Given the myriad issues we have to cope with in our professional and personal lives, our health is a key component which is often overlooked in the drive to get things done. Ignore good health at your own peril, as illness can be debilitating and has the potential to cause some serious down-time which can affect us both in the office and at home.

Here are the most commonly reported health issues and some easy fixes to avoid them:

1. Stress

When you want to reduce the stressors in your daily life, begin by identifying the sources. These could range from a demanding office environment, unrealistic expectations from your partner, the weight of responsibility to your children, and many more. Identifying them is the first step to addressing and neutralising them as a source for consternation.

Learn healthier ways to cope with stress. One widely accepted favourite is to get moving. Studies have shown that physical exercise releases positive feeling hormones, these could be just the little jolt you need to turn that frown upside down.

Once you are prepared and equipped to nip the problems in the bud, follow the 4As to a better life:

  1. Avoid unnecessary stress

  2. Alter the situations you can

  3. Adapt to the stressors

  4. Accept the things you can’t change

2. The Common Flu

The common flu, or cold, is a crippling affliction that can render you incapable of even handling a simple phone call to report sick for work.

Fret not, there are six easy steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting a cold.

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water

  2. Wash them for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Viruses that cause colds can live on your hands, and regular hand washing can help protect you from getting sick.

  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

  4. Viruses that cause colds can enter your body this way and make you sick.

  5. Stay away from people who are sick

  6. Sick people can spread viruses that cause the common cold through close contact with others.

3. Cardiovascular Diseases

High LDL (bad) cholesterol and low HDL (good) cholesterol are among the most well-known risk factors that can lead to cardiovascular disease, but they're not the only ones to be aware of. If you have untreated high blood pressure, a family history of cardiovascular disease, or diabetes, your risk of developing cardiovascular disease may be elevated. Smoking and a sedentary lifestyle may also contribute to cardiovascular risks, and women past the age of menopause and men older than 45 can also have a higher risk of developing the disease.

You can reduce these well-known risk factors by:

  • Having your cholesterol tested regularly, and maintaining the levels your doctor recommends.

  • Being aware of family history.

  • Managing diabetes or other health issues that can lead to complications.

  • Quitting smoking, if applicable.

  • Sticking to a regular exercise routine. Consult your doctor to learn what exercises and activity level will be best for you.

4. Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent health problems in our society, thanks in no small part to the wide range of processed foods and sweet treats that we are prone to indulge in. Diabetes can be prevented, however, by following a few simple steps:

  1. Choose whole grains and whole grain products over highly processed carbohydrates

  2. Skip the sugary drinks, and choose water, coffee, or tea instead

  3. Choose good fats instead of bad fats

  4. Limit red meat and avoid processed meat; choose nuts, whole grains, poultry, or fish instead

  5. If you smoke, try to quit

5. Myopia

Given the widespread adoption of electronic devices from a young age, studies have shown that up to 30 per cent of kids aged six - seven have defective vision.

In children aged 10-12, the percentage goes up to 60 per cent.

Myopia can be prevented by taking on some simple preventative measures, and encouraging a more positive approach to eye-care.

  1. When reading or studying, hold your books or notes far away from your eyes (20cm or more is advised)

  2. Don’t read while lying on a couch or bed

  3. Pursue outdoor activities like badminton or rollerblading

Outdoor activities offer your eyes the option to focus on objects far and near, giving them the workout they need to be healthy and function at their maximum abiity.

If you found this interesting, you may wish to find out how you can protect yourself against Dengue Fever.

While these are the more common health problems we face today, there are several more which can be avoided by eating responsibly, getting plenty of rest, and managing our day well, setting aside pockets of time for recreation, study, work, and our families.

NOTE

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