Make Your Health Goals A Priority!
“Although health priorities are different at different stages of life,there are some general principles which one should focus on”
Our bodies comprising of all the vital organs and tissues with their Interconnected networking systems is a highly advanced machine. For every single cell, every tissue and every organ to function and to perform its highly specialised role, we need to keep the supporting framework and the parts, ‘well-oiled’ and ‘serviced’ with a high degree of regular ‘maintenance,’ just as we would do for any other machine. The difference would be that unlike other machines, our body is one of its kind, with parts that are precious and to a large extent, irreplaceable.
Health Goals Differ At Different Stages
Health care goals vary at different stages of one’s life. In childhood, the focus is usually on good nutrition, physical growth and motor development, improving language and social skills, immunisations etc. During teenage life, health concerns are about further improving the musculoskeletal framework of the body, healthy eating and finding a balance between academics, physical and other activities, which broaden our horizon to improve mental and social well-being.
Adults strive to build up a level of endurance and fitness, fulfilling their intellectual progress and strengthening their emotional quotient. Health care for elders focuses on stabilisation of their basic health state, nutritional needs, including extra specific supplements, tackling issues of financial insecurities and emotional concerns, including loneliness and early diagnosis and management of illnesses.
Although health priorities are different at different stages of our life, there are some general principles which one should focus on. We also need to ask ourselves these vital questions: what is the purpose of life? Is it just to live or is It to live well, to live a fulfilled, contented lite, for ourselves and for others? But to live well, we have to be healthy – both physically and mentally healthy, not forgetting about our social and emotional well-being. Thus, for a healthy, fulfilling, productive lite, you need to focus on some of core areas and prioritise your day-to-day functioning.
General Health Principles
A Nutritious Diet
We need to pay more attention to what we eat. The key to good living and health is to maintain a balanced diet. A good diet should comprise of moderate proteins, low amounts of refined carbohydrates, a high intake of complex carbohydrates, a low intake of fat, plenty of fresh t wits and vegetables and a moderate intake of nuts and dairy products, along with plenty of water.
Moderate exercise which includes 30-45 minutes of aerobic activity for at least five days a week is recommended. Our musculoskeletal system needs regular maintenance and rather than waiting for the onset of problems, the importance of sports and regular physical activity needs to be stressed on, from a young age.
Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Lifestyle changes include avoidance of tobacco in its various forms, avoiding excessive alcohol and consumption of other psychotropic substances. Awareness of the harmful effects of these substances is needed for the younger generation to make healthy lifestyle choices.
Prevention Of Diseases
Most communicable and some non- communicable diseases can be prevented. Many infectious diseases can be prevented by using contact precautions with an intake of safe food and clean water and by adhering to the immunisation schedule. The major emphasis for preventing non- communicable diseases including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cardiac diseases and strokes, include all the above principles of lifestyle modifications.
Focus On Mental Health
While there is an increased awareness of the importance of physical activity and fitness, we sadly lag behind in the aspect of mental well-being. Our emphasis on education, job pressures, financial security and other daily stressors, leads to anxiety states, feelings of inadequacies, depression and other related symptoms. Maintaining a calm mind, developing the virtues of patience, tolerance, forgiveness and focusing on collective achievements rather than individual successes, helps promote a healthy mind.
Early Detection And Treatment Of Diseases
Early identification of illnesses, especially of cancers is a medical priority area. Evaluating a small breast lump or a suspicious nodule somewhere, meeting a doctor for unusual urinary, gastrointestinal or menstrual bleeding, unexplained symptoms like severe headache, prolonged fever, anaemia etc. can pick up a focus of malignancy at the onset, so that specialized treatment can be offered at the initial stage itself, for overall best results in disease management.