New Year But Old Health Mnemonics

New Year is not about changing the dates but direction;
it’s not about changing the calendar but commitment; it’s not about changing
the actions but attitude. May each and every day of yours is renewed with lots
of happiness and love.

It doesn’t take much time for the ‘new’ to change into
the ‘same old,’ what does take time is to make our old routine the most
beneficial plan and something to be proud of. With the beginning of a new era
of innovations and fast paced precision, here’s a mnemonic to keep alive in our
memory what really matters and how much it matters.

H – ealth

The first wealth is health.“ (Source:
Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Make
health a priority this year. Health should be more than the absence of disease
— read on for ideas.

A – ttitudeHealth and cheerfulness naturally beget each other.“ (Source: Joseph Addison)

A
positive attitude may not cure a disease. However, thinking positive can help
you deal with misfortune, make the most of your situation and enjoy life more.

P – hysical activity
A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time –
pills or stairs.“ (Source:
Joan Welsh)

The esteemed W.H.O. makes the
following recommendation on the benefits of
physical activities incorporated in our daily routines, ‘The concept of accumulation
refers to meeting the goal of 60 minutes per day by performing activities in
multiple shorter bouts spread throughout the day (e.g. 2 bouts of 30 minutes),
then adding together the time spent during each of these bouts.

‘Whenever
possible, children and youth with disabilities should meet these
recommendations. However they should work with their health care provider to
understand the types and amounts of physical activity appropriate for them
considering their disability.

‘Appropriate practice of physical activity assists
young people to:

o   develop healthy musculoskeletal tissues (i.e. bones, muscles and
joints);

o   develop a healthy cardiovascular system (i.e. heart and lungs);

o   develop neuromuscular awareness (i.e. coordination and movement
control);

o   maintain a healthy body weight.’

For
more information and for guidelines for  
children: http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/factsheet_young_people/en/

P – eople
 ”Love cures people – both the ones who give it
and the ones who receive it…“(Source: Dr. Karl Menninger)

Numerous
studies indicate social networks, whether formal (such as a church or social
club) or informal (such as meeting with friends), make people less vulnerable
to ill health and premature death. Be wary, however, of social support that
drains you through people being too demanding or encouraging you to engage in
harmful behaviours.

Y- our body
Take care of your body. It’s the only place you
have to live.“ (Source: Jim Rohn)

Schedule
physical checkups as needed: eyes, teeth, mammogram, colonoscopy, general
physical, etc.

N – O!
"Half of the troubles of this life can be
traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough." (Source:
Josh Billings)

Rather than adding "take a time management class” to your “to
do” list, consider starting a “don’t do” list. You may
discover doing LESS can bring MORE enjoyment to your life. Especially if doing
less allows you to spend time doing more to contribute to your health and
happiness and that of family and friends!

E – at healthy
 "Rich, fatty foods are
like destiny: they too, shape our ends.“ (Source: Author Unknown)

ChooseMyPlate.gov recommends: "Calories are the fuel you need to work and
play. You even need calories to rest and sleep! Foods and beverages vary in how
many calories and nutrients they contain. When choosing what to eat and drink,
it’s important to get the right mix – enough nutrients, but not too many
calories.”

For
more information on planning healthy menus, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov

W – isdom

“A wise
man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public
opinion.”(Source: Chinese Proverb)

Take
time to listen to your own body. Rather than set your goals based on how fast
other people walk or jog, how little sleep others can get by on or how much
someone else eats, concentrate on what makes YOU healthy.

Y – our hands
“Keeping
hands clean is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of
infection and illness.”(Source: Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention)

Here’s how to wash your hands
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When
washing your hands with soap and water:

o  
Wet your hands with clean,
running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

o  
Lather your hands by rubbing them
together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your
fingers, and under your nails.

o  
Scrub your hands for at least 20
seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning
to end twice.

o  
Rinse your hands well under
clean, running water. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

E – nough
sleep
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s
book.” (Source:
Irish Proverb)

According
to a  December, 2013 Gallup
Poll,  43% of Americans say
they would feel better if they got more sleep. 

“Insufficient sleep is
a public health epidemic,
” according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC). Insufficient sleep is linked to motor vehicle crashes,
industrial disasters, and medical and other occupational disorders. People who
don’t get enough sleep also are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases
such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from
cancer.

The
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers these tips to help you get
a good night’s sleep:

o  
Follow a regular sleep schedule. Go to sleep and get up at the
same time each day, even on weekends. Try to avoid napping in the late
afternoon or evening, as it may keep you awake at night.

o  
Develop a bedtime routine. Take time to relax before bedtime
each night. Some people watch television, read a book, listen to soothing
music, or soak in a warm bath.

o  
Keep your bedroom dark, not too hot or too cold, and as quiet as
possible.

o  
Have a comfortable mattress, a pillow you like, and enough
blankets for the season.

o  
Exercise at regular times each day but not within 3 hours of
your bedtime.

o  
Make an effort to get outside in the sunlight each day.

o  
Be careful about when and how much you eat. Large meals close to
bedtime may keep you awake, but a light snack in the evening can help you get a
good night’s sleep.

o  
Stay away from caffeine late in the day. Caffeine (found in
coffee, tea, soda, and hot chocolate) can keep you awake.

o  
Drink fewer beverages in the evening. Waking up to go to the
bathroom and turning on a bright light break up your sleep.

o  
Remember that alcohol won’t help you sleep. Even small amounts
make it harder to stay asleep.

o  
Use your bedroom only for sleeping. After turning off the light,
give yourself about 20 minutes to fall asleep. If you’re still awake and not
drowsy, get out of bed. When you feel sleepy, go back to bed.

(Image
source: Indi Samarajiva, https://flic.kr/p/7B2Nqq )

A – void portion distortion
“Never eat more than you can lift." (Source:
Miss Piggy, Muppet character)

Rather
than worry so much about "what” you eat, consider “how
much” you eat. Downsize your portion sizes. Serve food on smaller plates.
Eat from plates and bowls rather than packages and bags, so you see how much
you’re eating.

R – eading materials
Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a
misprint." (Source: Mark Twain)

Consider
the source before starting a new drastic diet or exercise plan. Beware of plans
that:

o  
Promise quick, dramatic results

o  
Charge large fees for consultations, equipment, supplements,
etc.

o  
Rely solely on testimonials and statements from
"professionals” with unusual-sounding degrees.

A new year is all about starting afresh and realising
your dreams. So, let’s raise a toast to a Happy New Year and even happier
beginnings.

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