How healthy are you?


How healthy are you?

Sunday, January 17, 2021

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Many of us equate feeling good with being healthy, lulling ourselves into a false sense of security. After all, we often hear of people who have never complained of being sick yet they die suddenly. This is often the case with many whose lives end with a heart attack without the slightest tell-tale signs that could have warned of what was to come. So while we all strive to feel good, this should not be taken to mean we have a clean bill of health.

Fit yet unfit

A lot of us try to keep active by exercising. But even youngsters with a good exercise routine may be ill. Consider one athlete who died suddenly, in his early 20s. His death was blamed on the misuse of drugs. Though he could be described as being in fairly good shape, there were aspects of his lifestyle that made him unhealthy. Do not defeat the sacrifice you make with exercise by abusing drugs and alcohol or smoking. This seems to be the case of many Japanese, well known for their rigorous daily exercise routines yet Asiaweek magazine cites cancer as the cause of one in four deaths among their population. This may appear contradictory, but understandable when we consider that nearly 50 per cent of all Japanese adults puff away at hundreds of millions of cigarettes yearly.

Make healthy living a way of life

Many factors contribute to us being healthy or unhealthy. Genes, heredity and the environment cannot be overlooked. These often make some of us more predisposed to certain medical conditions than others. By and large, though, our way of life is probably the single greatest indicator of health. Paying attention to what you eat and drink, how active you are, and how much rest you get are things that should be a part of our daily routine.

Reacting to stress

Stress kills, and it never dies. These are two facts to remember. It can build tension in the body and make you ill. How you react to stress, therefore, is important. Remember, try not to stress over what you can't change. But one thing you'll forever be able to change is your mindset and approach to a stressful situation. Try to change your mindset when faced with an unchanging situation, and try to develop a great sleep routine of eight hours per night, with a power nap or two during the day.

What, then, is your health?

The quest for good health is a multifaceted project reflective of our lifestyle and the habits we develop on a daily basis. Our very being — heart, soul, strength and mind — needs to be healthy. To achieve this, we need to keep walking the healthy way — physically, mentally, emotionally and socially (being at peace with others).

Good health will set the pace for us to derive joy and satisfaction from the activities in which we engage in this life.

So, keep well, and good health to you!

Warrick Lattibeaudiere, PhD, a minister of religion for the past 23 years, lectures full-time in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica, where he is also director of the Language, Teaching and Research Centre. E-mail him at

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