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Volume 09, Issue 41: A Proactive Approach to Health (Part IV)

As we come to the conclusion of this series, let’s consider a few more ways of taking care of ourselves proactively, rather than waiting for health issues to arise. And as I keep repeating, we are talking about things that relate to lifestyle. I reiterate again that if we can take care of those things proactively, we can reduce our risk of a lot of health issues down the road. This is no doubt a much better approach than waiting for ourselves to get sick and then starting to take care of ourselves.

We have talked about practicing safe sun exposure, consistently eating a healthy diet, intentionally moving our bodies and investing in our mental health. Let’s wrap up with two more aspects to be proactive about in taking care of our health and investing in our future well being.

5. Drink enough water

Have you noticed that God gave us water wells, not soda, juice or coffee wells? That should tell us how important water is to our health. Drinking enough water in the right way is part of practicing good nutrition. Water plays a vital role in keeping our bodies healthy and fit. Water helps to cleanse the colon, release toxins from the body, boost our immune systems, raise our metabolism and aid in digesting food faster and more efficiently. Water keeps our internal organs healthy and balances our body fluids.

What I have learnt about the proper way of drinking water is to drink it first thing in the morning, drink most of it during the day and less in the evening, drink it on an empty stomach, and drink water close to an hour before and after meals. And you shouldn't drink your water with your food. Drinking water while eating dilutes your stomach acids. Experts have said that water is bad for your digestion when consumed during a meal. If gastric acid gets diluted, it's not able to digest your food thoroughly enough.

Scientists recommend drinking warm water over anything else. Ice cold drinks may negatively affect your digestion, and too hot drinks can scald and damage your esophagus. Warm water hydrates your body faster and better. It boosts digestion by stimulating natural digestive enzymes. Warm water makes it easier to break down food and it ensures better bowel movement, especially if you drink a glass of warm water right after you wake up in the morning.

6. Have a Health Check Up

Last but not least, having regular whole body health check ups is not a luxury when you know it's much easier to prevent a medical condition or address one at its onset than at an advanced stage. Have a whole body health check up once a year and keep a record of the results for comparison. If the check up reveals issues to be addressed, diligently follow through the corrective actions to get back in shape.

We have gone over six areas for consideration. It's time to take action if you haven't started already. Don't keep it on hold any longer. Admit where you are not doing well and start with small daily actions. If you are overwhelmed with something, break it down into smaller manageable chunks. should you be in the category of those who have their act together, don't wait to be a little heavier than you ought to before you incorporate physical activity and good nutrition in your diet. Don't wait to have aches to go for a health check up. Do these few things, and others that you know of a lifestyle.

Prevention is always better than cure. It's so much easier and enjoyable to exercise to keep fit and healthy than it is to exercise to lose excess weight. It's so much harder and frustrating to get rid of belly fat once the layer has accumulated and made itself comfortable in your midsection. It's much easier to avoid getting it in the first place through proper nutrition and exercise. It's much harder to repair years of cumulative sun damage than it is to practice safe sun exposure.

That said, it's never too late to get started on a corrective action plan. Granted, it's much harder, but it's certainly doable. With lots of determination and discipline, no mountain is too daunting to tackle. So, let's not let anything stop us from starting to proactively take care of our health.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 09, Issue 40: A Proactive Approach to Health (Part III)

Life can not be truly enjoyed in the absence of health. We are carrying on with considering ways of taking care of ourselves proactively, rather than waiting for health issues to arise. And as I keep repeating, we are talking about things that relate to lifestyle. I reiterate again that if we can take care of those things proactively, we can reduce our risk of a lot of health issues down the road. This is no doubt a much better approach than waiting for ourselves to get sick and then starting to take care of ourselves.

So far, we have talked about practicing safe sun exposure, consistently eating a healthy diet and intentionally moving our bodies for all rounded physical health and fitness. Some people have no problem exercising, at least the ones I see at the gym, but I have noticed is that it is not stressed enough that how our bodies look and feel is 80% nutrition, 10% exercise and 10% genetics. This means that nutrition is king. You may work out all you like, but if you are consistently feeding your body crap, you are going nowhere.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's consider one more aspect of health to be proactive about in taking care of our health and investing in our future well being.

4. Invest in Your Mental wellness

Mental health is just as important as physical health yet many people don't give it much consideration. Things like low self esteem, lack of self confidence, negative thoughts and depression should not be taken lightly. Don't wait until you are in trouble to look for help, rather consciously reach out to those who can help whenever you need to talk through issues.

Issues of confidence and self esteem bear a lot on how we think about ourselves and the thoughts we allow to run through our minds. Being intentional about filling our minds with positive thoughts can't be taken for granted. Read and listen to uplifting content, train your mind to think lovely thoughts about yourself, your life; about people and life in general. Don't allow the negativity around you to contaminate your thoughts and beliefs.

Worry and fear are other elements that steal from our mental health. Allowing the fear of the unknown, of what could go wrong, of what would happen if you lost this or that to dominate your thoughts can be extremely detrimental to your mental well being. If you are a worrier, you must know that no amount of worrying can change your situation even a little bit. You have the power to interrupt your thoughts and direct your mind to think on something else.

Brisk walking is known to be fantastic for maintaining mental wellness. This is something we can do proactively to maintain our mental health. Walking improves your mood and self-esteem and eases anxiety. Studies have shown that brisk walking helps to preserve the manor in areas that are involved with learning and memory. So, go out and take a walk, and while you are at it, smile.

Nurturing our spirituality through daily quite time with God does wonders to our mental health and stability. If you find that you are repeatedly unstable in your emotions, up some days and down other days, committing to a daily quiet time session of taking in the Word of God, talking and listening to God and  pouring out your heart to Him will effectively calm you down and stabilize your emotions. You will be settled within and you will no longer be tossed to and fro by the happenings around you.

Reading great literature that motivate and inspire you to become your best self also goes a long way in building your mental wellness. Steer away from negative and depressing material. There are so many relevant motivational content out there. Listen to speakers who motivate and challenge you to become. Choose happy movies to watch over sad ones, movies that warm your heart and leave you with a smile on your face.

We could go on and on about mental health, but this post is already too long, and there are other areas for us to consider to proactively take care of our health. Look out for more fun stuff in the part IV next week.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 09, Issue 39: A Proactive Approach to Health (Part II)

Your health is your wealth. It is something you want to be intentional about investing in. We are continuing to consider ways of taking care of ourselves proactively, rather than waiting for health issues to arise. We are talking about things that relate to lifestyle. Things that are related to stress levels or poor nutrition or lack of exercise. If we can take care of those things proactively, we can reduce our risk of a lot of health issues down the road. This is a much better approach than waiting for ourselves to get sick and then starting to take care of ourselves.

Last week we talked about practicing safe sun exposure and consistently eating a healthy diet. Let us now consider one more area, before delving into a few other areas to be proactive about in taking care of our health with regards to lifestyle changes.

3. Move Your Body

Physical activity is typically left for a select few yet we all need to exercise regularly for physical health. You don't have to go overboard or go to the gym if that's not something you enjoy, but choose a daily exercise routine that suits your fancy and stick with it. Repetition and consistency is more important than how long or how hard you work out each day.

I enjoy taking a long brisk walk outside, which I combine with weight/resistance training 5 times a week. Some people enjoy jogging/running, others aerobics classes or dance classes, others weight training or resistance training at a gym or at home. Other people enjoy swimming or other forms of sports such as football or tennis or basketball for fitness. What's your preference? You must have at least one that you do consistently as an investment to your health.

The World Health Organization recommends that we get at least 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular activity a week or a minimum of 75 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular activity each week. A walk can count if your heart rate is high enough. A brisk walk, jogging or running is good for cardiovascular activity but a well rounded exercise regiment should include more than just cardio. Include some weight training and/ resistance training in your workout.

A lot of women shy away from weight training especially because they think they are going to bulk up like men. That can't happen unless you are going way overboard with your weight training, like lifting very heavy weights for several hours each day. The World Health Organization recommends that an average adult does at least two sessions of weight training a week. This is important because as we age we tend lose muscle mass. It's a normal part of aging. Another normal part of aging is losing bone density. We can slow that process down with weight training.

It doesn't matter what age you are, you could be in your twenties or thirties. It's never too early to start preserving your muscle mass and preserving your bone density. If you are a beginner, you should always start with a professional, learn the proper moves so you don't get injured.

For the older folk, since we lose muscle mass as we get older, it's necessary to do more resistance training than aerobic exercises. Most people focus on cardio and steer away from weight/resistance training. If you are in your forties or fifties or older, don't cut out aerobic exercises but be sure to do quite a bit of weight training and resistance exercises as well to maintain, build and replace your muscles. I have learnt from other people's experiences that it's really hard to get muscle tone after the age of 45. You would have to work doubly hard compared to what you might have done in your thirties in order to get strong muscles. So the earlier you can start weight training, the better for you.

Let's continue with some of the other areas of proactively taking care of our health in the next post. Look out for more of these fun stuff in part III, and as you read, be sure to position yourself for the lifestyle changes you need to make to proactively take care of your health. Remember, your health is your wealth.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 09, Issue 38: A Proactive Approach to Health (Part I)

Have you ever noticed how a majority of people don't start taking care of their health until they get sick, until they have a disease or an ailment or some sort of issue that warrants taking care of their health?

What if we decided to take care of ourselves proactively, rather than waiting for illness to strike? We are not talking about things that are out of our control. There are many diseases that we can't control at all. We are talking about things that relate to lifestyle. Things that are related to stress levels or poor nutrition or lack of exercise. If we can take care of those things proactively, we can reduce our risk of a lot of health issues down the line. This is a much better approach than waiting for ourselves to get sick and then starting to take care of ourselves. Let's consider some of the things we can do to take care of our health proactively rather than reactively.

1. Practice safe sun exposure

Sun damage is real. Accumulative damage starts showing in later years. If you are in your twenties, you may think you are immune to sun damage. But the damage is happening, you just don't see it. The sun can also cause pre-mature aging and skin cancer. You don't have to be scared of the sun but avoid and limit sun exposure when the sun is at its strongest. Wear sunscreen, practice safe sun exposure so you are not damaging your skin.

When I was younger I would come back from vacation with my face and other exposed areas of my skin a mess from unsafe sun exposure. Now that I know better, you wouldn't find me basking by the pool or walking on the beach in the hot sun. I either swim in the morning before the sun gets hot or in the evening after the sun has set. I also enjoy my walks on the beach early in the morning before the sun comes out.

2. Eat a healthy diet

Meal planning is one of the keys to consistent healthy eating. When I plan my meals in advance and do grocery shopping accordingly, I am able to stick to a healthy diet consistently. And when I don't plan my meals, things go a little haywire. So if you are struggling with staying consistent with eating well, try meal planning. Just remember that there's no one fits all approach when it comes to healthy eating. Embrace an approach that works for you and do it consistently.

Eating a healthy diet consistently may be hard in the beginning but it grows on you with time. It eventually becomes your lifestyle and unhealthy food options will no longer draw your attention. Just be sure to make it interesting and experiment with different whole food recipes that you enjoy. That way you won't be eyeing your neighbors' food or feel you are missing out. When you start seeing changes in your body and how you feel, and more importantly understand the investment you are making to your future health, you will wish your neighbor knew what you know. Let's stop here so this read isn't too long. Look out for the continuation in Part II of the series.

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 09, Issue 37: Goals Can Become Magnets

Goals are the driving force for achievement. They pull us in the direction of achieving what we want. Listening to one of Jim Rohn's podcast the other day reminded me of the importance of setting goals. Opportunities for advancement are missed in tthe absence of a strong goal. The stronger the goal, the higher the purpose, the more powerful the objective, the stronger is the magnet that pulls you in that direction.

Jim Rohn said that your goals and objectives not only pull you in the direction of their achievement, they also pull you through all kinds of down days and difficult times. Some people get lost in the confusion of the day simply because their goal is not bright enough to pull them through.

Its goals that drive us to take advantage of the spring - the good times. Your economic spring could be your current well paying job or thriving business. A strong goal to own a home debt free in the next 5 years would drive you to save and invest a big chunk of your current earnings in order to realize that dream. In the absence of such a goal, you would probably misuse your good fortune and end up without home ownership at the end of the season.

Rohn advised that in goal setting, start looking into the future - what you would like to accomplish, where you would like to go, who you would like to be. And see if you can get a better picture of the finished objective, see yourself there, see yourself in possession of your dream. He advised to decide what you want, and then act as if you already have it. The reason we can act thinking it's already ours is because not only can we vision the end result, we can also vision the beginning of making it real.

Just because you didn't start well doesn't mean you can't finish strong, says Rohn. Human beings are the only life form on earth that have the incredible capacity to change the course of their lives. No other life form can do that. Every other life form except humans seems to operate simply by instinct or genetic code. Human beings can alter the course of their lives. A man can live one way for 5 years, tear up that script and live a totally different way the next five years.

You don't have to do the second five years the way you did the first five. You can use all the information and all the advise you have received, repair all your mistakes and adopt a new and refined philosophy so that the next 5 years can be totally different from the last five. You can greatly alter the course of your life.

I like how Rohn put it. He said, five years from now you will arrive. The question is, where? If you keep up your present disciplines and keep up the present pace that you are on, where would you be in 5 years? In five years, here's the probability. You will either arrive at a well designed destination or an undersigned destination.

Five years from now, you really don't want to arrive at an undersigned destination. Because you may very well end up looking the way you don't want to look, living where you don't want to live, maybe doing what you don't want to do. Simply because you didn't design a better destination.

I concur with Rohn that upfront decisions are easy. It's certainly easier to start exercising before you become overweight than start after the weight has caught up with you. Sometimes after we have lived a certain way for a few years, to repair our mistakes and get back on track may seem like a tough job. If you have messed up your health for 10 years, it takes more than 10 days to get it back. If you start early, the fortune belongs to you. If you start early, the promise looms large and the odds are heavy in your favour.

Yes, it's possible to do some radical things starting late and still arrive with some good treasures, but it's better to start early. We have the time over the next 10, 20, 30 years to make some repairs now in our errors of the past and set up some new disciplines. That's going to change everything, says Rohn.

Five years from now, I wish for you to arrive at a well designed place. A place of productivity. A place that will make you feel good about yourself. A place that will give you honor and respect. A place that will give influence over many more people than you have today.

Where will you be in 5 years? We go the direction we face. And we face the direction we design. Direction determines destination. Destination is not determined by hope, it's not determined by wish. Destination is determined by direction.

You cannot change destination overnight. Which means you can't arrive at a 5 years from now place tomorrow. Here is what you can change today and overnight. You can change direction. It's so fascinating what a little small change of direction would do. A few decisions in discipline, a few decisions in learning, a few decisions in change of behavior, change of habit, a few decisions in setting goals that you sort of let drift away. Take that small journey to a new direction. The key is just to start. Set those goals and they will pull you towards their achievements as you constantly ponder over them and take the necessary actions.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi