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Practicing healthy habits for good health

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By Mercy Kelani

Consumption of fruits, whole grains and vegetables is good for the body.

Experts have warned that given the increase in non-communicable diseases and sudden death, it is pertinent that Nigerians live healthy. Medical experts affirmed that there are some unhealthy habits that are harmful to human health but are still practiced regularly. They include lack of physical activity, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, stress, poor nutrition, excessive consumption of alcohol, lack of sleep and poor hygiene. People are easily caught up in their daily routines that they priorities comfort over their health, oblivious of the dangers in it.

According to Dr. Innocent Okoro, a family health physician, the food that is consumed, the amount of physical activity done, sleep habits and the manner of care administered to one’s self determine whether the health will be supported or harmed. Dr. Omokhudu Idogho, the managing director of Society for Family Health, added that non-communicable diseases like hypertension, Diabetes and pulmonary diseases are caused by the lifestyle and habits practiced by people. It is necessary that appropriate weight management, cessation of smoking, exercising and appropriate of alcohol are practiced.

Human bodies suffer exposure to different diseases.

A consultant family physician at the University of Abuja teaching hospital, Dr. Chira Obiora, also emphasised on the necessity for every Nigerian to practice a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Obiora stated that having a good health is a state of total physical, spiritual and emotional well-being; and goes beyond absence of disease. Human bodies are open to diseases on a daily basis, including causal things of chronic diseases in the environment. Stress, for instance, is caused by traffic, office hustles, grief, war, economic situations and civil unrest. There are various things that can cause illnesses in humans.

Dr. Bamidele Omotola, a consultant nutritionist at Nutrition International, Nigeria, highlighted that as significant as lifestyle and health is, a lot of people do not recognise its value. Nutritionists have affirmed that foods and beverages contribute significantly to the health of a person, and that a diet that has a high level of processed foods, unhealthy fats and sugar are likely to increase the risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, it is advisable that individuals consume more fruits, whole grains and vegetables as they are rich in vitamins, fiber and minerals which promote good health.

Regular physical activity is required to keep a healthy body.

Dr. Obiora advised that a person drinks at least three litres of water daily because through this the water needs of the body are met. He also encouraged low fat diets, low carbohydrate diets and high vegetable foods because they foster reduction of consumed energy while helping the body to lose its sugar content. Dr. Omotola added that it has been discovered that some foods are casino genic — they cause Cancer. Consumption of red meat, sugar-sweetened beverages and barbecue should be reduced, including regular fast food.

Speaking on regular physical activity, Dr. Obiora stated that it is important to match consumed energy with burned energy. Without doing this, there will be energy surplus built up in the body. Exercise is important and would help promote good health. As humans, it is necessary to do a 30-minutes jog everyday and a brisk-walk for five days in a week to achieve about 150 hours of exercise in one month. This level of activity will help in the improvement of cardiovascular health.

More youths are beginning to develop hypertension.

Also, studies have revealed that having adequate sleep is needed to support physical and mental well-being. Lack of enough sleep could lead to poor concentration, fatigue and increased risk of accidents, including long-term health problems. Dr. Uche Uwajeh who is a microbiologist asserted that more young people in their 20s are developing Hypertension due to hard drug abuse, Unemployment and underemployment, Insecurity in the country, peer pressure, alcoholism, low wages and serious inflation, and quest for money at all costs. Recent research published in the European Heart Journal has linked cell phone usage to hypertension.


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