IELTS Speaking topic - Health and well-being #1 -
IELTS Speaking topic - health and well-being 1

IELTS Speaking topic – Health and well-being #1

This is a sample response for IELTS Speaking Part 2 and 3. In addition to the model answer there are highlighted words and phrases. Teal is for vocabulary relating to this topic, yellow is for generally useful words and phrases.

IELTS Speaking Part 2

Describe an exercise or a sports routine that you do to stay fit
You should say:

  • what it involves
  • how long you have been doing it
  • what health benefits it provides

and say how you feel about doing it.

Model answer

My way of staying fit is rather unorthodox – to some it may even seem a bit extreme. I do my own improvised triathlons twice a week, that is I run, swim and cycle one straight after another at a rather brisk pace. Normally a competitive discipline, I decided to turn it into a regular sporty activity for myself and a good friend of mine, who initially suggested attending a triathlon some years ago. 

So far I have been practicing like that for six months and it has made a world of change to the way I feel. It works every single major muscle group in your body and it is also a great cardio workout. Swimming is an activity that I am especially fond of – not only does it make use of your body, it also strengthens your resolve as you have to dive right into a somewhat cold water right after having run for some miles.

Needless to say, I am excited to have had the consistency to carry on with it. Initially I thought that I would give up after the first couple of trainings, but I ended up keeping that as a habit.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

Staying healthy

Many people have unhealthy lifestyles. How can they be encouraged to lead healthier lives?
To start with, unhealthy way of living can be roughly divided into two categories: lack of exercising and substance abuse. The first one is the plague of our time as most jobs are sedentary by nature – that is, people spend most of their day sitting at the desk. This could be partially mitigated by mandating compulsory breaks. People could have three minutes or so each hour to get the blood in their bodies flowing again. To address the situation in a more effective way, sports could be popularised by celebrities through movies and other media. As for substance abuse such as smoking and drinking, the producers could simply make the price higher to make their product prohibitively expensive for most. It would naturally be bad for business, but we would end up with much healthier population!

Nowadays people live longer than they did in the past. Will this trend continue and how can this affect their lives?
It is true that life expectancy is at a historical all-time high. It is not uncommon to see people living to be a hundred years old thanks to all the advances in healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. I believe this trend is likely to continue provided the progress in abovementioned fields does not taper off. The implications of this demographic shift is hard to predict. If the older part of population stays healthy enough to contribute to society either through work or in any other way, everybody is going to benefit. However, as people grow old they usually become frail both physically and mentally, often unable to work. This situation would exponentially increase the share of work the young have to do to support the old which in turn might lead to serious economic consequences.

Sports and exercising

Has attitude to staying fit and exercising changed over the years?
It may seem so, at least on the surface. If we look at popular social media sites, especially on the Instagram, we can see hundreds of athletes with millions of followers. Their sculpted bodies and meticulously planned workout routines mesmerise and inspire people to perfect themselves physically. While most of these so-called sports influencers do this just to promote and monetize a certain product, the result is popularisation of sports and fitness. So at the end of the day we end up with more people doing sports, for one reason or another, so everybody wins!

Many believe that professional athletes are paid too much. What is your opinion on that?
In order to understand why they are so well-compensated financially we have to keep in mind that professional sports is ultimately a form of entertainment. Just like late night talk shows, sports competitions attract huge audiences. It does not really matter what a celebrity, a talk show host or a footballer brings to the table as long as it is popular with the viewers. On the brighter side, these athletes can become role models and promote exercising. So in a way they deserve the exorbitant amounts of money they make even more than singers and other celebrities.

When young, is it better to focus on sports or the more academic subjects?
Balancing the two approaches is likely to be better than focusing on just the one while disregarding the other completely. Sports alone is unlikely to get you anywhere in life unless you do it for a living as an athlete. You can forget about this if you don’t have genetic predisposition that gives you edge over others. Concentrating entirely on your academic pursuit, while a better idea overall, is not wise. Sports is the cheapest and most effective at making and keeping you healthy so it’s just too good to ignore.

Health and well-being vocabulary

Brisk pace – if something happens at a brisk pace, it does so quickly. Usually used to describe an activity
Cardio workout – a physical exercise focused on developing your heart and lungs capacity
Strengthen (v) – to make something stronger
Resolve (n) – a quality of determination, keeping what you do or want to do despite difficulties
Substance abuse – taking too much of something that is harmful, especially in large doses
Sedentary (adj) – characterised by lack of movement or activity
Life expectancy – predicted length of somebody’s life
Frail (adj) – fragile or easily breakable, either physically or emotionally
Predisposition (n) – likely to be affected by something

General vocabulary

Unorthodox (adj) – unusual or not widely accepted/recognized
That is – use this phrase to explain or clarify
A world of change – a great or even complete change
Consistency (n) – the quality of staying the same or sticking to the same routine
Mandate (v) – to order something as mandatory (compulsory)
Prohibitively expensive – too expensive to reasonably afford
All-time high – (statistics) a record high number or level of something
Taper off – (statistics) to reduce in growth or volume after initial rapid rise
Meticulously (adv) – carefully and with great attention to detail
Mesmerise (v) – to capture somebody’s attention or imagination
Audience (n) – the people who listen a talk, listen to music or a concert etc.
Bring to the table – to contribute or to take active part in something
Exorbitant (adj) – unreasonably high, usually used to talk about price or statistical data
Disregard (v) – to ignore or pay too little attention to something

PDF Click to download this IELTS Speaking worksheet in PDF