we usually see a doctor (GP – general practitioner). The doctor examines our body, asks about the symptoms and usually prescribes some medication, which is usually available on prescription in a pharmacy. In some cases we need to make an appointment with a specialist (dentist, neurologist, orthopaedist...). When the illness is too serious to be treated at home, we are taken to hospital and someti