Happy New Year! Its 2017, Whoop Whoop! (Doing a belly dance)
It’s a new year. Aren’t we all excited? The euphoria of celebrating another 365 days and realizing we have another chance at this thing called life usually pumps us up with excitement.
While we rejoice, we tend to measure our lives in different spheres (marital, health, financial, spiritual etc.) and give a nod on whether or not we are doing well. We are the kings (and Queens, of course) of making resolutions; you know that tradition of listing to-dos and to-do nots with all seriousness and spirituality? ha-ha
In the spirit of New Year resolutions, we are looking to discuss resolutions of regular individuals as it pertains to their health.
Health according to the WHO is defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
I spoke with about 20 working adults between ages 22-35, and the idea of a health resolution to at least 13 of them was to hit the gym and go on a diet. Yes, exercise and healthy eating should be priority especially for sedentary workers, but there are other areas of our lives that need attention.
1. Regular Health Checks: this can never be overemphasized. This includes blood work, urine, regular BP checks as you age, HIV test (at no cost in a number of primary health centres) etc. Also, get your vaccine shots.
Some are available at almost no cost and others at a reasonable price compared to paying to treat an ailment that could have been avoided. Also, if you have health insurance, use it, enjoy it, but if you don’t, get one. It is way cheaper than out-of-pocket payments and gets you almost the same deal with less headache.
2. Social habits: Drug abuse, drinking and smoking will take a toll on your health eventually. If you are looking to cut down on it, an accountability partner will always be a good strategy. You’d need to see a doctor as well.
3. Proper Dressing: Dress comfortably. Ladies, if you must do heels, do heels reasonably. Remember you put a lot of body parts to work when balancing on a 6-inch stiletto. And, for the skinny jeans thing, dear men, the scrotum was designed to hang outside the body because the temperature there is cooler. Try not to pack your family jewels all up in the name of following the latest trend. There’s a lot that can be said about proper dressing. Read up!
4. Hand Washing: For delivering us from Ebola, we thank thee O Lord. We no de hear word, truly. Soon as we were certified Ebola free, the hand washing/sanitizing habit went down the drain.
Can you for a minute just ponder on the fact that your hands are the dirtiest parts of your body? You open doors, flush toilets, clean your butt, wipe a seat, blow your nose, shake someone who just used the roadside as his restroom all with the same hand and proceed to buy boli and groundnut and eat all the aforementioned alongside. YUCK!!!! Please wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer and teach your kids how to do so too. It will most definitely reduce your hospital visits.
5. Exercise and Healthy Eating: The current craze now is the ‘fit fam’ fad. We have hear!!! (*rolls eyes*) Let me just put this out first: There are quite a number of certified fitness instructors who know the dos and don’ts of getting you in shape. Please ask questions before you engage with any to ensure you are in knowledgeable hands. That said, everyone is hitting the gym now. Many are looking to get snatched (whatever that means) and many new dieting patterns have popped up on our news feed.
The problem with humans and diet is discipline. If we can we put away the soda and the little things we munch on (to keep our mouths busy and minds distracted) even when we are obviously not hungry, and eat reasonably only when hungry, we would actually see the kilos fall off. Portion control is the key. As generations continue to evolve, and with the embrace of jobs which are more sedentary in nature, the need to move (exercise) cannot be under-emphasized.
People, learn to walk, jog, and move. Embrace exercise. Our bodies are designed to be mobile. If the mall is 15 minutes away from you, walk there, don’t hop in the bus. If you are not pressed for time, take the stairs, don’t use the elevator. Get registered in a gym if you have to.
6. Family/Personal history: Everyone reading this who is yet to get a Boo/Bae, this is your year. Can I hear an Amen! Now when you get that Boo/Bae, and you both are in a comfortable place of seriousness, it is important you share family/personal history. This is done not only from a place of love but a place of wisdom. If your partner has a family where both parents are diabetic and you are aware, it helps you both to work as a team when it comes to feeding, health checks, etc. that way you can both bring your A-Game to the marriage armed with knowledge on matters that may arise and how to prevent them.
Other histories that might be of importance for both family and personal caution include drug addiction, alcohol addiction, mental health challenges, genotypes, hypertension, asthma, seizure disorders etc.
7. Travelling. Please travel this year, even if it’s within Nigeria. Plan for it (you can use one of the many travel sites we have on social media). Take a trip, see somewhere beautiful, let down your hair and take tons of pictures. After all, who stress epp?
The bone of this write-up is this: set Doable goals: not highfalutin, vague or unrealistic expectations. Break them into steps and take them one day at a time.