Balanced diet and regular exercises are important.
The President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Osahon Enabulele, has said Nigerians can live better and healthier lives in 2014 if basic principles are adhered to.
Speaking in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, Monday, Mr. Enabulele suggested 11 healthy lifestyles Nigerians should adopt in the New Year. Below are his recommendations.
- Visiting their licensed Medical/Dental practitioner for medical check up, at least once in six months.Many Nigerians are known not undergoing medical checkups. Many have blamed the habit of not seeing the doctor except when critically ill on financial constraint. Mr. Enabulele, however, says it cost very little in government hospitals and is more cost effective compared to when one completely breaks down.
“Visiting their licensed Medical/Dental practitioner for medical check up, at least once in six months will do them greater good”, he said.
- Eating healthy balanced diets at least thrice a day.Again, many Nigerians eat mostly carbohydrates, with rice and garri being the main dishes in a lot of homes cutting across social strata.
This explains the prevalent stunted growth in many children and teenagers which they carry over into adulthood, resulting in less productive lives. The NMA President says eating healthy balanced diets at least thrice a day will bring about better health. Balanced diets contain carbohydrates, protein, minerals, vitamins and oil. They can be found in many of our food produce yet they are often overlooked.
- Eating fresh fruits and leafy vegetables.Fruits and fresh leafy vegetables are quite inexpensive and readily available. Yet, the Nutrition Society of Nigeria says this is not a habit that Nigerians have imbibed. When taken regularly, they will keep the doctor’s needles away all through 2014!
- Having regular exercises at least 15 – 30 minutes twice a day or a minimum of 3 – 4 days in a week.This is yet another lifestyle that is uncommon among Nigerians as confirmed by the Nutrition Society of Nigeria. Sedentary lifestyle is rife and is responsible for many ailments such as cardiovascular diseases that are ravaging the country. Mr. Enabulele says having regular exercises at least 15-30 minutes twice a day or a minimum of three to four days in a week will keep Nigerians fit, healthier, and more productive in the New Year.
- Avoiding risky social habits like smoking, heavy drinking and drunk driving.Social habits such as smoking and heavy drinking, researchers note, are veritable sources of untimely death and poor health. Avoiding such risky habits particularly smoking, heavy drinking and drunk driving, Mr. Enabulele said will keep the body in one piece all year long.
- Allotting time for relaxation.Nigerians don’t rest especially those in commercial hubs such as Lagos! Lack of relaxation is one of the major causes of the high rate of hypertension in the country. Thus, creating time to rest will prevent the body from breaking down and wearing out fast. Rest can come in the form of good sleep.
- Avoid quacks who impersonate licensed medical/dental practitioners.In recent times, in order to cut cost, many Nigerians visit ‘special nurses’ and quack doctors who play the roles of medical doctors when ill. Many of these quacks have been discovered to be dropouts of nursing or medical schools. Staying away from these quacks who impersonate licensed medical/dental practitioners will help you stay alive in 2014.
- Verify the status of any doctor before consulting with him/her for treatment.The emerging threat of fake doctors in the country is real. While the government, Nigerian Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) and NMA aim to fish out these fakes doctors, you should verify the status of any doctor before consulting with him/her for treatment.
- Get prescriptions of medicines from licensed pharmacists, doctors, or dentists.Self medication is fast becoming a norm among Nigerians. Many Nigerians buy these drugs from hawkers in buses and along the roadside. To stay alive in 2014 and be more productive, get prescriptions of medicines from only licensed medical/dental practitioners so as to avoid complications.
- Promptly visit a licensed medical/dental practitioner when ill.Studies so far in the country indicate that when ill, many Nigerians visit traditional healers first. They only go to hospitals when their condition deteriorates. The NMA President warns Nigerians should desist from this habit.
He says “by promptly visiting a licensed medical/dental practitioner when they fall ill, Nigerians will fare even better in the new year”.
- Appreciating stress limits and avoiding situations that push beyond the limits.Everyone has different stress threshold but many people are yet to discover theirs, hence, don’t know when to stop or rest. But knowing and appreciating your stress limits through accepting it and avoiding situations that push you beyond your stress limits can help you live a healthier life in 2014.