8 Healthy Lifestyle Principles for Every Nigerian

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Stethoscope

Akintayo Ayodunni

With morbidity and mortality rates increasing every day, Nigerians need a new approach to lifestyle behavior as this would help in preventing diseases, and thereby reduce health challenges.

These principles are summed up as nutrition, exercise, water, sunshine, temperance, air, rest and trust in God (NEWSTART).

Nutrition: it is very easy to go for fast foods than cooking. They are not necessarily healthy and consuming them regularly with little or no attention paid to their nutritional value is harmful for the body. Hard as it may seem, having a well-balanced meal is still the best option you can choose for your body instead of fast foods. A balanced diet does not require more than you ensure that your grains-oats, rice, and others arebalanced out with proteins like eggs, vegetables, nuts and fruits.

Exercise: Sitting around, they say, kills faster. Research now proves that sitting for longexposes one to life shortening health conditions. For those who go to the office, the daily routine looks pretty much like – waking up, jumping in the car, cab or bus to get to the office, and then sit at the office desks from morning till evening.Sometimes, break time is a luxury, and then we jump back into the reverse to get back home andsleep.

These acts set the stage for little or no form of exercise each day. Yet exercise is very crucial for the average human being. Exercise, as simple as walking, especially brisk walking, is said to be the best form of exercise. It constitutes little stress with maximum benefits like fighting heart risk diseases and controlling weight and many more.

Water: An average person needs a minimum of six sachets of water every day to keep themhydrated and powered for the day. Taking the appropriate quantity of water each day with awell-balanced diet ensures overall health. Drinking enough water has plenty benefits like skin health improvement and beauty, blood pressure maintenance, healthy circulation of blood, regulated body temperature, among others. If you deal constantly with headaches,drinking water, and bathing the feet in very warm water in a bucket is the trick. A warm foot bath helps dilate the blood vessels, resulting in blood flow away from the congested region of the head, bringing needed relief.

Sunshine: There are many benefits by just stepping into the sun.Vitamin

D is one benefit derived from sunlight, as it is for the absorption of calcium in the human body.A good way to get the best from the sun is walking early in the morning (especially duringexercise) till 10am or at sunset in the evening. Care however must be taken not to be overexposed to hot or scorching sun, as this may cause sun burns, or other related diseases.

Temperance: According to the oxford dictionary, temperance means abstinence fromalcoholic drink’. Alcohol has been proven to cause more damage to the body than good. It injures vital organs like the brain, heart and liver; which is one important reason to stay away from it. Temperance however of course is more than just abstinence from alcohol; it has a lot to do with the attitudes adopted in our bid to do things in moderation.

Air: Getting fresh air every day is also very good for the body. Unfortunately, the airconditioner which most people use now, does not provide the healthy fresh air that we need.Today, we live in homes, ride in cars and work in offices that are air-conditioned therebyreceiving little or no form of fresh air. Waking up and opening our windows for some fresh air and cross-ventilation, winding down our car windows when driving can be very beneficial toour health.

Rest: Rest is a very potent medicine for stress, required for a healthy living. An average person needs about seven to nine hours of rest/sleep every day. Resting time is when the body rebuilds what is lost, refreshes the brain, reactivating it for better comprehension and the embrace of new knowledge and ideas. There can be no alternative to sufficient sleep thereby improving mental health and reducing stress.

Trust in God: After all said and done, this helpsdirect our lives and give us grace to live healthy.When God is the centre of our lives and existence, we will be the best for us, society andHim.

Why not get on board the NEWSTART track and combat unnecessary health risks that can cut your life short.

Ayodunni is a 200 level Mass Communication student of Babcock University, Ogun State