How To Achieve Complete Health: Causes of Illnesses and Their Preventions

How To Achieve Complete Health: Causes of Illnesses and Their Preventions

There are many ways in which we can prevent death and diseases reaching us by undertaking simple procedures via our own actions. Lives may be cut short as a result of one or combination of:

  1. Infection such as E-coli, typhoid, malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDs 
  1.  Genetic diseases: sickle cell disease 
  1. Metabolic diseases such as diabetics or even nutritional disorders such as obesity 
  1. Environmental poisoning and allergy: such as salmonella food poisoning and asthma. 
  1. Degenerative diseases such as dementia 
  1. Cancers such as breast and lung cancer
  2. Mental health disorders such as depression and schizophrenia 
  1.  Accidents, murders and suicides 
  1. Absence of credible spiritual guidance in the manner of holistic care

Let us now discuss each of the above topics so as to help us live a healthy lifestyle.

  Infections: Avoid all forms of infections. No infection is a good infection.

a)     Viral infections:  Beware of herpes infection that you can contract via kissing (Herpes Type 1) and through sex (Herpes Type 2). Note that Type 1 can become Type 2 and vice versa. Human Papiloma virus (HPV) can also be transmitted by getting in contact with infected genitals (penis, vagina, cervix and their surrounding areas), anus, mouth and throat. HPV can cause cancers (See Chapter on Cancers). On its own, HP virus can lead to cervical, throat, mouth and anal cancers.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)  and hepatitis B and C viruses you will remember, are a viruses commonly contacted via sex, blood transfusion, sharing of blood containing germs:  such as in needles, blades, razors and of course through saliva (for HIV)  or body fluids in general .

Image: copyright: BBC. Human immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

 Other viral infections that you may need to be aware of include flu infections that occur sporadically such as “swine” flu and the other common cold flu. Again, this can be transmitted via kissing and inhaling infected air. Thus, you may need to protect your family against any breakout of these viruses.  Other methods of contacting viral infection are by use of tools or household things that have not been disinfected but had been used by infected person. Razor blades, shaving blades are examples. For some viral diseases such as wart affecting the feet, hands and legs, they can be transmitted by sharing infected common media such as shower floors, mats and swimming pool.

There are other viruses that may be a danger to new born or pregnant women and the baby: They are rubella and chicken pox viral infections. They are usually contacted if you get in contact with infected person. In early childhood, measles, polio virus are a serious threat to lives.

Prevention:  The key to it all is not to come in contact with any infection.  With the methods of transmission that have been mentioned above, you can identify how to avoid them and to protect yourself from these infections. The other method of prevention is to receive vaccination against these viruses (Please read the chapter on vaccinations). Some vaccinations are available for such as rubella, hepatitis B, polio (for children and adults) infections.  HPV vaccinations are available for teenagers: boys and girls. Get vaccinated.

b)  Bacteria

Bacteria infections are very common. You can live without them if you are careful. In some occasions, being infected by them has nothing to do with you but your handlers and carers including parents. Nevertheless, unlike viral infection, bacterial infection requires in most cases, a direct contact with them. In some occasions, as in tuberculosis, you can contact them via the infected air.  MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) , E-coli, requires to a large extent, a direct contact with infected source.  Tetanus, on the other hand, requires you to get in touch with infected and dirty earth or have the bacteria enclosed in your wounds.

Getting sexually transmitted bacteria such as gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, and syphilis means you have to contact infected person to get it (through sex), although you are as good as getting it if you have infected blood or you are injected with it.

Other methods of getting bacteria infection are via water and food that we eat. Examples are typhoid (Salmonella Typhi) and Cholera. They can be found in infected stools, food and water.  In most cases, this is how E-coli, typhoid and cholera get into a person.

Prevention: Always cook your food well. Wash your hands with water and soap after visiting toilets or handling earth. Wash fruits thoroughly before eating. Disinfect with simple food disinfectants.  Bathroom/toilets should be spring clean and human, animal and plant wastes should be well disposed of. Live in a tidy environment. Ensure well ventilated living and home areas. Some infections can be vaccinated against. Example of this is TB (tuberculosis) and tetanus.  But there is no substitute for good personal and environmental hygiene. Avoid overcrowding. Needless to say that, one way to prolong life is to have all forms of infection and wounds contained and treated very promptly.  Have a trusted sexual partner and stick to the person.

c)       Parasites:  Malaria. Be wary of parasites causing such illness as malaria.  Female mosquitoes transmit malaria when they bite the person to suck blood. In return they leave plasmodium parasite in our blood.  To some extent, people living in places like Africa and Asia that have malaria problems are little protected (semi-immune) from the disease. That is illness in semi-immune persons may not be as deadly in the people as those from outside malarious zone such as in Europe and America.  Except you are semi- immune or live in the area where malaria or mosquito is a daily contact, you will need a long and vigilant preventative measure to combat bites and prolong your life. Children and pregnant women are at higher risk of serious malaria and they need good protection too.  For everyone who may come in contact with mosquitoes, you may require medications on daily or weekly basis to protect you against malaria. Window netting, use of suitable insecticides within the house and appropriate insecticide without the house, clean and clear drains are necessities as is general tidy environment with good ventilations are means of preventing this deadly disease. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you should be aware of peak exposure times and places. Carriers of malaria are most active in twilight periods (dawn and dusk) or in the evening after dark. Avoiding the outdoors or focusing preventive actions during peak hours may reduce risk. Wear appropriate clothing. You can minimize areas of exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long trousers.  Repellents or insecticides, such as permethrin, can be applied to clothing and gear for added protection.  Use Bed nets. When accommodations are not adequately screened or air conditioned, bed nets are essential to provide protection and to reduce discomfort caused by biting insects. If bed nets do not reach the floor, they should be tucked under mattresses. Bed nets are most effective when they are treated with a pyrethroid. Pre-treated, long-lasting bed nets can be purchased or nets can be treated after purchase. Nets treated with a pyrethroid insecticide will be effective for several months if they are not washed. Long-lasting pre-treated nets may be effective for much longer.

Insecticides and spatial repellents. An increasing array of products to be used as spatial repellents (containing active ingredients such as metofluthrin and allethrin) is becoming commercially available. These augment the aerosol insecticides (You can use “Raid” “Mobil” or other branded products), vaporizing mats, and mosquito coils that have been available for some time. Such products can help to clear rooms or areas of mosquitoes (spray aerosols) or repel mosquitoes from a circumscribed area (coils, spatial repellents). Insecticides and repellent products should always be used with caution, avoiding direct inhalation of spray or smoke.

Other Parasites: There are other parasites like guinea worms, intestinal worms, skin worms and urinary bladder worms such as Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia that can be prevented by clean drinkable water, clean food and hygienic environment and by taking precautions when operating in infected areas and water. Often these parasites including malaria are not contagious.

Please note that parasites and other infections may be transmitted to another person through blood transfusion.


Fungus such as thrush in the mouth or vagina and indeed athlete’s foot are opportunistic infections that take advantage of moist and humid environment. Like warts, it can be contacted where there are mass of people using same facilities such as swimming or bathroom areas.

Prevention: What has been advised above should be noted. In addition, de-worm yourself and your children as may be required from time to time. For fungus, it just must be cleared with anti-fungal medication.

For all forms of infection, please get medical attention as soon as you feel unwell or you believe you have contacted any of the germs and parasites.

Genetic diseases

There are many genetic diseases, some of which are yet to be discovered. However, at the current level of knowledge, you may not be able to remove your genetic disease if it’s already established in you but you are in position to prevent your disease from occurring in your children and forth-coming generations. Even at that, gene-therapy is making wave these days and giving hope to otherwise incurable diseases.

Examples of genetic diseases that you can prevent are: Down’s syndrome and in some families, cancer of the ovary, cancer of the breast, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, some forms of diabetic mellitus (inherited)  some dementia to mention the common ones and a few. Just for completion, some diseases, such as Turners, intersex and other gender variations may have genetic origin.

Prevention:  Get tested. The test may require little blood sample from you or just a sample of your saliva or scrape of your inner cheek.  Work through your family genetic history before you marry or before you starting to have children.  Know yourself too. What genetic diseases are you carrying without you knowing? Ask your doctor to carry out some genetic testing to discover your real you. You can plan your life and live healthy around some of these diseases.

Metabolic Diseases

There are many diseases that relates to the organs or the way our body works in general. Commonly, metabolic disease may be due to our lifestyle. The commonest example is diabetic mellitus (More later) which sadly like genetic disease can be inherited. Other examples of metabolic disease include liver cirrhosis which may be due to alcohol misuse or viral infection(Hepatitis A,B,C,D,E). Obesity is another form of metabolic illness.  In a lot of ways, metabolic diseases may be made worse or minimised by the lifestyle you live such as substance misuse, alcohol misuse, overeating and lack of exercise.

Prevention: First know your family history. Get tested.  Are you carrying any disease without you being aware?  Lead a modest life-style: Exercise, your mind and body. Eat healthily.

Environmental Changes and Poisoning:

In the world today, we hear of global warming. There are illness and deaths from changes to our environment. Such changes do influence the health of human beings in an adverse way (such as pollution causing skin illnesses, respiratory illness such as asthma, food poisoning from industrial chemicals, and food poisoning from insecticides being used by farmers). Floods, earthquakes and mudslides may spread diseases such as cholera and typhoid when the sewage systems are affected.

Take the impact of the Sun on the skin for example. Excessive Sunrays may cause human illness such as dehydration in the short term and melanoma in the long term. To reduce the risk, take good care and protection against Sun radiation via sun shades, sun creams and do minimal exposure to sunlight. Watch carefully if there are any changes taking place in your birthmarks (such as colour changes, or if getting bigger).

On the other hands, chemicals from industrial pollution, chemicals to aid manufacturing and farming as well as products from vehicles, aircrafts, ships and home/domestic  wastes are all discharged unto our environment. Some, if not all, pollute our foods and water. In turn, we eat and drink those food or drink the polluted water with some dire consequences. People could get poisoned if water and food are not properly treated. Skin rashes, breathing problems such as asthma, bronchitis, cancers of bladder and of lungs are some of the results of chemical pollution to our bodies.

Environmental pollution can also be from germs such as from viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites that are used industrially (See more under Infections).

Prevention:  Very often the prevention starts from exerting pressure on governments and intergovernmental organizations to enact laws and execute proper guidance for farmers, factory owners and related industries. At individual level, the precaution under infection, as above suffices. Also, there is no substitute for good air, properly prepared food and water and avoiding overcrowding as well as paying prompt attention to our health if affected.

Degenerative Diseases

There are a lot that we could do to ward off some degenerative diseases. The key to it all is continuous and reasonable use of our body and brain even into old age.  Example of degenerative diseases is dementia and arthritis.

Prevention:  Suffice to say that, osteoarthritis may be helped by good nutrition and avoidance of certain foods or addition of certain foods that our doctors may advice. Good exercise, adequate rest, avoidance of obesity is highly recommended as preventive measures. In sum, good use of our brain and body in exercise will help prevent degenerative illnesses.


Cancers kill millions of people every year in every countries of the world and in all races. Some are due to genetic disorders such as the case in breast and ovarian cancers. Others are due to environmental influences such as mesothelioma (due to exposure to asbestos) and melanoma (in some cases, excessive influence of the Sun on the skin). Yet, some are due to infections such as cervical cancers, throat, and mouth cancers being caused by human papiloma virus (See Chapter on Cancers).

Many cancers are in fact due to our own habits such as what we eat (red meat are known to cause cancer of the colon) or what we do not eat (vegetable meals can prevent cancer of the colon). Cancers could also be as a result of social habits such as sexual (cancer of cervix, anus, throat, lips etc) and substance misuse habits. Such illness as cancer of the liver may be seen in alcoholic abusers or cancer of pancreas may develop from misuse of alcohol.

Prevention:   Pay attention to your social habits including avoiding infections and avoiding cigarette smoking that clearly is linked to causing cancer of the lungs. Physical exercise helps to prevent cancers of the breast, bowel and many more. Taking simple precautions such as protection against excessive sunlight may help as well as good nutritional habits and good sleep. Track your genetic make-up and know your history so as to help you determine where you are heading.

Mental Health Disorders

In general, mental health incapacitates the sufferers and their families. Many infirmities and deaths are due to mental health illness such as depression and serious disorders such as of schizophrenia or mania. Death may be by suicide or homicide (murder). In some cases, the consequences of mental health may be self-harm or assault on other innocent persons. Mental health illness may be as a result of genetic impairment such as in some cases of mania, depression or schizophrenia.  Diseases of the mind may also be due to our own social habits such as substance misuse (cocaine, cannabis, LSD, Speed, heroine, magic mushrooms etc). Yet, a person may break down because of life frustrations such as death in the family or friends demise. Mental illness may also develop due to personal illnesses (say cancers and long-standing diseases),  loss of job, relationship issues, frustration of life ambitions, lack of achievements, financial difficulties or general frustrations about not understanding the dynamics of life.



Once again, there are social, genetic, family histories and life stressors that can best be avoided in order to escape mental health disorders. You only need to take note of what I have been mentioned above. Also, once again simple measures such as physical exercise, good sleep, good rest, knowing ones limit, and avoiding misuse of substances can go a long way to prevent mental health break downs. Deal with physical illness promptly.  Do not delay in seeking medical help even for the faintest symptom or sign lest it develops into bigger problem. 

Accidents, Negligence, Suicides, Self-Harms, Assaults and Murders

Poor health and death may occur due to the action of other persons around us or be due to the effect of decisions of economic and political leaderships at home or in public places. Personal vigilance is crucial in these cases. Death and assault on others or any harm on us or another person may be by our own fault or due to ongoing mental health issues or anger in us.  Imagine if we are careless in driving our car or looking after our health or that of our children. Imagine if other drivers on the roads are less careful or they simply disobey the law. Simple offensive words may cause mental health problem or even assaults on us or against others.


Take due care always: at home and when you are away from home. Simply, be very careful. Be watchful against careless individuals. There is no alternative to good personal vigilance, obeying the laws, be kind to our own  and to  others around us as well , treating existing diseases in us:  This may be mental or physical illness We owe it to our self to ventilate or resolve our life frustrations in a reasonable way. These simple measures can go a long way in helping our health.

Absence of Spiritual Health

Has it not been said that “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God?”   Clinicians call this combination of spiritual needs with scientific healing methods: holistic medicine (meaning treating the whole person). You need credible religion to remain sane and healthy in an insane world. There are clear and well proven advantages of these combinations. You need to have meanings to this complex world; Absence of which can lead to confusion and self-denials.

May 25, 2014 / clients

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How To Achieve Complete Health: Causes of Illnesses and Their Preventions

Benefits of Exercise. Your Solutions for Manifold of Diseases: Part 1 I have been labelled as Exercise Evangelist by the many people who receive my regular electronic messages on the subject of exercise. A lot of such recipients have taken to my messages and the exercise evangelism concept. Nothing can gladden a medical doctor than when he sees his patients and followers get a better health and they also follow medical advice. From all indications, it appears human beings are not made to be stationary. We are supposed to constantly be in purposeful motion. It’s on the basis of such joy as I mentioned above that I now write the current public health promotion and education series. The message in the next couple of weeks will focus on Exercise which is also called Physical Leisure Activity. As it’s the custom in writing this series, let us start by booking at the scope and definition of exercise. What is exercise? In keeping with medical dictionary, “Exercise is physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive for the purpose of conditioning any part of the body.” We may also consider physical exercise as being any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. Whereas, brain exercises are those activities which give the brain new experiences by use of physical senses of hearing, smelling, touching, tasting, visual and emotional activities. I once told someone living in Lagos to exercise as part of clinical consultation, he responded by telling me that running after “danfo” or “BRT” and walking home when there is no bus to join is enough exercise for him. Pointing at his relative slim figure, he reminded me of the “benefits” of such “exercise” as struggling on daily basis to catch a “danfo” bus as a commuter had made him slim down. Yet, this individual’s blood pressure and sugar remained very high in spite of his perceived “exercise”. As we can see from the above definition, to have any reasonable and beneficial effect, exercise should be “planned and structured”. Exercise is not a sudden, chaotic and irregular activity embarked upon on an impulse due to imposing transport challenges. Another common error is in matter of sexual intercourse. While there is a definitive scientifically published article indicating that sexual activity results in a loss of energy up to 200Kilocalories (about 10% of daily energy requirement for a standard male) in a single sexual encounter lasting 30minutes and intercourse is considered as a form of exercise, it is clearly irrational to use sexual intercourse as a “planned, structured and repetitive” form of exercise. Sex by its very nature is vulnerable to emotion, subject to mood changes and because sex involves two individuals, intercourse may be unplanned as well as being seriously influenced by the feelings or motives of the other person. Exercise may not be so influenced by the variables which I have mentioned. Any reasonable exercise by adults is a definite and determined course of action. What exercise is not: one of my very good clinical and a personal friend once sent me a message asking for my view if arguing with one’s spouse can be considered as a form of exercise. Well, mere loss of or expenditure of energy as in the case of arguing with anyone not the least, one’s spouse, should not be considered as a form of exercise. Such argument does not fit the definition of an activity that is “planned and structured.” While I concede that conjugal argument may result in sweating, expenditure of energy, squabbling may be purposeless. What is the point in engaging in useless expenditure of energy? Argument may lead to mental stress, headache, impaired judgement, poor sleep and body aches---The very opposite features that real exercise is meant to achieve as we shall see later. As I have explained earlier, sex cannot be said to be structured, reasonable, planned activity that is meant to improve on certain muscles and organs of the body outside the muscles and organs that are involved in reproduction. To our able mothers and housewives, going about several times around the kitchen, living room and bed room in pursuit of domestic chores cannot be considered as a form of structured and planned physical exercise. Often, by the end of the day, a mother chasing after youngsters and housewives trying her best to ensure orderliness at home cannot be said to be exercising. Very often, the consequences of the activities that I have described in this paragraph, frequently leads to stress, hypertension and obesity: the very illnesses that physical exercises is meant to prevent as we shall see later on. Exercises such as laborious working of physical labourers, the restlessness of civil and mechanical construction workers, tedious efforts of subsistence farmers, the hassling of market women and men, the daily wearisome activities of bus conductors and drivers, spending endless times in the same office chair pouring over intractable problems by political and business executives as well as continuous mindless trekking on city streets cannot be said to be beneficial or structured exercises. At best, they are a waste of time and energy, resulting as it often does, in actual illnesses that structured, purposeful exercise is meant to prevent. Therefore, the subsequent articles will elaborate on exercise, the scope, the advantages and scientific recommendations on how best to get the highest benefits from exercise. Benefits of Exercise. Your Solutions for Manifold of Diseases: Part 2 In today’s article, we shall deal with various forms of recommended exercises. There are various forms of exercises that individuals and groups or families can engage in. I will set out below, these types of exercises. Physical exercises are in general classed into three types, based on the particular effect that the said exercise do have on the body. In contract to the random and chaotic nature of some individuals who are claiming to be exercising, these classes of exercises will help guide us as to know what activity we are engaged in at a particular time. Let us deal with aerobic exercise: This is a form of physical activity that uses big or large muscle groups. In effect, such activities cause the body to expend more oxygen fuel (hence the name aerobic) than it would while at rest. The aim of aerobic exercise is to increase the heart and blood vessels’ staying power or stamina. Examples of aerobic exercise include cycling, swimming, and brisk walking, jogging, skipping rope which women and children often ask me if rope skipping is a form of acceptable exercise, rowing and playing table or lawn tennis. The list goes on. Anaerobic exercise on the other hand is another form of exercise. Anaerobic means going without oxygen. This class of exercise includes strength training for example: weight lifting. Other form of anaerobic exercise includes leg and hands resistance training. Anaerobic exercise does strengthen, and tone muscles. Similarly, anaerobic exercise serves to improve bone strength, balance, and coordination. Examples of strength exercise, according to online Encyclopaedia (Wiki) are push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, and bicep curls using dumbbells. As I mentioned earlier, anaerobic exercise also include weight training, functional training, sprinting, and high-intensity interval training increase short-term muscle strength. On the other hand, the third class of exercise is called flexibility exercises. Flexibility exercises involve stretching of joints and lengthening of muscles. Examples will be abdominal exercises, squatting, backward bending, bending and extending the joints and various muscles that are attached. Activities such as stretching help to improve joint flexibility and keep muscles agile. The objective is to improve the range of motion and degree of movements of the joints including their attached muscles which can as a result reduce the chance of damage. As can be seen therefore, the claim that frequently loitering in the kitchen, mindless walking along the street with heavy emotional load or jumping into commuter buses cannot be, in the true senses, considered as a form exercise. Meanwhile, physical exercise can also include an activity that focuses on accurateness, dexterity, power, and speed. Thus, sometimes the terms 'dynamic' and 'static' are used instead of above categorizations. 'Dynamic' exercises include such activities as steady running (jogging) which tend to produce a lowering of the diastolic blood pressure during exercise, due to the improved blood flow. On the contrary, static exercise (such as weight-lifting) can cause the systolic pressure to rise significantly again during the exercise. The moral of this explanation is that one should get involved in a mixture of different classes exercises (aerobic or dynamic as well as say stretching exercises) to enhance the overall benefits. Now, having dealt with the types or classes of exercises as discussed above, you will be right to ask me: what is the amount of exercise that is scientifically recommended to ward off illnesses? In other words, how much physical activity should I do? For this let us turn to some official guidelines. I will refer to the National Health Service (NHS Choices) in the UK for guidance which is copied but slightly edited below: For 19-64 years: To stay healthy or to improve health, adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and strength exercises which I also mentioned above. I will deal with other ages later. How much physical activity you need to do each week depends on your age. To stay healthy, adults aged 19-64 should try to be active daily and should do: at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms). 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running or a game of singles tennis every week and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms); A mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week. For example, two 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of fast walking equates to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms). A good rule is that one minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as two minutes of moderate activity. Benefits of Exercise. Your Solutions for Manifold of Diseases: Part 3 One way to do your recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity is to do 30 minutes on 5 days a week. All adults should also break up long periods of sitting with light activity. What counts as moderate aerobic activity? Examples of activities that require moderate effort for most people include: walking , water aerobics, riding a bike on level ground or with few hills, doubles tennis, pushing a lawn mower, hiking, skateboarding, rollerblading, volleyball, basketball. Please take note that if you cannot exercise every day, a new research in January 2017 has given support to “Weekend Warriors” who chose to exercise on weekends only. Moderate activity will raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to tell if you're working at a moderate level is if you can still talk, but you can't sing the words to a song. What counts as vigorous activity? There is good evidence that vigorous activity can bring health benefits over and above that of moderate activity. Examples of activities that require vigorous effort for most people include: jogging or running, swimming fast, riding a bike fast or on hills, singles tennis, football, rugby, skipping rope, hockey, aerobics (see above), gymnastics, martial arts Vigorous activity makes you breathe hard and fast. If you're working at this level, you won't be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath. In general, 75 minutes of vigorous activity can give similar health benefits to 150 minutes of moderate activity. What activities strengthen muscles? Muscle strength is necessary for: all daily movement to build and maintain strong bones, to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, to help maintain a healthy weight. Muscle-strengthening exercises are counted in repetitions and sets. A repetition is one complete movement of an activity, like a bicep curl or a sit-up. A set is a group of repetitions. For each strength exercise, try to do: at least one set, eight to 12 repetitions in each set. To get health benefits from strength exercises, you should do them to the point where you struggle to complete another repetition. There are many ways you can strengthen your muscles, whether it's at home or in the gym. Examples of muscle-strengthening activities for most people include: lifting weights, working with resistance bands, doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups, heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling. You can do activities that strengthen your muscles on the same day or on different days as your aerobic activity – whatever's best for you. Muscle-strengthening exercises are not an aerobic activity, so you'll need to do them in addition to your 150 minutes of aerobic activity. Some vigorous activities count as both an aerobic activity and a muscle-strengthening activity. Examples include: circuit training, aerobics: running, football, rugby, netball and hockey. Exercise for Babies: Before your baby begins to crawl, encourage them to be physically active by reaching and grasping, pulling and pushing, moving their head, body and limbs during daily routines, and during supervised floor play, including tummy time. Once babies can move around, encourage them to be as active as possible in a safe, supervised and nurturing play environment. Children who can walk on their own should be physically active every day for at least 180 minutes.(three hours). This should be spread throughout the day, indoors or outside. The 180 minutes can include light activity such as standing up, moving around, rolling and playing, as well as more energetic activity like skipping, hopping, running and jumping. Ages 5-18years: To maintain a basic level of health, children and young people aged 5 to 18 needs to do: at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day – this should range from moderate activity, such as cycling and playground activities, to vigorous activity, such as running and tennis on three days a week, these activities should involve exercises for strong muscles, such as push-ups, and exercises for strong bones, such as jumping and running. Older adults aged 65 or older, who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility, should try to be active daily and should do: at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or walking every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms). Benefits/Advantages of Exercise: Physical leisure activities have phenomenon amount of benefits. Exercise has incredible social and medical advantages. Human beings after all, seem to have been made to frequently be in motion. That is to say, sedentary lifestyle poses a danger to a person’s existence. For example, sitting too long or lying down for too long a period may lead to obesity, diabetes, deep vein thrombosis and anxiety. Engaging in physical exercise does help in maintaining overall physical well-being, contributing to ensuring healthy weight amongst others. Physical exercise induces happiness, improve the mood, helps overcome pain and prevent mental health breakdown. Let us now go in more details on the benefits of physical exercise. Benefits of Exercise. Your Solutions for Manifold of Diseases: Part 4 Human fertility. Its well established that regular exercise can help you shed weight. Obesity is bad for your fertility either as a male or female. For the female, obesity can distort the female reproductive organs and thus delay or even prevent conception from occurring. Further, excessive weight may require or produce excess hormones that regulate female function and appearance. The result is that excess circulating hormone such as estrogen may lead to uterine fibroid, cancer of the breast as well as infertility. A lean body or “figure 8” is a great helper of female fertility. For the man, generally what is said above for the female is applicable for the male save that excess testosterone (male hormone) may not be healthy for the prostate gland. High testosterone may also lead to high blood pressure. A recent research advised men to maintain a lean body mass so as to improve their own fertility. Regardless of the gender, obesity can impair fertility by creating diseases that affect fertility. Such illnesses include diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol and hypertension. These set of infirmities for the man can lead to erectile dysfunction. For the woman, polycystic ovarian disease may result. In both genders, obesity may physically impair enjoyment of sexual intercourse. Benefits of exercise on Cardiovascular System: Low levels of physical exercise increase the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases (diseases of the heart and blood vessels). For children, children who take part in in physical exercise produce greater loss of body fat and improved cardiovascular fitness. Experience has shown that academic stress in the young poses increased risk of cardiovascular disease in subsequent years; nonetheless, these dangers can be significantly lowered with structured physical exercise. Exercise can be used to lower high blood pressure or prevent one from developing. On Metabolism: There is scientific evidence to support the fact that exercise lowers blood pressure, LDL and total cholesterol as well as body weight. Exercise increases HDL cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, and exercise tolerance of the individual thus lowering the risk of diabetes mellitus. On Immune System: reasonable exercise has an advantageous consequence on the human immune system. For example: modest exercise has been linked with a 29% lowering of occurrence of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). On Cancer: There is abundant evidence that structured physical exercise can prevent up to 13 different cancers in human beings: In particular, cancer of the breast, cancer of the lung, cancer of the stomach, cancer of the colon, cancer of the womb, cancer of the oesophagus, cancer of the blood such as myloid leukaemia and myeloma. Other cancers that exercise can keep at bay are cancer of the bladder, cancer of the head and neck as well as cancer of liver and rectum. Rehabilitation: Even in patients that had unfortunately suffered from cancer, exercise has been shown to improve the outcome of cancer treatment. Remember though that exercise is a non-medication and has no toxic side effects. Regardless of the age and gender, the same thing can be said for anyone who is recovering from surgery, accidents, fractures and long term bed immobility. Exercise helps in rehabilitation and recovery from countless number of diseases. On the bones and muscles: In women and men, exercise can help to strengthen the bone and muscles. In no age is this more important and well demonstrated as in middle ages in women who had undergone or undergoing menopause. Later in life, men tend to have their own “menopause.” Exercise helps to prevent osteroporosis and muscle wasting. This is especially so in older women. Regular and determined exercise is the preferred choice, ironically, to prevent and treat osteoarthritis of any bone or joints. Mental Illness: Its well documented and indeed proven that exercise has positive impact on our mental health. Let us examine this fact a little further. A mammoth body of research in human beings has shown that consistent aerobic exercise (for example, 30 minutes of every day) encourage continual enhancement in certain brain and intellectual functions. Individuals who regularly carry out aerobic exercise (such as, running, jogging, brisk walking, swimming or cycling) have superior score on brain functions and performance tests such as attention control, inhibitory control, working memory updating and capacity, and information processing speed. Clinical proof also maintains the use of exercise as an additional therapy for certain brain illnesses in particular Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson's disease. Structured exercise is also associated with a lower risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders. Exercise and in particular, aerobic exercise is also a powerful antidepressant as well as producing euphoria leading to improvements in mood and self-esteem. On depression: Physical exercise is well established form of as an antidepressant in persons with depression. In fact, clinical evidence supports the use of exercise as both a preventive measure against and also supportive therapy with antidepressant medication for depressive illnesses. Persons suffering from anxiety can also benefit from moderate exercise. Exercise can thus banish sadness and improve happiness in individuals. Benefits of Exercise. Your Solutions for Manifold of Diseases: Part 5 Pain relief: Apart from the use of exercise in rehabilitation of persons with surgical, mental health and other physical illnesses, exercise can help banish or reduce psychological pain whatever its origin: such as grief, divorce and life failures. This is because exercise produces endorphins in the brain. Endorphin is a powerful pain killer like morphine. Sleep: exercise generally speaking, improves sleep for a lot of people. It also alleviates sleep disorders such as insomnic illness. However, the best time to exercise may be 4 to 8 hours before bedtime. Vigorous exercise which is done close to bed time may impair sleep as it may cause alertness. Other Circumstances: Fibroid is a common disorder in women more especially so in African women wherever they may be on earth. As mentioned earlier, inactivity and obesity may cause the body to require or produce excessive estrogen hormone. Thus, a lean body mass will require less. Exercise is therefore a non-medical way to prevent development of fibroid. Further, women who are pregnant and anticipating delivery are encouraged to exercise from mid-pregnancy. This is so, to prepare the birth canal and the entire body of the woman for labour. A well toned muscles of the pelvis and thoroughly prepared body will be less tiring and will be able to cope with the rigours of labour. Warnings/Cautions: As in any form of medical treatment, there may be unwanted side effects. Exercise is not different even though it’s free (or supposed to be) and is not a medication. I cannot over emphasize the fact that exercise may not necessarily be suitable for everyone. Anyone with heart disease, physical disability, hypertension or a person who has not done exercise for a long time should exercise caution especially at the initial stages. I will caution that anyone with the illnesses of hypertension, heart problems, diabetes along with obesity or any illness for that matter should first consult with his or her doctor for a check-up. An ECG may also be ordered to cross-check the heart activities ahead of proposed scheduled exercises. Also, as in everything in life, too much exercise can be harmful. Moderation and reasonability are called for. Excessive, unrelenting, prolonged exercise may cause heart diseases because of work overloading of the heart. Excessive exercise in individuals with distorted overweight perception of themselves may lead to excess weight loss which may cause such person to look emaciated. Unguarded exertion of muscle and joints may cause physical injuries and also diseases such as rhadomyolysis (muscle damage). In addition, overtraining may suppress your immunity leading to such illnesses as frequently having respiratory infections. Wrong exercise can do more harm than good, with the definition of wrong varying according to the individual concerned. For many activities, especially running and cycling, there are significant injuries that may occur with poorly regimented exercise schedules. Injuries from accidents also remain a major concern, whereas the effects of increased exposure to air pollution seem only negligible: Not everyone exercises outside or on the streets. Some do so in their private spaces and some do exercise in commercial centres (gym, as it’s popularly called). In the female adult, excessive training may cause amenorrhoea (absence of the menstrual periods). If this continues and or untreated, amenorrhoea may lead to infertility. However, amenorrhoea of this nature is reversible once a correction is made to the underlying cause. However, while exercise should be a lifestyle for the duration of one’s life, exercise should if so desired, be stopped gradually. Sudden stoppage of exercise can lead to downward shift in the mood of the individual. Suitable nutrition and hydration (water intake) are important to health as exercise. When exercising, it becomes even more important to have a good diet and rehydration to ensure that the body has the correct ratio of macronutrients that it needs while providing ample micronutrients as well, in order to aid the body with the recovery process following strenuous exercise. We should remember that we should not overload or reload the excess food or fat that has been lost through exercise. You should also have adequate rest in intervals. This will allow the body to recover from previous exertion. Finally, while exercise is to be encouraged for individuals (children and adults) as well as the communities, caution should be exercised and note should be taken that one person is not the same as the other. If Mrs Z can tolerate 30minutes, it does not imply that Mr B can do the same. Every person should find their own level according to one’s ability especially within the recommended regime. As I have indicated before, do seek the opinion of your medical doctor and clinical adviser if you are considering engaging in exercise for the first time. All the same, you can banish illnesses by the choice of your lifestyle. Good luck.


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