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Health and Fitness

Our well-being should take precedence over everything else in our lives, because with good health, everything else that makes living worthwhile, can be achieved or accomplished.

In addition to the basics - eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and practicing good hygiene, maintaining good health includes regular dental visits, and periodic medical checkups. Preventing a disease is better in every way than treating it after it has developed. Suffering is avoided. Complications and resulting handicaps are bypassed. The life shortening influence of illness is prevented.

Armed with the knowledge of how to prevent diseases (preventive medicine), as well as how to treat them, our physicians are capable of advising us on how most effectively to promote and maintain good health. This can only be accomplished if we are disciplined, committed and consistent in seeing our doctors as scheduled, and following through with our doctors' orders. Our physicians are here to help us. We should not be afraid of them, we should trust them, but we need to make sure that the doctors we are seeing are "board certified". The best doctors are the ones who are doctors because they love the profession, not because it is an expensively paying profession. Some doctors genuinely love people, and caring for people, while others are doctors for the business of it.

Our doctors have studied long and hard, the human anatomy and physiology, in general, but we are unique and individual, and we therefore need to take notes of ourselves too, and explain as much as possible what we are feeling, and where. Be sure to ask your doctor any questions you may have, concerning your health. A good way to remember the concern(s) is to jot them down over time, and take them with you on your visit. Also, getting second and third opinions, depending on the circumstances, can only help.

Care of our eyes are of utmost importance, as our eyes are our vision to the world. Have your eyes checked by a board certified Ophthalmologist. Having a comprehensive check on your eyes can reveal a lot about your health, in minutes.

Nothing is more satisfying than having a healthy mouth. A mouth that is healthy and fresh, is priceless. There are things we can do to maintain a healthy mouth and a part of that is visiting our dentists at least twice per year. We need to have our teeth examined and cleaned professionally, by board certified dentists. Brushing our teeth after each meal may be a little over the top, since we are not always where we can get this done, in terms of being constantly on the go, but having our teeth properly brushed after each main meal, will suffice teeth maintenance. Brushing our tongue is just as important as brushing our teeth. Flossing is also very essential, and should be the last thing done, on a daily basis (in terms of mouth health), just before going to bed, followed by a thorough brushing of the teeth and tongue. This is important as particles of food we eat during the day may not be visible, but are stuck between our teeth. Our teeth are most vulnerable to bacteria when we are asleep, so let us give these little people (bacteria) nothing to feast on, so we'll have less to worry about and more healthy mouth days to enjoy.

The ear is a delicate organ, and it is advisable not to insert things in our ears for cleaning purposes. The ear does not need to be washed, and preventing excessive amount of water getting in, is of utmost importance in avoiding ear infections. Cleaning the visible outer ear with a moist cloth or disposable wipes, and washing behind them, is efficacious. We should also have our ears checked by a board certified Otologist or an E.N.T (ears, nose and throat) specialist at least once every two to three years, but be sure to have your family doctor check them at each regular visit.

Let us not forget that our feet need as much care as any other part of our bodies, if not more. Washing our feet thoroughly while taking our regular bath or shower, is great, but we need to have them properly pedicured at least once per week, and gently massaged on a daily basis. Also, wear comfortably fitting shoes. The style, popularity, and cost of a pair of shoes may be important, but it is more important and necessary for shoes to be comfortable. Comfort does wonders for our feet. Let us take the best care of our feet possible, choosing comfort over style, so we can have them ache free, to serve us, for years to come.

If we commit ourselves to our physicians, and be consistent, they will lead us on the right path to wholesomeness, by customizing health care programs to suit our individuality, scheduling us for the various exams and tests to be taken at the appropriate age, time, et cetera, and referring us to other doctors who specialize in our area of need, as they arise. Develop a trusted relationship with a physician, if you have not done so yet, and be on your way to success in health.

We can remain fit and healthy as long as we observe all the rules of health. Keeping our bodies toned and fit by doing various exercises on a regular basis is a sure way to increase our chances of a longer, healthier lifespan. Physical fitness is a combination of qualities that enable a person to perform well in vigorous physical activities. These qualities include agility, endurance, flexibility, and strength. Endurance exercises include walking, cycling, running, and swimming. These activities, also called aerobic exercises, raise the rate of our heartbeat and breathing, and strengthen the circulatory and respiratory systems. Flexibility exercises include bending, twisting, turning movements which stretch the joints through a wide range of motions. These exercises cut the risk of injury from strenuous exercise, and reduce muscle soreness. They should be performed before and after each workout. Strength exercises include pull-ups, pushups, and exercises with weights. These exercises strengthen the arms and shoulders, and other muscular parts of our bodies.

We all aspire to live long, healthful, fulfilling lives, so let us take all the steps necessary to achieve and maintain our goal; as with hard work and dedication, goals are accomplished.

CONTRIBUTED by Empowerment Coach Eugénie Nugent

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