I woke up early this morning to run, but the sun soon came out strong and as usual, posed a challenge.   If I didn’t have the serious resolve for health and for running, and was not committed to my training for a half marathon in Lisbon, Portugal this coming September, I would have quit and walked back home.

At times it isn’t easy making a decision that could impact your health in positive ways. This society is not a utopia.  Many people have other challenges like raising a family, keeping their jobs, tending to this and that, that self-care becomes secondary.  Health is then put on the back-burner.  Oftentimes we feel fairly well and that nothing is wrong with us, so we take many things for granted, and go on living our lives in toxic ways.  Healthcare professionals are also guilty of this.  Many of us are ill and rundown and in need of self-care.

Know that Chronic and preventable diseases do not occur overnight.  These are called ‘lifestyle disease’ because over time, after we have abused and neglected our bodies, they show their faces.  And many people live their life plagued by these: cardiovascular or heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, arthritis, etc.

It is sometimes rough, disheartening, and challenging to stay well when we are diagnosed with these preventable disease.  Many become frustrated and non-compliant (do not take their medicines) and end up in worse condition, oftentimes fighting for their lives in the ICU or some other acute care setting. This group of folks sometimes appear calloused and dis-interested in learning how to care for themselves.  You may hear them say, “You have to die of something someday.”

Many people may be interested in their health, but are not given proper tools in the form of knowledge to maximally care for themselves.  Our educational and healthcare system have failed us in this manner.  These people may also suffer complications and frequent hospitalization.  You may hear this group say, “I’ve been doing what they told me to do,” but with healthcare always in a rush to get someone out the door and get the next client in, a lot of things could be missed.

There are some folks who are seemingly ahead of the game.  They are well aware of their family history of a lifestyle disease, and they prepare themselves to run perceived obstacles into the ground.  How has many managed to do this?  Well I’d like to give you a little secret, but you won’t find any here.  I am here to tell you that making simple lifestyle changes, even little ones, can contribute greatly to your health to help prevent some of the modern day plagues of our society.  If you have been diagnosed with a chronic disease, don’t despair.  This may be your time to let your obstacles be your springboard.  So push back and push up!  Do whatever it takes to increase your liveliness and aliveness.

Back in the day, a little over 100 years ago, most deaths were due to infectious diseases.  Today, most death are attributed to chronic and preventable lifestyle illnesses.  These same: heart diseases, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity (which may be a cause of all of these diseases) were virtually unheard off back then.  Today, they have reached epidemic level and are the cause of most deaths globally.

Eat living food for life

OYE!  Here are some things to help you prevent and stay clear of some of these diseases.  Changing your lifestyle, even with these basic things, could help put you on the road to optimal health.  Here is where you can start:

  • Make daily exercise a habit!  Experts believe that even a small weigh loss of 5-15% can improve your health, your quality of life, and resolves or prevent certain health problems.  Please consult with your physician first when making any changes and engaging in more daily exercises.
  • EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES!  Eat these mainly in their natural state.  Eating more fruits and vegetables according to the CDC, not only can help control weight, but may help prevent chronic diseases.
  • Ditch the artificial foods or processed foods.
  • Ditch the Soft drinks and Colas replete with High Fructose Corn Syrup and artificial sweeteners.  Hydrate your body with water.
  • Train your mind to think good and positive thoughts.  Pray about the ugly stuff happening in your life.  Do not make a big issue with them.  Change them if you can and may, but try not let your mind ruminate on these.  Instead, let your mind dwell on beautiful thoughts.  
  • Regular doctor checkup to help manage your medications if you already have chronic diseases, like diabetes, high blood pressure, will require close monitoring by your MD.  A change in your lifestyle, resulting in weigh loss, could help stabilize your blood sugar and blood pressure, for instant, possibly making the need for your doctor to change your medication regimen.