Happy New Year to my esteemed friends. I believe we are still in the season and it will be in order if I wish my esteemed tribe happy new year. I’m glad we all made it to 2017 by God’s grace. In my humble opinion, we contributed in making 2016 and 2017 a huge success regardless of what you may opine. This is because Heaven helps those who help themselves. God has always promised us he will be with us till the end of time, but he didn’t promise us smooth journey. The moral of this analysis is that you contributed in making 2016 a huge success by living healthy, otherwise you would have succeeded in taking harmful substances which would have endangered your health and maybe you wouldn’t have seen 2017.

We are already in the second half for the month of January and the days and weeks are already running as fast as you can imagine. Most of us have made one resolution or the another, some of us have set goals for the year. The question is no about setting a goal or making a resolution but achieving it. I don’t know what goal, plans or resolution you have for 2017, but I can confidently assure you,  if you don’t have your health in the pipeline, your goals and plans are technically not visible. This is because, according to an Arabian proverb, “He who health, has hope, and he who has hope has everything”. I strongly belive in this statement, because without health on your side, you can practically do nothing. Isn’t it true that health is wealth? Furthermore, before you venture out to do any specific task whether it is internal or external, it is worthy to note that a healthy body outside starts from a healthy body inside. For me, health of mind and body is one of my new year resolution and definitely a key to success. I have a gratitude book where I write 10 things I am grateful to God daily. Health is one praise I give to God daily when I wake up and before I sleep. It’s quite unfortunate many folks ignore this blessing, forgetting that, without health of mind and body on their side, they won’t be able to achieve anything during the day.

In order for you to comprehend this article, I will appreciate you read it with an open mind in addition to seeing it like an empowerment mechanism. For your information, I’m not a  doctor neither do I have medical or health background. My humble opinion is largely based on common sense and my understanding of life. There’s no gainsaying the fact that health is health! Either way you look at it, health supersedes everything God and nature has endowed us with. Let’s name it, if you want to contest for an election, if you want to go to College, if you want to do business, if you want to perform any academic exercise, you must have health on your side otherwise you are merely day-dreaming.  I once had a conversation with an influential politician when I traveled to Nigeria for a visit, during the conversation, he said, “Chief Obafemi Awolowo once told us before you can contest an election, you must have three things, health, money, and connection, but above all, the number one factor you need most is your health”. This is because if you lose money, you can still recover it back, same with connections, but if you lose your health, you can hardly recover it back especially if it is a life-threatening illness.

Health can be defined as the state of being free from illness or injury, or the mental or physical condition of an individual. If you really want to know in practical terms what health really means,  I will strongly advise you visit the hospital and see the condition of most patients. It is in such moments you will appreciate the health you have. Maintaining your health is not hard, but losing it is the difficult part.  Most people think living healthy entails eating expensive food in the restaurant, eating can foods, eating all sort of delicacies in high-priced eatery centres. I’m not insinuating they are not good, it’s always good to give yourself a nice treat especially if you are on a date or with your family and loved ones. The feeling is always good trust me. Well, the point I’m trying to make is this, looking healthy doesn’t cost much, in fact, it’s cheaper to be healthy than trying to regain your health. You may be wondering how?  Isn’t it true that prevention is better than cure? Most people are always in the habit of buying expensive food items whenever they go for shopping. Most of the groceries they purchase are not healthy for their body system, some are not even medically recommended, but for reasons best known to them or just to satisfy their appetite they are always caught in  cobweb situation purchasing what  they don’t really need forgetting there’s a big difference in what one needs and what one desires.

I will be sharing some little secrets to being healthy.  Please make no mistake about this, this is not a holistic approach to being healthy, rather, it is an insight based on my experience and research. Before I share some of these points, l will like to refer you to one of my blog which I wrote three years ago entitled the little things of life. “The little things of life”. In that blog article, I stressed upon the little things of life which make life very easy and fun to live in if people get to understand life from a rational minds perspective. In that same line of thought, your health can be likened to the same philosophy if you apply the nuggets of the little things of life. It is on this premise, this blog article is built upon.

  1.  Food: You cannot underestimate the power of food in the live of any being. Without food, we’ll not be living. Food is very vital for our survival, however, that same food can lead to illness, health concerns, and even death if proper care is not accorded to it. This is because, what work for Mr A might not work for Mr B. We are created as one being, but our body system and life preferences and choice might not be the same. And so, it is imperative we know what works for us just like we know what clothes fits us very well. Some of us don’t know how to eat right, we just eat whatever comes our way just to please our appetite irrespective of the consequences it may have on our body system. Doctor have recommended organic goods as the best source of food for human consumption. They have also recommended eating cooked foods as opposed to eating canned or restaurant foods. Don’t get me wrong, eating outside isn’t a bad idea, it can be fun, but it shouldn’t be used as normal for healthy living. This is because no food nourishes the body system in addition to tasting better and giving a sense of fulfilment if properly prepared by oneself. It also cost less. Doctors have recommended eating fruits daily especially after taking a meal. Despite this awesome recommendations, some folks prefer to eat outside. This is one reason why most people get allergies in life. Personally, I only eat outside if I don’t have a choice, or, I’m out on a date; with friends, or attending a social function. At my work place during lunch hours my colleagues normally tagged me as a folk who detest eating outside, this is because I do bring food from home. I’m always cautious of what I eat because I belive you are what you eat :).  During my conversation with friends who would like to lose weight, I have always told them, your best bet to lose weight is your kitchen and not the gym.
  2. Sleep: You cannot underestimate the power and effect a good sleep can have in your body. Sleep deprivation has lead to under performance in addition to leading to low productivity in the lives of productive minded persons. This is because, when you don’t get enough sleep, your body system will have a hard time functioning at optimal capacity. During my formative years in the USA, I used to work as a security officer at odd hours of the night (11pm-7am). During those years, I was always fatigued going to school during the evenings and working at night. I had little amount of sleep during the day. Well, this is a story for another day. Even when I do sleep, I do sleep for barely 5 or 6 hours as opposed to the recommended 8hours sleep. Now contrast this to when God’s grace fell upon me and I secured a decent job where I have an office of my own, attending to clients in addition to technically being a boss of my own, my sleep and productive pattern not only changed, but enhanced. Even though I barely sleep for 5-6hours every night, I’m usually more productive and effective compared to when I had like 12hours to use after my security job. The point I am trying to make here is that sleep is very vital for your health to function very well. I have heard so may stories and incidents that resulted in accident, failures in business, academics, sports, and even death due to sleep deprivation. Please, and please, I’m pleading with you to give yourself a treat after a day’s work. Your body needs rest! Most people spend their lives working on their jobs forgetting they have to make a life, to see their family, friends, and most importantly, they fail to realise that once they die, their employer won’t waste time to get a replacement. Please be wise, life is too short to take it too serious.
  3. Exercise: This is another way of appearing and maintaining a healthy mindset. Exercising your body regularly gives you a good posture irrespective of your gender. According to American Heart Association  “Being physically active is important to prevent heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. To improve overall cardiovascular health, we suggest at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity)”. Regular exercise helps to build the body. It makes the body fit and strong. For men, it gives them good body posture, especially on their chest and arms. I once recalled when a female Director during a social function told me, “Henry you have muscles, look at that”. Well, the story ended there unless you want to loose your job :). For ladies, there are some recommended exercise that makes your waist and tummy look better . I can go on and on, but I will like to stop here with this advice, please do yourself a favour to engage in at least 10- 15minutes exercise daily. It can be in any form:  walking, jogging, push up etc al.
  4. The little things: You might be wondering what’s the little things? Well, the little things are the most significant things in life. In this context, the little things can be likened to the foundation of life balance. We are all familiar with this aphorism “prevention is better than cure”.I concur with this saying when I apply the little things of life nuggets. As mentioned earlier, to be healthy doesn’t involve a lot, in fact, it cost little or nothing. For example, instead of drinking juice, soda(mineral bottled drinks) liquors etc, how about you drink water? Drinking water every day is very vital to your health.  According to Yumy Versace “Drinking water at the correct time maximises effectiveness in the internal body: 3o minutes before meal, helps digestion; before taking a bath, helps lower blood pressure; before going to bed avoids strokes and heart attack. Friends, let’s always try to live life and love life. Furthermore, eating vegetables, fish, fruits, having the right attitude are some of the little things that can assist you to live a very productive life.

You cannot underestimate the power of health in the lives of any productive minded person. I make bold to say health is wealth  According to Dalai Lam When asked what surprised him about humanity the most, Dalai Lama replied: “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” Isn’t it true that we sacrifice our youth to gain money and in our retirement, we spend our wealth to regain our health. Such is the irony of life.

Finally, it is worthy to note that, your health is your health, your joy is your joy and your sorrow is your sorrow, no one can share it with you. So, therefore, it is advisable to always take care of your body, because it is the only place you have to live in. And always have at the back of your mind, the greatest wealth is your health!

Lets’ live well and succeed. My name is Henry Anyaehiechuwu Ukazu. I just want to share, inspire, love, educate, enlighten and empower you to succeed by living a healthy and productive life. Cheers….

P.S Please let me know what you think. Comments and constructive comments are welcome. Thanks.

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Henry Ukazu is a graduate of New York Law School. He is Founder and President at Global Empowerment & Mentoring Initiative. A trained life coach, prolific writer, and passionate youth advocate, he is also a highly sought-after public speaker. He is author of the acclaimed book, “Design Your Destiny- Actualizing Your Birthright to Success.

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