In a call to action for a healthier nation, renowned family and lifestyle medicine physician, Dr. Moyosore Makinde, has urged Nigerians to adopt a preventive medicine lifestyle. As a consultant at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Dr. Makinde emphasizes the importance of proactive health measures to ensure overall well-being. She advocates for a shift in mindset, urging individuals not to wait until illness strikes before assessing their health. She emphasizes the necessity of regular health check-ups, covering parameters such as blood pressure, sugar levels, and screenings for diseases like cancer and diabetes. According to her, this proactive approach allows for early detection and intervention, preventing the development of chronic non-communicable diseases.
Beyond routine health screenings, Dr. Makinde underscores the significance of lifestyle choices, particularly in diet and physical activity. Studies have consistently shown a strong correlation between dietary habits and chronic conditions like hypertension, cancer, and diabetes. Adopting a preventive medicine lifestyle involves conscious decisions about what, when, and how much to eat. A cornerstone of preventive medicine is a balanced and nutritious diet. Continuing on, she explained that a healthy eating plan involves moderating intake across five essential nutrient categories: carbohydrates, proteins, fats/oils, vitamins and minerals, and water. She highlights the need for awareness regarding sugar content, cholesterol levels, saturated fats, salt, and fibre in food. With an emphasis on natural, unprocessed foods and a reduction in alcohol consumption, individuals can significantly contribute to their overall health.
Role of nutrition and physical activity in preventive medicine.
Dr. Makinde recommends moderation in sugar consumption, limited salt intake, and a high intake of fibre-rich foods. She advises against relying on bottled and canned foods, promoting the benefits of natural, unprocessed alternatives. Urging individuals not to wait until they fall ill, she emphasizes the importance of regular medical check-ups as a proactive step towards preventive healthcare. In addition to dietary considerations, Dr. Makinde stresses the significance of regular physical activity. Sedentary lifestyles have been linked to an increased risk of non-communicable diseases such as obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart problems, arthritis, and hypertension. To combat this, she recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, equivalent to 30 minutes of exercise per day.
Whether it’s walking, jogging, or engaging in more structured exercise routines, incorporating physical activity into daily life is crucial for maintaining a healthy preventive medicine lifestyle. Dr. Makinde’s approach underscores the need for a holistic understanding of well-being, acknowledging the interplay between nutrition, physical activity, and overall health. Recognizing the impact of stress on health, Dr. Makinde advocates for stress reduction strategies and sufficient rest. The demanding lifestyle in cities like Lagos can contribute to elevated stress levels, leading to adverse health effects. To counter this, she recommends delegating tasks, both at work and home, to alleviate stress. Additionally, prioritizing relaxation and ensuring a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep per night is crucial for the body’s natural repair processes.
Tailoring preventive medicine to the Nigerian context.
Depression, a serious mental health concern, is also addressed by Dr. Makinde. She highlights the need to be mindful of mental well-being and encourages individuals to seek support when needed. By integrating stress management techniques, regular exercise, and adequate rest, Nigerians can effectively navigate the challenges of modern life while prioritizing their health. Dr. Makinde’s advocacy for preventive medicine is particularly relevant in the context of Nigeria. The country faces unique health challenges, including a rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases.
Tailoring preventive medicine practices to the Nigerian lifestyle involves addressing cultural dietary preferences, promoting locally sourced, nutritious foods, and integrating physical activity into daily routines. Community engagement and education play a pivotal role in instigating a shift towards preventive medicine. Dr. Makinde suggests collaborative efforts between healthcare professionals, community leaders, and policymakers to implement awareness campaigns and create accessible avenues for health screenings. Integrating preventive healthcare into the primary healthcare system ensures that these practices are not only adopted but also sustained in the long run.
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Of course, this doctor’s call for Nigerians to embrace a preventive medicine lifestyle is a timely and crucial initiative. By incorporating proactive measures such as regular health check-ups, mindful nutrition, consistent physical activity, stress management, and adequate rest, individuals can significantly contribute to their overall well-being. Moreover, adapting preventive medicine to the unique context of Nigeria requires a collective effort. Healthcare professionals, policymakers, communities, and individuals must work collaboratively to raise awareness, provide accessible healthcare services, and promote healthier lifestyle choices. In doing so, Nigeria can pave the way for a healthier, happier, and more resilient population.