Health News of Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Source: Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
“In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are only consequences.” – Robert B. Ingersoll.
Many of us know the right thing to do to improve our health but we would rather procrastinate. We have a thousand and one excuses but we never add the “real ones”; laziness and lack of self control. We all face these two obstacles, and Ingersoll got it right; we will eventually have to confront the consequences of what we have been doing or have failed to do.
There is ample evidence to show that it’s the choices we make 90% of the time that determine how healthy we are. Answer the following questions truthfully and let your conscience direct you to make the appropriate modification:
1. How many hours of sleep did you get last night?
a. Our sleep needs vary but on the average 8 hours is good. It feels great to wake up without an alarm. It means you have had adequate sleep. Go to bed early (at the same time most nights) and wake up refreshed. Shift workers will need to create the right environment to induce sleep.
b. Life is not rigid, there will be times when you will have hardly any sleep but such unhealthy days should be few and far in between.
2. How many hours have you been sitting without taking a break to walk?
a. You know that sitting for long hours definitely has a negative effect on your health. At the top of each hour take a minute or two to walk or stand and your heart, brain and many organs will be dancing azonto for many years to come.
3. What is your posture now as you read this piece?
a. Are you slouching, with your shoulders rolled forward or are you lying down with your legs overhanging the edge of the bed or chair? Hello knee pain. I can “see” you trying to adjust your posture; so you know the right way!!
4. Have you exercised today or do you plan to exercise soon?
a. If you already have – Bravo! If not you still have time to do this. It may not be pleasant initially but brushing of your teeth is not pleasant either but you do it to protect your teeth. Do something for your heart as well.
b. Did I tell you that when it comes to exercising you can’t live on past glory? The moment you stop exercising for a few days, the benefits begin to erode. You are supposed to do it all your life, just like you need to maintain a relationship with God all your life. I used to be president of the scripture union while in school will not cut the mark and the same applies to “I used to be an athlete during my school days.”
5. Have you eaten breakfast today?
a. If you have been awake for more than two hours and have still not had breakfast then you are still in the business of breaking rules. If you ate your first meal well after 10am then you are certainly positioning yourself for many challenges in the near future or you are probably already in bed with the consequences of skipping breakfast.
b. Fuel your body and do it at the right time.
6. Today have you eaten a meal laden with fat or one dominated by fruits and vegetables?
a. You know the right thing so I will be silent. What did the still silent voice say to you?
7. How much water have you drunk today?
a. You may choose to drink only enough water to keep you alive or opt for adequate water to keep you refreshed but an extra cup or two may totally rejuvenate you. The power lies in your hands. Drink a little at a time and 2 litres will be very easy to accomplish.
b. Some of us literally “fear” drinking water. We would rather have beverages; alcohol or sugar laden ones in an attempt to make up our daily “dose” of water. Hold it! Water will add no extra calories to your daily intake while cleaning out your organs and body. Yes the other beverages do contain water but they may be loaded with calories and flavour etc that will give your kidneys and liver more work to do instead of allowing them to be cleaned.
8. If you are on medication, have you taken any today?
a. You may be on medication for an acute illness such as malaria or one of the many infections; kindly make sure you have taken the right dose at the right time. You need to be well enough to keep your fitness goals on track.
b. If you belong to the club that has to pop a pill everyday of your life or take a shot, do remember to do that. This is no time to be influenced by the curbside “doctors”. Skipping your medication may have grave consequences on your health and even your life. Do not be deceived, it may take days, weeks or even months to years before you realize what a big mistake you made by skipping your medicines.
c. Talk to a healthcare professionals if you are facing challenges while taking any medication. You may be doing something wrong.
9. Have you read your Bible today?
a. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23. The bible is timeless. Though written so many years ago it continues to address issues of the modern world. For many of us the moment we pick up the bible, we shift into sleep gear and snoring and head-nodding become the order of the day.
b. The Bible offers us much more than a way to draw closer to God; it gives us all the life skills we need; managing our finances and health, poetry, wisdom and more than you can imagine. Let us start a Bible reading challenge; read at least 2 sentences before noon, it will inspire you to read more.
10. How willing are you to make positive changes starting now?
a. Rate your answer on a scale of 0 – 10. 10 meaning you are highly motivated to change now and 0 implies you are simply not moved. If you scored 5 or less then we need divine intervention to touch your heart. 6 and above is great so why have you not started yet?
The benefits of a healthy lifestyle are so overwhelming that every country should invest whatever it takes to promote this concept aggressively. We should NOT be waiting for external funding to drive this change.
AS ALWAYS LAUGH OFTEN, WALK AND PRAY EVERYDAY AND REMEMBER IT’S A PRICELESS GIFT TO KNOW YOUR NUMBERS (blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, BMI)
Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
Moms’ Health Club
*Dr Essel is a medical doctor and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy and fitness nutrition.
Thought for the week – “The greatest challenge of Western Medicine is to educate and motivate patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle.” – William Castelli, M.D.
1. Health by Choice Not Chance – Aileen Ludington & Hans Diehl