Sun | Aug 25, 2019

The importance of being consistent in living healthy

Published:Wednesday | January 9, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Why can't we exercise most days?
Why the war with self?
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QUESTIONS

 

1. If you want to be able to afford somewhere to live, do you:

a. Chill.

b. Work...sometimes.

c. Work...regularly.

d. None of the above.

2. When you purchase, rent or 'cotch' in this home, do you:

a. Clean once per year.

b. Clean once a month.

c. Clean at least weekly.

d. None of the above.

3. Do you bathe:

a. Daily

b. Weekly

c. When there's a strong breeze and something smells funny

d. None of the above

Do you see where this is going? Most of us bathe every day, most of us brush our teeth every day. We eat every day. Sleep every day. Try to look good every day. So why do so many of us have such difficulty doing the things that keep us healthy every day?

Why can't we exercise most days? Why can't we just eat less sugar, fat and processed food EVERY DAY? Why the war with self? The 'good today, not so good the next three, four, 14 days' battle?

 

A HABIT, ONCE CREATED, IS HARD TO UNCREATE

 

To be consistent is to create a pattern, a habit, a way of being which becomes second nature. By now, many of us know that a habit, once created, is hard to uncreate. And if there were no habit or pattern to begin with, it is perhaps just as hard to create a new one.

While fear of disability and death works well for some, for many, not even the risk of a stroke, heart attack, diabetes or persistent joint pains will provide sufficient motivation for regular exercise. There is no mystery in what it takes to have a relatively healthy lifestyle:

• Sufficient sleep (Enough that you wake up feeling rested)

• Some exercise (At least three times per week and certainly more than 10 minutes)

• A healthy diet (All food groups. Yes, including vegetables. Minimal fat and processing)

• Managed stress

• Some quiet time

 

THE STRUGGLE TO CHANGE HABITS

 

If I were a psychologist, perhaps I would be able to offer some insight into the workings of the human mind and human behaviour and how to adjust.

Unfortunately, I am not.

What I am is a healthcare provider and sometimes a patient, and I certainly understand the struggle to change habits that contribute to ill health. At the end of the day, it cannot be that you are too busy to take your health in hand.

Being a mother or father of young children is a good one, but still not enough. Vegetables and fruits are indeed expensive, but still not enough, because at the end of the day you may still be sick, overweight, hardly able to run a lap, perhaps hypertensive and feeling older than you would like to feel.

There are plenty of things that are difficult for us and even though we fall A LOT, we persevere. Good health needs to be one of those things we make up our minds to stick to - no matter what - and do so CONSISTENTLY. It is not as if we are a set of people unaccustomed to changing the course of our destiny.

Here's to a great 2019.

- Dr Tracey-Ann Brown, BSc, MScA, MScOM, is a Chinese/Oriental medicine practitioner. 17 Latham Avenue, Kingston 6, Suite #5, Fairview Office Park, Montego Bay. Tel: (876) 927-8473, (876) 927-9212; www.nccaomdiplomates.com/acupuncturejamaica: Facebook: An Oriental Medicine Approach! Email: yourhealth@gleanerjm.com