Remaining healthy in the age of social media

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SPORTS NUTRITIONIST Dr. Dana Ryan, Director for Sports Performance and Education of Herbalife Nutrition, was recently in the Philippines to discuss how people can remain healthy during the age of social media.

AS MORE and more people spend their time online, particularly on social media, the risks on one’s health grow. Thus, the need to take action before it is too late.

That was the focus of a recent talk organized by global brand Herbalife Nutrition, which sought to foster the conversation of remaining healthy in the “age of social media.”

Held at the Makati Shangri-La Manila on Jan. 24, Herbalife Nutrition brought in Dr. Dana Ryan, its director for Sports Performance and Education, to talk about available data regarding health risks in relation to time spent by people online and give suggestions how to combat them.

“Unless you’re doing a physical activity while you’re online, it’s not healthy to stay inactive for long periods of time. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide. It increases the chances of serious diseases, such as cancer and diabetes,” Dr. Ryan said.

Spending an average of 10 hours a day online, four hours of which spent on social media, data show, Filipinos are susceptible to such risks, the Herbalife official underscored.

Dr. Ryan, who came to the country the first time for Herbalife in 2018, said making it all the more challenging to stay healthy these days is that the internet is bombarding people with so much information not all of which are helpful and which tend to mislead.

That is why Dr. Ryan suggested that apart from making a truly conscious effort to give ample time for physical activity, people must also learn to be discerning about what they see and are being fed on social media and the internet.

To achieve the latter, curating one’s feeds would go a long way in creating positivity, motivation, and inspiration towards healthy lives.

Dr. Ryan said people should be mindful of where they get advice. Do not fall for those pushing trendy diets and quick fixes and promising overnight result with an exercise program. Look for the credentials of those giving such advice — how much time they invested in studying and crafting what they are pushing for — and read opposing opinions to help you to form your own.

Dr. Ryan suggested following people that focus on health over image, those who promote balance, and preferably health organizations which can back up their studies.

“Try to look up helpful tips on how to remain fit from reliable organizations. Look at the celebrity or influencer you admire as an inspiration, but don’t stress yourself into achieving what he or she has. The important thing is to remain active and healthy,” Dr. Ryan said.

In closing, the Herbalife official reiterated that going online is not bad in itself but one should never forget the importance of being active and having the proper nutrition, and take better control of one’s health. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo