Health is wealth, especially in Nigeria where social welfare is a recurrent generational dream. Out of pocket payment for health care is worse than being robbed with a gun to your head. Those who think they are rich and comfortable have had a rethink when faced with unplanned health needs that whisk away their savings and yet to be earned income. Indeed, health is wealth! Below I will share a few random tips for you to stay healthy and fit, and prevent a lot of common ailments as much as possible.
Prevention is the cure for ‘needing a cure’
Drink a lot of water
This is probably the cheapest, fastest and easiest way to stay on top. You see the white of your eyes that becomes colourful as you age, you can maintain its whiteness by taking enough water. Sickle cell patients who are frequently jaundiced and have yellow eyes appreciate this more and know the importance. Water also keeps you hydrated and keeps your body metabolism running optimally. It is not always a sign that malaria is on its way when your urine turns yellow, it probably means you are not taking in enough water. Your kidneys act as a filter, they need enough water to keep functioning. Adequate water intake will prevent stones formation in your kidneys and bladder. You need at least 3 litres of water per day, you will need more in hot weather conditions. 3 litres per day is doable if you split it this way: a sachet of water is usually 500mls, so you’ll need 6 of those daily. Take a sachet with every meal, even if you don’t take 3 square meals daily, take a sachet at the meal time. Take a sachet on waking, one before you sleep, then take one extra at any other time. There you have 6 sachets. Remember, you can take more than 3 litres.
Since I started practising as a medical doctor, I stopped eating with my bare hands when possible. It is not wrong to take food with your bare hands. But I made this decision based on the kind of materials my hands were exposed to on a daily basis. We do wear hand gloves for procedures and other work processes, but I also have to shake colleagues, other health workers, patients and relatives; these are people who I cannot guarantee their level of adherence to hand washing and hygiene. It is not enough that your hands are clean, are they germ free? Keeping your nails long just escalates the possibility of harbouring dangerous organisms in a geometric fashion. If you must keep your nails long, make sure the underside is sterile and germ-free. It is also good practice to maintain a habit of hand washing with soap and running water regardless of your profession. You can carry a hand sanitizer in your pocket and wash your hands with water occasionally. There are several communicable diseases that can be avoided by these simple and inexpensive technique. Remember, this isn’t just for your own safety, but for those around you, especially children.
Protective eye glasses
I used to categorise eye glasses as a fashion piece at a time, but I currently regard them as a companion for any trip outside my residence. I personally wear them for two reasons; first is to protect my eyeballs from sun rays and second is to protect my eyeballs from airborne particles especially while on a motorcycle. I already have a lot of forehead wrinkles thanks to trying to screen out the sun by squinting, it even came with attendant headaches until I began to wear shades and I bade the squints goodbye, now I can see road. There are also eye conditions that have been linked to sun exposure, e.g. pterygium. Other things that can be potentially damaging to your eyeballs and vision are dust, smoke, fumes. Wear protective equipment if your job demands it e.g. welding, motorcycle rider.
A lot of people exercise, in their minds but never in reality. It is also important to note that strenuous involvement in a particular activity does not substitute exercise. Some find exercise a luxury, especially getting the equipment; for some others, it is consistency that poses the problem. The key is finding a motivation to exercise – the cost of healthcare should motivate you these days to stay healthy. Find something that works and is doable with respect to your personal schedule. If you can, purchase some equipment to give you a range of possible exercises – treadmill, magnetic bikes, exercise bench, dumb bells, skipping rope, gym ball etc. Exercise and body building are not the same; exercise and losing weight are not the same, so being skinny does not disqualify you from exercising. Exercise can be used to achieve different purposes; simply staying healthy, losing weight or body building. You will fit into at least one of these categories. You should at least be able to afford a skipping rope if you can read this. Getting a bicycle is also recommended if the magnetic exercise bikes are too expensive for you. Skipping daily, riding a bicycle in your neighbourhood are sure and efficient ways to stay active. Jogging is also highly recommended, you get to pick your route and distance. Exercising improves digestion and body metabolism as well.
Let’s wrap it up here for now. Send in your comments or questions in the comments section after this post. If you have any particular health topics you would like this space to address, indicate in the comment section too or send an email to email@example.com
Confidentiality is assured
P.S: this post and the series that will follow are not intended to substitute visits to health care facilities when the need arises, nor are they an online consultation platform. Please be guided.