Health and Illness, Nutrition and Fitness Vocabulary (Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate)

Health and Illness, Nutrition and Fitness Vocabulary (Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate)

Health and Illness, Nutrition and Fitness Vocabulary
(Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate)

Idioms, Proverbs & Sayings


Prevention is better than cure.

Health and Illness, Nutrition and Fitness Vocabulary (Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate)

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.


Eat to live, not live to eat.


Good health is above wealth.

Health and Illness, Nutrition and Fitness Vocabulary (Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate)

A healthy mind in a healthy body

Vocabulary (Intermediate)

Health and Illness

Jason had a few cuts and bruises when he fell off his bike, nothing serious.

Harry suffers from hay fever and sneezes a lot if he’s near grass or flowers.

He died from/of lung cancer.

Well, whenever I feel poorly, I will arrange an appointment with my GP for a check-up. But things doesn’t seem to go the same with men. For example, my dad doesn’t think he is sick until he is at death’s door. Maybe it’s because we think that women are more vulnerable than men.


Choose the word or phrase in sentences 1-3 that best describes how you feel about sport.


1 Watching sport is tedious /entertaining/all right if there’s nothing else on TV.

2 Playing sport is exhilarating /good fun/exhausting/a great way to keep fit.

3 I’m quite into sport/fanatical about sport/not the least bit interested in sport.

(Upper-Intermediate, Advanced)

British healthcare

Health and Illness, Nutrition and Fitness Vocabulary (Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate)

In Britain, healthcare is paid for through taxes and national insurance payments taken directly from wages and salaries. The government decides how much will be spent on the National Health Service, but a lot of people feel they do not spend enough. Hospital treatment and visits to a family doctor (or GP / general practitioner) at a surgery or clinic are free, but there is a prescription charge. Dentists and opticians charge fees. Private healthcare is available and a large number of insurance schemes exist to enable people to ‘go private’

Cholesterol and Health

Cholesterol only becomes a problem when you have too much of it and it starts to promote the production of a fatty plague that can clog the arteries. Interruption of blood flow to a main heart vessel can cause a heart attack; a blocked vessel on the way to the brain could cause a stroke.

Some say that cholesterol-rich foods such as eggs, shellfish and offal should be banished from the diet, but these foods don’t significantly raise cholesterol levels. The cholesterol in them is broken down quite efficiently and then excreted, so they are fine to eat in moderation.

Fibre produces substances that help to clear the blood of bad cholesterol and acts as a “buffer”, so less fat is brought into contact with blood vessels and less is absorbed. Fibre also keeps bad cholesterol within the gut from where it can be excreted.

Health and Illness, Nutrition and Fitness Vocabulary (Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate)

Ways to reduce the toxins in your blood:

  • Eat more organic food.
  • Cut your daily intake of dairy products and red meat.
  • Don’t use pesticides in the garden.
  • Avoid dry cleaning.
  • Choose natural fibres for soft furnishings, wood floors or tiles.
  • Ventilate your home and office well.
  • Avoid PVC flooring.
  • Avoid anything treated with non-stick chemicals.
  • Use natural soaps and cleaning products.

Healthcare news

  • Changes in energy intake and physical activity both have a part to play in the emerging obesity epidemic.
  • The major physical problem is the sedentary lifestyle.
  • Do e-cigarettes still pose health concerns?
  • Have mushroom-rich breakfast to maintain healthy weight.
  • As a part of an active lifestyle, it is important to consider incorporating a healthy eating pattern.
  • Some countries like South Africa hope to create an accessible public-health insurance system within the next decade.
  • There is a growing demand for healthcare services in Japan due to the aging population.
  • Do you think employers, both public and private, should promote health initiatives?
  • The European Parliament votes to tighten tobacco rules to curb smoking among young people.
  • Governments can raise taxes on junk food and invest more in public exercise equipment. Governments should come up with ideas to reduce working hours of employees as well as workload of students.

Healthcare news

When Alexa was diagnosed with a serious medical condition, she was worried that she might have to have an operation.

However, her doctor first prescribed a course of medication. Fortunately, she responded well to treatment, and made a full recovery.

Health and Illness, Nutrition and Fitness Vocabulary (Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate)


• Do not exceed the recommended dose.

• If you think you have taken an overdose, consult a doctor immediately.

• If you suffer any of the side effects mentioned in this leaflet, or any other adverse reactions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can obesity be reduced?

At the individual level, people can:

  • limit energy intake from total fats and sugars;
  • increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts;
  • engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes per week for adults).
  • Individual responsibility can only have its full effect where people have access to a healthy lifestyle.

The food industry can play a significant role in promoting healthy diets by:

  • reducing the fat, sugar and salt content of processed foods;
  • ensure the availability of healthy and nutritious choices;
  • ensuring the availability of healthy food choices and supporting regular physical activity practice in the workplace.
Health and Illness, Nutrition and Fitness Vocabulary (Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate)

Body composition

Your body composition is your individual proportion of muscle, fat, bone, and water. This is important because this proportion has a lot to do with how your body looks. Think about it: muscle tissue takes up a lot less space than fat tissue does; bone structure can differ from person-to-person; and the amount of water you hold at any given time will all affect how you look.

A healthy mind in a healthy body

Psychological studies show that your mind and your body are strongly linked. As your mental health declines, your physical health can wear down, and if your physical health declines, it can make you feel mentally “down.”
(American Psychological Association, 2005).


To find clues for healthy living today, we must look to our past. The history of human evolution shows a definitive link between our physical health and psychological well-being. The Greeks understood the importance of a Sound Mind in a Sound Body. That credo became the foundation of their civilization. Modern living is causing our bodies and minds to short-circuit

(an extract from 7 Habits for a Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body by Christopher Bergland Christopher Bergland, full article)

Fitness does not only refer to being physically fit, but also refers to a person’s mental state as well. If a person is physically fit, but mentally unwell or troubled, he or she will not be able to function optimally. Mental fitness can only be achieved if your body is functioning well. You can help relax your own mind and eliminate stresses by exercising regularly and eating right. People who are physically fit are also healthier, are able to maintain their most optimum weight, and are also not prone to cardiac and other health problems. In order to maintain a relaxed state of mind, a person should be physically active. A person who is fit both physically and mentally is strong enough to face the ups and downs of life, and is not affected by drastic changes if they take place. Becoming physically fit requires a change in life style as well. You will have to incorporate a regular exercise routine in your life and also eat healthier. By avoiding junk foods, fizzy drinks, bad habits like smoking and alcohol and by getting adequate amount of rest, you will be able to become physically and mentally fit. Just by eliminating all these food substances from your life, no matter how temporarily, you will allow your body to detox and become stronger. Make sure that you spend more time outdoors in the sun and fresh air and take part in more healthy activities. 

(full article)


Health and Illness, Nutrition and Fitness Vocabulary (Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate)

Running and Calories

Running, or swift walking, uses the major muscle groups, making it the most efficient form of cardiovascular exercise. It has been shown to have a positive effect on blood fats by reducing cholesterol levels. It also lowers blood pressure and helps diabetics by improving glucose tolerance and reducing insulin resistance.

Running is a very efficient way to burn calories. Converting your weight into pounds and then multiplying the result by 75 per cent will give you the amount you burn per mile. The average is about 500 calories for every three miles. If you did this three times a week, you’d lose ½ lb a week, 2lb a month or 24lb a year.

This all-round form of exercise is used in the treatment of mental illness and depression, because it is thought to raise levels of the mood enhancer, serotonin.

sedentary lifestyle increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, and more. Do you want to enjoy good health? Or perhaps you want to reduce your stress levels? Build up your strength by doing plenty of exercise. It’s better to start with gentle exercise unless you already do a lot of sport. It’s equally important to watch what you eat. There’s no need to go on a diet: just eating the right food will help you to build up resistance to disease.

But what about me, I always say I’m going to take up exercise and try to get into shape but I never seem to get started.

I feel that I should avoid strenuous exercise, so things like circuit training are definitely out of the question.I think I’ll just do a brisk walk every day

This could be done through sponsorship of sports, or participation in competitive events such as races or matches, hopefully ameliorating the physical effects of excessive games use.