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Caution pays

Health is the biggest of all assets and maintaining it is particularly important. Both individuals and nations pay special attention to avoid situations that affect health. The Sultanate has an extensive network of healthcare professionals that seeks to create awareness about health among the population from an early age. The nation’s multilayered healthcare system offering primary, referral and tertiary care has been hailed as among world’s most effective. The government has been opening more and more healthcare institutions across the nation so that they become accessible to residents of even the remotest areas. This approach has helped to increase the average life expectancy in the Sultanate beyond many other nations of comparable economic profile. This Sultanate’s Health Strategy is based on the government’s desire to raise a healthy generation that can take part in nation building to its fullest potential. This system has nurtured a healthy and happy population. No wonder the Sultanate figures high on world Happiness Index. Of course there is a problem regarding child obesity because of excessive junk fast food consumption. The authorities are seeking to counter this situation by building up people’s awareness and teaching the young about the need to be fit. This awareness about fitness makes the youth take extra efforts to remain fit and healthy. The Sultanate is a nation of sports lovers partly because of the youth’s love for fitness. Omani youth have a liking for highly physical sports like soccer or competitive ones like motorsports. Children get ample opportunity to play from a young age and this improves their skills and competitiveness.

While the quest for fitness must be appreciated, the youth must tread carefully in choosing the means of achieving it. Fitness is a matter of both body and mind and the proper approach is to strike the right balance. Hankering after quick results is often a sure recipe for counterproductive methods. Experts warn youth against expecting quick results without sweat. Any achievement has its value to be paid in sweat and perseverance and shortcuts often lead to disastrous results. Doctors advise normally healthy youth against taking booster supplements without expert guidance. This is because wrong use of supplements like protein boosters can have undesirable side-effects. Obviously natural protein obtained from normal diet is the best. Supplements should be used sparingly and only to make good what the diet fails to provide. The drive for fitness gripping the youth has caused fitness centre and gymnasiums to mushroom. Not all of them may have qualified in-house dieticians. Therefore it is important to be circumspect when approaching such centres. The bottom line is not to go after quick results, which may not last. On the other hand, fitness achieved through hard work may be slow to obtain but will last longer and not cause drastic side-effects. This is because slow change gives the body time to adjust to a different level of activity and helps strengthen vital organs. There are suggestions that some muscle-building products that promise quick results may be using steroids to give the users higher energy levels. Experts suggest these are best avoided because some such products may cause lasting side-effects.