WHY WE MUST ADVOCATE FOR EXERCISE AS A PANACEA OF OUR HEALTH PROBLEMS

Healthy living is a combination of a healthy body and a sound mind. The importance of food and keeping well hydrated is a given, but sometimes the need and importance of exercise to the body is usually overlooked due to our busy schedules and lifestyles. The importance of exercise cannot be overemphasized and it’s resulting benefits to our well-being. As such, there is a need to understand what exercise is, it’s benefits and how it helps to reduce or solve health problems that can arise.

WHAT IS EXERCISE : This is any physical activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness.

WHY EXERCISE IS IMPORTANT: it helps to improve health and reduce the risk of developing certain diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and Heart (Cardiovascular) illness. It has both immediate and long-term benefits.

DIAGRAM SHOWING BENEFITS OF EXERCISES

TYPES OF EXERCISES AND THEIR EFFECTS

There are various types of exercises one can do. These include :

  • Aerobic: It increases your breathing and heart rates. It keeps the lungs and heart healthy examples are Climbing the stairs, Jogging and taking a Brisk walk.
  • Strength Training: This keeps the bones and muscles strong. It helps especially the elderly keep a measure of their independence as bones get more brittle and weak as we age. Example Using resistance bands or Lifting free weights.
  • Flexibility Exercises :This helps to keep the body limber and maintain a wide range of motion or mobility. This is important as it helps to combat conditions like arthritis that limit movement. Example Stretching various body parts especially in the mornings when we just wake up or by doing yoga.
  • Balancing Exercises: This improves your balance. It strengthens the core and legs. It further helps to  prevent falls. Examples include standing on one leg or practicing taichi

SAFE WAYS TO EXERCISE

  • Always do proper warm-ups and cool-downs. At least 5-10 minutes of stretching or slow-jogs.
  • Always pay attention to signs of injury- pains, strains to prevent stressing or aggravating it.
  • Watch your form especially during strength training. If you are not up for it; take a break and rest up. DO NOT PUSH THROUGH SO YOU DO NOT HURT YOURSELF.
  • Always stay hydrated. Keep replenishing lost electrolytes by taking fruit infused water or other drinks.
  • Always dress appropriately. To prevent circulation loss due to tight clothes or tripping over loose or ill-fitting ones.
  • Always have rest days. This is very important, as it gives the body the chance to breathe and repair itself. This will also prevent burnout from over use.

SIMPLE EVERYDAY HACKS TO GET IN SOME EXERCISE IN YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES

  • Take the stairs.
  • Walk as often as you can
  • Stand up- to improve blood circulation after periods of being in a single position or sitting for too long.
  • Carry bags- While grocery shopping, it helps put in some strength training for your arms. Ensure you always keep a good posture (back straight and shoulders back) as this engages the core.
  • Squat daily- 30 secs a day will help train your ankles, legs, hips and improve stability.

DIAGRAM SHOWING 5 SIMPLE EXERCISES YOU CAN DO

Cultivating a habit and a lifestyle of doing exercises for a minimum of 30 minutes a day will produce many health benefits and it may surprise you that it was the panacea you needed to resolve that lingering health concern.

Reference:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise
https://www.activehealth.sg/read/physical-activity/10-benefits-of-physical-activity
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/physical-activity-its-important

Written by Chioma Ahumareze Ukwandu

STAYING SAFE FROM CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19)

Corona virus is spread by respiratory aerosols and fluids from the infected person through activities such as coughing, sneezing, vomiting etc. contacts with fluids and articles infected with the virus are among means of transmission. It has an incubation period of 14 days ( the time from when one is infected and the manifestation of clinical symptoms).

Most people who become infected experience mild illness and can recover spontaneously, but others can experience a more severe and fatal symptoms.
Take care of your health and protect your family and others by taking the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands frequently,
    Regularly and thoroughly with a runny water. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Reason?
Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

  • Maintain social distancing, at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Reasons?
When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Reason?
Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

  • Practice respiratory hygiene.
    Ensure you and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This implies covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose off the used tissue immediately.

Reason?
COVID-19 affects the respiratory tract and the lungs.
Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.
    Stay home if you feel unwell and promptly seek medical attention. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Reason?
National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

  • Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Reason?
National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

  • Never allow your mouth and throat to be dry. Drink adequate water and other fluids often (15 to 30) to wet the mouth and throat.

Reason?
Water can easily wash down the virus through the oesophagus to the stomach where stomach acid (Hydrochloric acid) can destroy the virus and leave you safe. If the throat is dry, the virus can pass through the larynx to the trachea and the lungs which is very dangerous.

  • Persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading should protect themselves and others by reporting to the approved health facilities for the diagnosis and management of COVID-19 and furnish the care givers with adequate travel histories.

HEALTH SERVICES DEPARTMENT, A-HSEAI