In a world where everyone’s new motto is to “Get Rich or Die Trying“, sometimes we fail to realize that our greatest asset and source of wealth is our health. It definitely makes sense to secure one’s health while pursuing everything else in life.
But how exactly do we preserve our health? Well there are some common sense approaches that we can employ:
Don’t Smoke: I usually tell people it’s the best thing they can do for their health. From smelling better to reducing your risk of lung cancer, you just can’t go wrong.
Maintain a healthy weight/BMI(body mass index): Ideally, one’s BMI should be less than 25. Anything over is considered overweight and over 30 is classified as obese. Check your BMI here!
Exercise: Usually, this seems like a daunting task, but even 30 minutes of brisk walking a day can make a difference in one’s weight management and overall wellness.
Good Diet: Choose a diet low on animal fat and sodium but high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains. Eat at least two serving of fish a week. Try limiting the carbohydrate servings.
Moderate Alcohol Intake: Avoid excessive drinking. No more than one drink a day for the ladies and two for the gentlemen.
Avoid Substance Abuse: Avoid illegal drugs and substances. Use prescription and over-the-counter drugs only as directed. More is not necessary better or more effective, and can be harmful to the body.
Car Safety: Click those seatbelts on! It can truly save your life, especially given the conditions of our roads.
Dental Hygiene: Brush the teeth, chew that chewing stick, whatever you need to do to keep those pearly whites, well, white. Don’t ignore that toothache for too long; see a dentist to ensure you are not missing an eroding cavity.
Sleep: It’s the time of your life, but you need your rest. In fact, studies confirm that proper sleep is essential to maintain good health. On average, one needs at least 6-8 hours of sleep a day.
Sexual Health: Hey, we are all adults. If you are sexually active, be responsible and practice safe sex. Talk to your doctor about contraception, sexual transmitted disease prevention and HIV screening.
Mental Health: Now we all know stress is real. Be in tune with your feelings. If you are feeling down a lot, you might be depressed and it may be best to discuss with a qualified health care provider. If you are just stressed, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed: get a hobby, create balance, seek a spiritual path, build on your relationships and make time to do things that matter to you.
Get Checked: Although the popular adage says, “if it aint broke, don’t fix it”, going to the doctor should not be limited to when one is sick. In order take control of one’s health, it is advisable to get checked at least once in a year or two. What to check? Blood pressure, cholesterol levels and sexual transmitted disease screening along with HIV screening. Ladies should additionally get pap smears for cervical cancer screening.
If you take these tips to heart, you can sing welcome to the good life!
Photo Credit: Dreamsite
Adesuwa Okesanya is a Family medicine physician in New York City. Apart from the art of medical practice, she practices the art of parenting with two active toddlers. She can be contacted at [email protected]