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Lankan students reach Himalayan heights

Last April 12 was an unforgettable day for the four members of the University Explorers' Club (UEC) as they reached the highest point of the Himalaya that any Sri Lankan has ever reached.

Students climbing the snow covered mountain.

The victorious group members were Jayampathi Weerakoon (team leader), Sandun Dissanayake (coordinator), Chanaka Rajapaksa and Chanaka Warnakulasooriya. "We reached the highest altitude that any Sri Lankan has ever attended to reach. We worked hard with understanding. Our team spirit helped us to reach the victorious point," team members said.

"The task we completed was a huge challenge. But we succeeded it because of the perseverance, commitment and endurance. We were enthusiastic and we gathered a lot of experience," they added.

This expedition was organised by the Peradeniya University explorers' club to mark their thirty sixth anniversary. The club was started by the environment lovers to explore the forests, waterfalls, rivers and mountain peaks all over Sri Lanka. The exploration club has completed four Himalayan explorations so far.

The four youngsters that participated in the exploration have come along way to achieve this success. Jayampathi Weerakoon received his primary education from a rural school in Bogamuwa area in the Kurunagala electorate. He did his advanced level examination at St. Anne's College Kurunagala.

Sadun Dissanayake is a student of Weyananda Central College. Chanaka Rajapaksa is from Ginigathhena and studied at Ginigathhena Central College. Chanaka Warnakulasooriya was a President's scout and studied at Maliyadeva College, Kurunagala.

Selecting the four students have been a difficult task for the Explorer's Club. "Previous experience, active participation both in the club and other activities, leadership, ability of facing the challenges, physical fitness were the things they looked for when selecting the students. It was a great opportunity. Officer in charge of the physical education unit, Anuja Mallawarachchi assisted us," the students explained.

The four members under went strenuous training, which enabled to improve endurance. They followed a rigorous schedule of running, power training and swimming before the departure. The students also controlled food according to the medical advice and followed a first aid course to gain the basic and essential knowledge to handle emergencies. "The dream of any explorer is to get unforgettable experience. It was a memorable hike," Jayampathy who led the team said.

"We reached Kathmandu on March 22 and spent a couple of days there. We got ready for the journey and collected the things needed.

We also got the support of an experienced guide and two porters. On the first day we traveled 110 kilometers by bus and reached the Himalayan range. The whole journey was a new experience and we enjoyed it," he added.

Eating healthy and exercising

What does it really mean to be healthy? Well, there are two keys to maintaining your health and it is more important than ever to stay healthy. Whatever problems you develop while you're growing up will be ten times harder to get rid of when you're in your twenties and thirties. Two keys to ensuring your physical well-being are nutrition and fitness, and they are both equally important.

Being healthy today has very little to do with actual weight. Someone's weight, although a health indicator, does not necessarily determine his or her overall heath. There are plenty of slightly overweight people that are far healthier than many skinny people.

Just as anorexia and bulimia are major problems with teenagers these days, so is obesity. The number of obese teenagers has almost tripled in the last thirty years. It is a disease that can cause potentially fatal health risks.

A large proportion of teenagers experience some sort of eating disorder or weight disease today. There are also many who do not, but that doesn't mean that they are completely healthy. Many health problems can go unnoticed and undiagnosed for a number of years. As a teenager, eating healthy is one of the best ways to ensure your overall physical health.

In addition to a healthy diet, exercise is also extremely important for teenagers. Many of you are members of sports teams, so make sure that you are getting the exercise you need from those teams. When on vacation or away from school, be sure to keep up your regular active routines.

Exercising as a teenager is just as, if not more important than exercise as an adult. When you exercise, you help your heart to pump blood better, and you will lower your overall blood pressure. You will also help to remove excess fat from your blood stream.

These things are all extremely important, and they will help you greatly as you grow and become an adult. Many people suffer from heart problems when they are older; in fact the leading cause of death in some countries is heart disease. By exercising routinely as a teenager, you will help prevent the likelihood that you will develop any major heart problems as an adult.

In today's society, perfection is glorified, and body image remains a major issue with both teenagers and adults. Being healthy isn't about being perfect. While it can be somewhat difficult to change the way you look on the outside, changing your body chemistry on the inside is easy.

Being physically fit and healthy means more energy, less stress, more focus, less headaches or other body aches, more comfort overall, and a better lifestyle all around.


The pressure to eat and why we are getting fatter

For many teenage girls Reese Witherspoon, Courtney Cox, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jennifer Love Hewitt are role models. They have super sized success, and they're also super thin. But teenagers are gaining weight. What's going on?

There's too much eating on the run, grabbing the high calorie, high fat 'fast foods' warn researchers studying the serious problem of obesity. Teens, in particular, have disorganized eating patterns; they rarely sit down with the family to eat regular, balanced meals.

Instead they go for long periods of time without eating, or they just grab a coke or some 'junk food' snack. By the time these adolescents do eat, they are so starved that they over eat. Teenagers are eating the wrong foods, at the wrong times and in the wrong amounts. In addition to that, they are not getting enough exercise to burn off all the extra calories. The result? They're adding on pound after pound.

It's estimated that fourteen percent (14%) of all adolescents are obese...not just fat, but obese. If you are 50 to 100 pounds heavier than your ideal weight (based on body type), you would be included in this 14 %. That's the bad news. The good news is you can do something to PREVENT excess weight gain before it gets to be a serious health problem.

For starters

1. Pay attention to what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat it. If you have time, write down, at the end of the day the food you've had. How much of it was 'junk food', high in calories, high in fats, high in weight gain? BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF. To look better and feel better, wouldn't it be worth giving up this junk stuff?

2. Make sure you get as much exercise as you can. If the distance is under three miles, try walking to school, a friend's house, or to shop rather than having the only exercise you get be jumping into the car. Going regularly to the gym, or biking is another idea.

3. Concentrate on trying to eat several small meals each day rather than two or three huge ones. 4. Get advice from a doctor, a clinic, or the resources on this page if you are having trouble controlling your appetite or your weight gain.

Remember...overeating and under-exercising are only two of the reasons for unhealthy weight gain. Family history of obesity, stressful events, emotional issues and certain medications may also be at fault.

Teens flying high at AAC

Several students gathered at the Asian Aviation Center (AAC) in Ratmalana few weeks back to register for the



 two year course. They were busy filling several forms and running up and down to get every thing right.

After two years of learning and training in the fields of aircraft maintenance, flying and aerospace engineering, the students will have the opportunity of employing themselves. Fifty students got the chance to enter the academy to make their dreams come true.

Hansaka Muthukumarana is a student of Isipathana College. He follows the Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) Course at the center. "It is a



good academy. It is very helpful. I like the aviation field. My ambition is to become an aircraft engineer.

I do the basic license course at the center. It is very helpful and we have good lecturers. I did Mathematics for Advanced Level and decided to do this course," he said.

Pasan Kavikeshawa, 18 of Royal College also follows the same course. Following his father's footsteps he dreams of a career in aviation


 sector. " My father is working for Emirates.

I hope to join the same airline. To prepare myself for this I enrolled for the Basic License course. At present we are following the classes. Aviation field has a good future and I like this field very much," he explained. K M S I B Kulasekara of Kingswood College and P U S Pelandage of St. Aloysius College follow the Tertiary and Further Education (TAFE) course.

Daily News Teen wishes all these teens success in their future endeavours.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service

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