How do you keep healthy? What healthy habits do you have? Do you have any unhealthy habits? Did you have any health classes at school? Do you have any advice on keeping healthy for youngsters?
  • To lead (verb) - to live a particular type of life.
  • -free (suffix) - used at the end of words to mean "without".
  • To work wonders (idiom) - to cause improvements or have a very good effect.
  • Excess (noun) - an amount that is more than acceptable, expected, or reasonable.
  • Gut flora (noun) - the microorganisms that normally live in the digestive tract of animals.
  • Bloated (adj.) - swollen and rounded because of containing too much air, liquid, or food.
  • To overindulge (verb) - to allow yourself to have too much of something enjoyable, especially food or drink.
  • To hector (verb) - to talk and behave towards someone in a loud and unpleasantly forceful way, especially in order to get them to act or think as you want.
  • Holier-than-thou (adj.) - people who are holier-than-thou think that they are morally better than anyone else.
  • Level-headed (adj.) - calm and able to deal easily with difficult situations.
  • To make a mountain out of a molehill (idiom) - to make a slight difficulty seem like a serious problem.
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Questions and answers
M: How do you keep healthy?

R: Well, I try and lead a very active and stress-free life. I've got a regular workout routine and a regular gym schedule that I stick to. And that's been working wonders, generally speaking.

M: What healthy habits do you have?

R: Well, I don't smoke or drink to excess very often. So that's usually enough. Well, I also try and eat things that match up with my gut flora, so I don't get overly bloated. And I try and get my full eight hours of sleep every night. I think those are the main things.

M: Do you have any unhealthy habits?

R: Not many, although I occasionally overindulge in alcohol, and maybe eat a little bit too much. But that's not very often and at least when I do it's the good stuff, so I don't feel so bad about it.

M: Did you have any health classes at school?

R: Well, we had home economics and social education in high school. And I have to say that despite the best intentions of the teachers, they weren't terribly effective. I don't think much of the information was readily applicable, at least to students in my situation, and the way that I lived my life and continued to live my life. And there's also the matter of delivery. I don't really think that hectoring students and acting holier-than-thou is a great way to inspire people to do the right thing. There were very few like level-headed discussions about what it really means to be healthy. So that was a bit unfortunate. Sorry about that.

M: Do you have any advice on keeping healthy for youngsters?

R: Well, what? Other than don't smoke and try and eat in a way that matches your body? Or matches up with the makeup of your body. I don't know what else I could say. Like, I suppose we could talk about mental health. And in that case, it's just trying to ask yourself if something is really a big deal, or if you're making a mountain out of a molehill and unnecessarily stressing yourself, but I can't give any more specific advice for young people because I don't live their lives like a lot of old people that give advice to younger people.
M: Hey, thank you, Rory, for your healthy answers!

R: I like to think I gave good advice there. But who knows?

M: We keep healthy. So like you keep yourself in a good health. So I'm healthy. What do I do to keep healthy? Rory told us like I lead a very active life. So to lead an active life or to lead a stress-free life. So I'm stress-free. I have an active life. Or if you're passive, you lead a sedentary life. And I have a regular diet. So maybe Rory eats everything. Maybe he's not on a diet but the food Rory eats is regular and healthy. And that's been working wonders since I started it. So this is a very nice phrase for you to remember. It has been working wonders. So to work wonders? Like oh, it's been magic.

R: It's very effective.

M: It has been working wonders since I started. Work wonders. It's really effective. It's like magic. So it has been. Present Perfect Continuous. Since I started. I started a long time ago. Also, dear listener, you can add things like I keep fit. So kind of you do regular exercise. I eat a well-balanced, low-fat diet. Not just a regular diet, but you can just squeeze in some nice words. I drink water to stay hydrated. Hydrated. I reduce screen time to be healthy. I get enough sleep. So they are kind of usual things, yeah? But like good chunks of language. I go easy on alcohol. Like I stay sober. Sober? like no alcohol. And Rory, you go easy on alcohol, right?

R: Yeah, I don't drink to excess, which is the... I suppose it's the technical term for not getting drunk all the time.

M: You can say that I manage my stress, or I practice daily gratitude. Mindfulness. Yeah, I get massages, I do breathing exercises, breathing. So these are like nice chunks. Even if you don't do anything, dear listener, okay? It's just for vocabulary, lexemes.

R: If you're uncomfortable with it, then you could always say like I try to. I try to do regular meditation or breathing work.

M: I do my best to do breathing exercises. So healthy habits, unhealthy habits. And you said that I don't smoke to excess?

R: No, I don't smoke period, but I don't drink to excess. I don't think you can smoke to excess unless you were like trying to give yourself lung cancer or something like that.

M: Like if a person is a chain smoker.

R: Well, drinking to access is drinking so much that you make yourself ill. Whereas smoking generally makes you ill. You can smoke to access by telling people do that intentionally. Whereas people definitely intentionally drink to excess.

M: I eat things that match up with my gut flora. So your guts are pretty much like in your stomach, or in this area. Gut flora. So something inside there. So food that match things. Things that match up with my stomach.

R: Yeah, well, not just your stomach, but all of your digestive system, I suppose. Because everybody's got unique bacteria inside them. So really, everybody should be on their own unique diet.

M: Get bloated, you just like get bigger and you feel that... It's a huge stomach.

R: Yeah, it's not a nice feeling.
M: Also, healthy habits include healthy sleep habits, healthy relationships, dear listener, assertive communication. Assertive like confident communication. Yeah, it's kind of like healthy habit. Work-life balance, Good time management skills, right? Stress Management, relaxation and mindfulness. You see? Yeah, you can say I have this habit or I don't have these habits or I want to have these ones. Even if you don't, just use the language. I overindulge in alcohol sometimes.

R: Sometimes.

M: If you overindulge, you do it too much. Like sometimes I indulge in sweets. Okay, so you eat some sweets sometimes, but if you overindulge, this is already like over the top. This is like too much. And sometimes our Rory from Scotland overindulges in what. In whiskey? Champagne?

R: Both. No no, no, it's not whiskey. It's bourbon. Usually, it's champagne first and then bourbon afterwards. I quite like it. But I would like to point out that it's always very nice stuff. So it's not so bad. If you're just drinking cheap stuff just for the express purpose of getting drunk then that's not great.

M: Yeah, Rory stopped being a hooligan, he is now, you know, like... Expensive bourbon.

R: Refined.

M: Refined whiskey. So I overindulge in alcohol I overindulge in sweets or the wrong kind of food. So pretty much like McDonald's, burgers, pizza, crisps, yum, yum, yum. So everything that I enjoy. Oh, I need a burger. And maybe a pizza.

R: I'm really hungry. I've got some salmon in the fridge that I'm going to eat after we record this episode. I'm so hungry.

M: Maybe pasta, maybe pasta.

R: Ooh, it's nice. pasta...

R: Healthy food, right? Or healthy habits. You can also say that. I don't drink enough water, I don't get enough exercise very often, I eat late at night, dear listener. I overeat. I have unhealthy social habits. Rory, so if you have unhealthy social habits, what could it be? I have absolutely no idea. What? Like that means that the way that you interact with society is unhealthy. So what would that be? Being rude and obnoxious to people because you're angry and bitter. But I don't know what unhealthy social habits look like. What do you think?

M: Well, some people isolate themselves from the others. Right? So they... What else do I have on my list? They neglect relationships, for example. So yeah? It's a nice phrase. Well, sometimes I feel lonely and I do you have unhealthy social habits.

R: Well, you would need to clarify it though.

M; The examiner looks at you like yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

R: The examiner's probably looking at you thinking same.
M: Yep. Health classes at school. Dear listener, did you have any health classes at school? Could you write in the comments, okay? Because from what I remember, I think I didn't. We have this kind of "OBJ". General science classes and we were shown videos about abortion. Which were horrible.

R: Oh, great.

M: Yeah, maybe this could be considered as health classes>

R: Although it's probably psychologically scarring.

M: Different in different countries, right? But it's about like health, when they teach you how to be healthy, maybe how to take care of yourself. And Rory told us, we had social education.

R: Yeah. So home economics is more about eating healthy, and being able to cope in the real world, allegedly. Sorry, sorry, Miss Christie. Miss Christie is my home economics teacher. But I learned nothing, I'm sorry. And we had social education classes, which were about, well, they were supposed to be about healthy relationships. But a lot of the time, it was just about scaring people, you had information about abortion, we got a lot of information about sexually transmitted diseases, nothing about how to maintain a healthy relationship between a partner, it doesn't help anybody. And it was always... I used the word hectoring. That's just when you're sitting there bothering people, lecturing them about how awful they are, and how everything is terrible.

M: We can give some advice on keeping healthy, right? So some tips about how to keep fit, how to be healthy. So eat in a way that matches your body. So okay, like soup agrees with my body, so I eat soup. Or porridge also is good for my body, I eat porridge. Some people don't eat onions, because something just... It's not quite right. Right? So Rory told us that our diet should be unique. Diet? All the food we... Consume. And it's always worth asking yourself if something is a big deal or not a big deal. So it's worth eating healthily, it's worth sleeping for eight hours. It's a nice expression. And actually, it's a good tip. Like ask yourself, is it really a big deal? Or something like, small? So why are you worrying about it? So ask yourself if something is a big deal in the grand scheme of things. So the grand scheme of things, you meant the whole world, the universe?

R: Yeah, the grand scheme of things is just in the wider world. So like, you might be really focused on this one tiny problem, but in the bigger world, this problem is extremely tiny and probably not that important.

M: Dear listener, could you let us know what do you do to keep healthy? What you don't do. Some unhealthy habits of yours. Could you write in the comments? They are very interesting for us. Okay? So let us know. And check out our premium episodes. The links are in the description. Together with our phrasal verb course, which is amazing and super useful for you. Bye!

R: Bye!
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
Get exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 1, 2, and 3
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