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5 things you need to start doing in the New Year to improve your health

2020 was a very interesting year health wise. The New Year gives us the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start afresh. Studies have shown that the current pandemic is more severe in those who have underlying or pre-existing medical conditions: so while making sure we prevent Covid 19 infection by wearing our masks and social distancing, it is also important we take care of our underlying health.

Eating healthy. The importance of eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables cannot be over emphasized. Fruits and vegetables are an important source of vitamins and minerals that help to: lower blood cholesterol levels, decrease the risk of heart disease, decrease risk of certain types of cancer, lower blood pressure, lower risk of being overweight or obese and reduce the risk of constipation.

Drinking more water. Our bodies are made up of about 70% water and there are numerous benefits of drinking at least 3 liters of water daily. It may improve memory, mood, reduce sugar cravings and aid weight maintenance. It also improves exercise performance, reduces headaches and migraines, prevents constipation in children and adults, helps to prevent kidney stones, reduces the risk of bladder infections, and helps to manage anxiety.

Move more: Our bodies were not made to be sedentary. Incorporating more movement and exercise to our daily routines will help control your weight, reduce risk of heart diseases, help your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels, help you quit smoking, improve your mental health and mood, keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age, strengthen your bones and muscles, reduce your risk of some cancers, improve your sleep, improve your sexual health and generally improves your chances of living longer.
Even small changes can help. You can take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk down to a coworker’s office instead of sending an email, wash your car yourself, parking further away from your destination and so on.

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Avoid stress: Studies have shown that stress triggers inflammation, which in turn is a precursor of heart disease. Stress also causes some people to act in ways that increase their risk for heart disease; people turn to unhealthy diets when they’re stressed, they also tend to smoke and drink too much alcohol.
You can manage stress by staying positive, meditation and exercise. People with heart disease who maintain a positive attitude are less likely to die than those who are more negative. In fact, just having a good laugh can help your heart: laughter has been found to lower levels of stress hormones, reduce inflammation in the arteries, and increase “good” HDL cholesterol. The practice of inward-focused thought and deep breathing has been shown to reduce heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure. Take time each day (even if it’s for just 10 or 15 minutes), to unplug. You can also listen to music, or read a book.
When you exercise, your body releases mood-boosting chemicals called endorphins.

Regular routine medical check-up: routine medical checkup can help detect potential health issues before they become a problem. Early detection gives you the best chance for getting treatment early, before complications set in. By doing this, you are taking important steps toward living a longer, healthier life.
The benefits of regular check-ups include: reduces your risk of getting sick, detecting potentially life-threatening health conditions early which increases the chances for treatment and cure. Routine medicals also limits risk of complications by closely monitoring existing conditions, increases lifespan and improve health, as well as helps to avoid costly medical services.

The New Year is a great time to start taking our health more seriously. We only have one life, let’s take steps to make it a healthy one. Happy New Year!!!!!

Dr Monisola Adanijo FMCP a Cardiologist and the Medical Director at Naveen Healthcare.
With experience spanning over 20 years, she built her pathway in medicine and cardiology working in reputable medical centres such as Mecure Healthcare Limited, Barnes Hospital, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Chevron Hospital, Lagos to mention but a few.
Her passion for preventive cardiology led her to convene the Naveen Healthcare 10,000 Hearts Project, in order to help individuals detect, protect and correct cardiovascular diseases.
Skilled in cardiovascular diagnostic procedures and treatment, a fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, a member of Nigerian Cardiac Society, American College of Physicians, Hypertension society of Nigeria and an international associate of the American College of Cardiology. She also has a Diploma in Leadership and Management from the University of Washington, USA,
As a Continuous Medical Education (CME) provider, she has worked with the likes of Trigen Healthcare Solutions, Pfizer GP Academy, Diamond Helix Medical Assistance, Pfizer Pharmacy Academy, Global Health Project and Resources, Sanofi-Aventis Nigeria, Novartis Nigeria and Servier International. She has helped build capacity in Electrocardiogram interpretation, preventive cardiovascular diseases, management of heart failure, patient education and more.
She launched the first TeleElectrocardiogram project in Nigeria and West Africa and does her part in contributing to good health and wellbeing, a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG3) of the United Nations.
Linkedin: Monisola Adanijo

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