Simple adjustments to the way we live will have us feeling better, with our health on upward trend in no time.

Apart from health practitioners, the general concept of health in most people’s minds is vague at best. The popular assumptions are that just looking fit and strong, or not needing to be admitted in a hospital mean that one is healthy. This barely scratches the surface. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. With this definition in mind now, are you healthy?

We should all be mindful of how our habits affect our health. Fixing the consequences of bad health usually puts a serious and usually unexpected dent in our finances – a situation we all will be eager to avoid. Apart from this, bad health makes it much less likely for a person to live long. Even the shortened life this person is left with will have very poor quality. Simple pleasures enjoyed by healthy people will be lost, and time that would have been spent on other important pursuits would be spent trying to recover from illnesses.

The burden of ill health doesn’t just weigh on the individual involved; it frequently affects the social environment of the person. The family will have to abandon their current aspirations to rally around and take care of a member that is seriously ill.

The irony is that most health problems people face are caused by these people themselves.  There are several things people do every day that seem harmless but are in fact making their health deteriorate.

Diet consisting majorly of junk and processed foods is just the first in a long list of poor health habits most people have. A typical example is how frequently people eat packaged noodles, burgers, hotdogs and the like. Most people skip meals, usually breakfast, and opt instead to eat an extra meal late at night. We also have very poor sleep habits – sleeping very late because of our computers and our phones. The excessively prolonged time we spend staring at these screens is in itself a different health hazard. We run ourselves ragged with work, with little time to relax and unwind. These equally put our health in risky conditions.

People that take alcohol excessively or smoke are at higher risk of creating fresh health problems for themselves. And we pay little attention to our environment even though we are all aware that dirty environments are a direct source of disease.  The list of bad health habits goes on and on.

Simple adjustments to the way we live will have us feeling better, with our health on upward trend in no time.
We must take care to sleep adequately. 6-8 hours of sleep at night is advisable. Sleeping late as a habit should be stopped. It is much healthier to wake a little earlier than to sleep late. Also, creating little pockets of time in our day to rest is very good for health.

Our diet should be closely monitored. A good diet will have plenty of variety, and will contain a lot of fresh fruits. Eating at appropriate times is important. Breakfast can be light, but should not be skipped. Take a lot of water as well to ensure you’re always well hydrated.

The benefit of regular exercise cannot be overemphasized. A healthy habit to develop is adhering to an exercise schedule which is varied and well timed. A routine as simple as a long brisk walk about 3 times a week does wonders for a person’s health.

We must understand and respect our emotional stability as well. An individual should be aware of the situations that mentally and emotionally drain him/her, and limit his/her exposure to these situations. Spending time on things that we enjoy is generally good for our health. There is a lot of proof that spending a lot of time in situations that we hate can affect our health negatively. Surrounding ourselves with people that lift our mood is always a good idea.

It is important to understand that all the best health habits will not make us completely immune to illnesses. This is why we must make a habit of having our health checked regularly. A routine health checkup done twice a year is usually adequate. People with already established long-term conditions may need to have checkups more frequently.  Special situations like pregnancy would also need closer monitoring.

 Again, do not hesitate to see your doctor once you feel there is a problem with your health. It is better to have false alarms than to ignore a problem till it becomes complicated. Our best wishes to enjoy life would be wasted if we do not pay attention to our health. Start a healthy lifestyle today.