We think these are ‘easy’ with a degree of uncertainty. The hardest obstacle between anyone and better health is themselves. We are naturally inclined to give excuses, and there is plenty of those when it comes to making adjustments towards better health. That said, we think that the following resolutions will reap health benefits in different areas of your life - because balance is everything.
My manager rides this kind of bike to work: . I found it really cool and was surprised that it is only $120 at Walmart. Want to know how bad driving to work is? Here are a few: increased blood sugar, higher cholesterol, depression risk and anxiety. Want to know how great biking to work is? Saves you money, improves your health numbers, saves you from traffic jams! Stephanie Averkamp did some great research on this here.
My brother Mark bought me a NutriBullet for Christmas. Best gift ever! My kids don’t eat vegetables - they never loved them! I am sure yours too. NutriBullet mashes up the veggies into a nice yummy drink and the kids never know about veggies while still getting all the nutrients. I find this a noble idea.
If you’re one of those people that find it hard to self-motivate - and you wouldn’t be alone - consider joining a group gym class. As for those of you that leave your spouses on the couch when you go out to exercise, shame on you! Working out together will not only help you reach the same health goals and hence the same life goals (relationships, yeah!) but increase your connectedness. At My African Roots we are all about togetherness. Lift the banner and get healthier doing it! Me and my wife enjoy Dancehall, so we often dance along with Aya Level.
One thing that minority communities are poor at historically is getting ahead with saving money towards health. Every book you read about becoming and staying wealthy will tell you that you gotta have that rainy day fund. The most unpredictable factor in you saving money is health. If you have a health savings account, it is a good start. You can read more here. HSA’s are easy to open and the money deposited there is tax free, among other benefits. It might be wise to deposit a chunk of that tax return to an HSA.
Your insurance company covers an annual checkup almost 100%. You already have insurance. If you don’t get an annual checkup, you have everything to lose: i.e. your money! It is a great idea to have dental and vision checkups too if possible, because they are normally cheap, whereas the repercussions of discovering complications late are very expensive. The older you get, the more the number of routine checks you need. Cancer is a stealthy thief that especially loves people that don’t want to get checked regularly. Your health is your best friend. Act like it!
Running? Track your miles daily. Lifting? Track the weights and lift counts. Nothing helps improvement than knowing how far you’ve come - it helps you to determine where you need improvements. Healthwise, track your blood pressure, blood sugar, height, weight among others. The more you know, the easier it is for health professionals to help you - more so in an emergency room.
Our excuse for not socializing - especially among the African community - is that it saves you from being the target of gossip and snoops. Well, I have news for you: loneliness is not healthy either. Stay in touch with family and have friends that connect with you. The workplace and school are a great opportunity to make fruitful friendships. So loosen up and get some friends.
You still smoke. And not trying to quit. In 2016? I think the times are leaving you behind - fast! If you haven’t started down the path of quitting, start today. The fight for banning smoking in public places was won in 2012 across the United States. The CDC will tell you why. And can we please ask that you don’t smoke in your car and your home? The chemicals stay long even after you quit and are early handicaps to the development of children and unborn babies. Talk to your physician today about quitting smoking. Same applies to bad drinking habits.
Newborn babies need Vitamin D. Teens and toddlers need Vitamins, Calcium and Vitamin D. Pregnant women and unborn babies need everything! Seniors need Vitamin Bs and Vitamin D among others. Here is a great resource from WebMD. We recently found out that our daughter needed some extra Iron. Talk to your physician about supplements that could improve your health and to a nutritionist to help you achieve fitness goals. And we cannot say enough about the importance of taking your Veggies!
Every Valentine’s day we see couples buying each other flowers and expensive dinners. We are all for that - but we suggest that you chip in some thoughtfulness. If your spouse has been working hard towards better health, tell them that you have noticed and find out what kind of support would help them get better. There is many fitness trackers on the market that make great gifts. We love the Fitbit! And don’t forget to reward yourselves and each other when you reach some fitness milestones. Who wants to do a job that will go unappreciated? From My African Roots - for what it’s worth - Kudos to you!