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MAKE GOOD HEALTH A HABIT

  • Today medicine has managed to control most of the world's major diseases but is still powerless to alleviate self inflicted chronic ill-health stemming from ignorance and failure to act upon knowledge we have. Getting fit is, or should be, fun.

  • Here are some thoughts related to routine daily activities that can help establish almost effortless habits of health and happiness.

Breakfasts
  • Nutritionists agree that the first meal of the day should be a true "breakfast" including protein foods such as eggs, milk and cereal that are absorbed less rapidly than simple sugars and thus help to sustain energy levels during the morning.

  • Studies show that teenage girls who go without breakfast tend to be overweight because a falling blood sugar level in mid-morning, often drives them to take calorie rich snacks to boost their flagging energies.

Breathing
  • Incorrect breathing due to tension or fear changes the blood chemistry and produces classical symptoms of anxiety: dizziness, muscle cramps, faintness, increased heart rate. In any breathing exercise, concentrate in particular on breathing out the stale air in the lungs in order to take in a fresh supply of oxygen. Even then, only a sixth of the air in our lungs changes with every breath.

Exercise
  • Exercise can bring real therapeutic benefit. Without exercise, we suffer disuse atrophy, become obese, breathless from the slightest exertion, permanently tired and prone to heart disease and a wide range of rheumatic aches and pains.

  • Under exercised muscles grow weak and flabby and texture of the bones weaken which means that fractures occur more readily. Consider a typical scenario: It's 7am, and the clock radio has blared you out of a dream. Got to go running, you think, but it's so nice here, you can't move yet. You press the snooze button and go back to sleep. By the time the alarm sounds again, it's too late to run.


The problem? In a word, is, 'motivation'. So how do you make sure you use those running shoes and beat the Fizzle phenomenon.


1. Question your motives: Why do you want to exercise? To lose weight? Strengthen your heart? Feel better? These reasons aren't the best motivators, because they focus on results, not the process. You'll be better motivated if you think of a better body or good feelings only as side effects. This means seeing exercise in a whole new way.


2. Choose an exercise you like: It could be Aerobics. Dancing. Skating. Playing basketball. Don't be surprised if you find yourself considering something totally new. No matter how different the activity may seem, if you like it, follow it.


3. Reward yourself: If you've survived your Aerobics lesson, relax in the club sauna. Or, you jogged 5 kilometres this morning, now you deserve a new cassette. Rewards create happy, positive associations about the exercise.


4. Laughter: The habit of laughter is "a body exercise precious to health". And philosophers and psychiatrists from Plato to Freud agree that the act of laughter is characterised by a sudden release of tension. Few activities can produce such widespread beneficial affects. Laughter aids digestion by increasing glandular secretion, relaxes the muscles and brings a blush to the skin and a sparkle to the eyes.


5. Rest Breaks: Many people consider it positively sinful to succumb to the natural urge to rest during the working day. And yet, experiments confirm that regular intervals of rest enable us to achieve maximum output of work with the minimum expenditure of energy and the least risk of fatigue. Often the best way to rest is to set aside a few minutes everyday for quiet meditation.


6. Holidays A holiday is considered, by most doctors, as probably the most valuable insurance policy against stress, disease and fatigue. Holidays should be chosen with care to help replace the missing elements in our lives and provide opportunities for self-discovery and growth. They can inject excitement into dull, routine lives;


7. Bedtime Snacks: Earlier, fairly heavy dinners were consumed in order to save off hunger pangs. Now it is appreciated that eating a heavy meal last thing at night leads to restless sleep. On the other hand, it is a mistake to go to bed hungry. A late night cup of warm milk can improve the quality of sleep.


It is said: God sends the acute diseases; the chronic disease we create ourselves. No Hospital can create a healthy man.
No public health measures, no legal reforms, no acts of Parliament will make us healthy. Only we can do this.

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