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New Year…New Habits!

Eight essential tips to be healthier in 2013

It’s a New Year and I wish you all health, strength, prosperity and all else you wish for yourself. Many of us have ambitious or somewhat challenging situations/resolutions/goals ahead of us, and I’m no different. All success to you, as I wish the same for myself, through God’s grace.

While by worldwide and more so Trini standards I’m considered to be slim, it is a goal of mine to do a very slight reduction. In the last year, I ate a lot, had many late night meals, and it’s showing on the scales and in my clothes. Basically every lifestyle disease that exists, exists in my family; and as a recent entrant to the thirties realm, I have to be mindful that diseases and weight are no respecter of man.

I feel heavy when I walk, and it is reflected in the frequency of callus build up on my heel. Believe it or not, weight impacts in a major way on those two little things (feet) that carry us around and we take for granted.

Some of us would have overdone it for the Christmas season – from the pastelles to the black cake, to the ponche-a-cream, to the sorrel, to the ham, to the turkey and everything else in between. And let’s not forget the cleaning and curtain changing. Oh and Christmas Day, the feast we prepared! Oh our poor feet…right now some of us are experiencing edema (swelling), soreness, pain and severe discomfort, all for the love of the season.

 Essential New Year Tips

Here are some areas we all need to focus on in this New Year:

  1. Exercising – I started the last year in a minus with my accident, but then got into exercising more for the love of the company I was in, rather than for the love of exercise. I don’t know if the love of exercise would ever come, but it’s needed and I can’t stress enough that a diligent exercise partner is critical if you aren’t practically disciplined on your own. I used to stupidly say I’ll start exercising when I start to get a stomach; exercise, however, is important for your general well-being.
  2. Monitoring our food/drink intake – Many foods are high in fat and low in nutrients. We got to reverse that balance via purchasing less fast foods and  preparing more healthy stuff at home. We also love juice and soft drinks; while soft drinks are something I don’t really consume, juice is my weakness. Juice is high in sugar and other artificial flavouring, most not truly providing much vitamin C.
  3. Reducing/eliminating our alcohol and cigarettes intake – Tis the season for alcohol! With the uniqueness of our culture, we move from one alcohol season – Christmas, to another – Carnival; not that we truly need a season or reason to drink.  Many persons tend to smoke a whole lot, and certainly a lot more when out liming; and basically, it’s three straight months of it. Both substances, especially when done in excess, are lethal to your organs and overall system.
  4. Pedicures/Manicures – Many think it’s more about a lil nail polish and a lil scrub, but really, these treatments are critical to your feet and hands. We live in a tropical climate, and are pre-disposed to many types of fungal infections that are best to treat in the early stages. So monitor and maintain your precious limbs to ensure the best possible health. Don’t wait until they are threatened to appreciate their value!
  5. Massages – It’s essential in improving your circulation  (especially in those living with diabetes), along with helping with your generally body aches and tensions. Lymphatic drainage is also important.
  6. Sauna Treatments – This helps with removing toxins, among other things, and also improves the circulation in the body.
  7. Footwear – Proper shoe/sandal/slipper selection is key in ensuring the feet and body are well supported. Well cushioned and not to high heels are basic tips for preservation of our dear feet.
  8. Regular Checkups – It’s a detail that is often eliminated unless something happens. Do a medical to ensure your body is healthy and your organs are functioning at optimum. It’s these checks that sometimes reveal chronic diseases, and while no one wants that surprise, early detection is important. Besides your general practitioner, checks should also be done with your podiatrist/chiropodist/foot health practitioner to ensure the lower limbs/feet are in proper shape.

Yes, it’s much easier said than done in achieving these essential tips, but you have to start somewhere; make that first step today and push yourself to follow through!

 Your feet mirror your general health . . . cherish them!

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