Twelve healthy resolutions for 2014

There are some simple things you can do this year to make your health and wellness terrific. Much as these might be the same tired subjects we have been humming over the years, making them part of your daily life will go a long way in keeping the doctor away, in reducing medical cost, and above all, in giving you the desired health to keep you going all year round.

There are some simple things you can do this year to make your health and wellness terrific. Much as these might be the same tired subjects we have been humming over the years, making them part of your daily life will go a long way in keeping the doctor away, in reducing medical cost, and above all, in giving you the desired health to keep you going all year round.

Whereas they might sound like personal musings, the between-the-lines gives you an idea of what is ideal for your health and wellness. Like a calendar, we plan every month to be spent achieving a specific target. You cannot achieve all your health resolutions at ago, but with good planning over the twelve months, a lot is doable. The real test is in not giving up, starting Wednesday, January 1.

January 2014:

Lose weight

You wolfed down offal, beef, pork and all sorts of meat during the festive season. You threw caution to the wind and ate more than necessary, even eating oily foodstuff such as mayonnaise. The fries were the icing on your meals. Probably during the Christmas break alone, you consumed more fats and others stuff your body might not need than in the entire year. From the food binge, the excuse for merrymaking immersed you into the bitter binge.

This is the time for you to consider detoxification. Much of the alcohol and food you consumed is harmful to your body. Consider neutralising the toxic effects to your body. And while at it, how about you reflect on your diet this 2014?

Let’s leave junks behind us. It is for the old years ending December 31, 2013. 2014 is a more active year than 2013. Even the sound of it tells us this. We don’t want to be bogged down in this active calendar with junks that will only give us tickets to lifestyle diseases; diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

February 2014:

If you are the kind who borrowed to cater for your fun penchant over the festive season, if you are the kind who borrowed because you spent on impulse over the festive season and did not care to save or plan for this month, then you are in trouble. And you need a window. Clear the debts accrued in the January and post-festive season blues. You need to arrest the stress that came with the same. You need to deal with the dejection you got into after being dumped by your love.

January was one hell of a slow month, littered with that thing called Mr Broke. But now that is behind us, February is the time to kick-start 2014 for most of us. If stress creeps into your life and becomes chronic, it can increase your risk of insomnia, depression, obesity, heart disease, and more.

Don’t try too much to impress your supervisors at work. Long work hours, little sleep, no exercise, poor diet, and not spending time with family and friends can contribute to stress. You need to relax more this February.

March 2014:

Increase your savings

You might be wondering how this comes in here as if we are into Sacco pieces. Relax. My friend tells me I waste money using taxi-moto from home near the residence of the US ambassador to work (Polisi Denis building) daily, instead of just padding. He has a point. Instead of using those coins, drop them into the piggy bank and walk. You will cut more calories walking than having your perching lazily on a moto.

Consider cutting down on gym membership cost by exercising from home. A jog in the evening would do just fine. Kigali mayor Fidele Ndayisaba recently told Healthy Times that the city streets are secure with adequate lighting, so if you work late, you can even walk home or jog late in the night. There are many fitness programmes on video tapes that you can use from home.

Take stock of what you have in the house and make a shopping list. This limits impulse shopping. Aimless supermarket shopping can lead to poor choices for your diet and wallet. Carry just the cash you need to avoid temptation of shopping in excess of your plans.

Aplil 2014:

Empathise, be a cheer giver

The big anniversary starts here. Twenty years of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi is on. You will be expected to empathise with survivors and feel for orphans. Your heart could be a very tiny organ but it can hold a million people in there if you learn to smile at them. Be a cheer giver this April. Research shows that our happiness does not entirely rely on being pleased, but also on the reverse. In fact, unless you are vain, then the feeling you get from helping others will relieve you from so much stress and put a smile on your face.

May 2014:

Watch less TV, read more books

From damaging your eyesight to making your brain a baggage of rotten tomatoes, the television is one of the biggest ‘spoilers’ in life. It gets worse when we factor in series and soaps, whose advent have seen people become couch potato. But too much television is harmful to your health. Besides affecting your vision, it impacts heavily on your brain as it induces fatigue. Perhaps you could start thinking more about reading. Books advance your knowledge more than the television would ever do.

June 2014:

Address your lifestyle

This thing of going to the club seven days a week, of wearing shades at night, of drinking too much caffeine or energy boosters, of hyping your body activity on illicit drugs, among others, will eventually get back to you. You will find yourself a victim of your own lifestyle when your vision begins to fail, when your hearing wanes, when you become addicted to caffeinated drinks.

As you reconsider such lifestyle choices and how they drive you down the precipice, try reflecting on how your behaviour affects your health and wellness. Sex with multiple partners is a thing of the past, gender-based violence is so Stone Age and life is has never ever been a laboratory for experimenting. Live responsibly, as every minute of that life counts.


Get medical check up

For the majority of us, ill health is when visible signs or symptoms emerge. That you are only unwell only when you have a boot of illness, how wrong! There are many more illnesses that will not alert you that way. Only through a medical check up will you be able to detect some illnesses in time. Stroke, diabetes, cancer, blood pressure, etc, are all always silent until they are ‘ripe’ to kill you.

Go on and take HIV test. Knowing your sero status early enough will increase your chances of living positively (if you test positive) or focusing on risk-free lifestyles. Doctors recommend that you take complete medical check-ups at least twice every year.


Be guardian of your medical information

We lifted this one off Forbes because we found it irresistible. It’s a true life saver, considering how spot on it is. Most physicians record information in paper medical records or enter data into office-based electronic health records. Either way, your doctor’s files are most likely disconnected from the records of the other doctors or hospitals you’ve visited. If you want to  inimize the risk of error, you need to create a summary of your own medical records and bring them to every doctor’s visit or hospital admission. At minimum, keep a personal record of:

Your family medical history. You may be predisposed to many medical problems. Inheritable conditions can range from cardiovascular disease to cancer, from depression to other forms of mental illness. Detailed knowledge of your genetic susceptibility is important to the doctor caring for you.

Your personal medical history. Do you suffer from diabetes? Do you smoke cigarettes? Have allergies to certain medications? Physicians need this information so they can hone in on the cause of a specific symptom or avoid post-operative complications.

Your medications. Different drugs can interact with one another in negative and potentially deadly ways. Providing a list of your medications (including the dosage) at the start of each medical visit can reduce the chance of a problematic drug interaction.


Get enough sleep

Adjust your sleeping timetable this September. The thing of going to bed past midnight when you have to wake up at 6am is not feasible to your health. Napoleon Bonaparte, the French revolutionary, could have made history but it was not because he slept for two hours like the claimed. Your brain will do much better if it gets adequate rest.


Quit smoking

Smoking is for losers. Just quit the fags before it quits you (in the undertaker’s hearse). There are too many diseases associated with smoking for you to be thinking that it is fun. Do not be afraid to try quitting one more time just because you have failed before. Talk to any ex-smoker, and you will see that multiple attempts are often the path to success. Try different methods to find out what works. And think of the cash you’ll save!

November 2014 :

Cut on self-medication

You have come this far through this great year not because of relying on painkillers and self-medication. If you have been at it, then you have been risking your life. Do not think you are safe just because you keep getting away with it. It is time to rethink your life with drugs. Let your doctor prescribe your medication and take them according to the instructions given. Painkillers do not cure any disease, they just numb you. Seek proper treatment.

December 2014:

Away with the bottle

By now you are thinking of booze, booze and more booze. We hear it is December. Do not fall for a fool’s errand with your life. December has nothing to do with binge. Time to show your mettle by doing away with the bottle. Just a little sip here and there is all you will need. Shun the bar as much as possible. You need a strong liver to live longer. But if you must make a bottle a hobby, do with the water bottle. Yes, drink more water instead.

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