Lifestyle

Tips to Stay Healthy and Fit in Nigeria

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Stay healthy and fit in Nigeria
Written by Omolola Akinyemi

The high point of a fulfilling life begins with good health. A wealthy person constantly buffeted with health problems is at a great disadvantage – as poor health would rob him/her of happiness and agility. Indeed what can anyone achieve without good health? It is so easy to lose focus and ignore the state of your health, with the economic situation in Nigeria. Nevertheless, we will be highlighting important tips to stay fit and healthy in Nigeria as we read along.

 

Maintaining your health requires commitment and money, that is well understood. But it must be done. It does not necessarily need to put a huge dent in your pocket. If you desire an extended life span with the least stress and pain to your body, mind, heart and spirit, simply DO IT. Follow these tips to stay healthy and fit. Thus you avoid becoming a victim of diseases that can wreck your finances (and peace of mind and body). 

A Balanced Diet

There is no better place to start maintaining a healthy lifestyle, than to watch the quality of food you take. You need to consume a well-balanced diet composed of fresh, natural foods. In essence, you must eat far less junk foods, and concentrate more on natural foods that ACTUALLY nourish and repair the body. This is one indispensable way to stay healthy and fit in Nigeria (or elsewhere for that matter). 

Your body needs a healthy and ample dose of nutrients in the right amounts everyday. Plenty of vitamins and minerals, just enough proteins, unsaturated fats, and carbohydrates fresh from Nature. You can as well do a substitution of the regular junk foods normally taken by several people in Nigeria with their healthy alternatives. You should rather do that, than indulge in fatty, sugar-laden, very salty or processed foods. These unnatural foods are serious health risks to the body’s vital organs (especially the heart, brain and liver).

Turn those fresh fruits and crunchy vegetables into your daily snack. Incorporate enough leafy greens into your soups and stews every week, as much as you can get. Learn to indulge in crunch-worthy, satisfying nuts and seeds (cashew nuts, almond nuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and more; a whole lot of them). Eat plenty of plant proteins (especially legumes such as peanuts and bambara nuts; and potatoes). And insist on buying animal protein with less fat (e.g. lean meat and white meats). 

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Lastly, a hefty serving of whole grains in place of over-processed ones will help you a great deal. Rather than consume bleached-out and processed rice and wheat foods all the time, try out wholesome alternatives. Whole grains are carbohydrate-dense seeds with their bran, germ, and endosperm still intact. They contain high levels of fiber and complex carbohydrates, and can keep your cholesterol levels under control. Thus you are protected from heart and blood dysfunction. They include grains such as local brown rice (ofada), oats, Durum and Bulgur wheat varieties, millet, guinea corn, and unprocessed maize. 

Stay Hydrated – Take Enough Water Daily

If you have been feeling tired lately, you need to check your water intake before anything else. It is laughable to hear some folks say they do not like drinking water. They would rather indulge in soft drinks or supposed energy drinks – how pitiful. Water is known to flush out toxins from the body. Water is also needed for good digestion, weight control, better brain function, and regulation of body fluids as well as temperature. 

One of the best energy boosters is drinking clean water on a daily basis. Medical experts even recommend that you start your day with a glass of drinking water on an empty stomach. Additionally, you should take between 6 and 8 glasses of drinking water (a 35cl measure) everyday. It will help you to stay refreshed and alert. Learn to carry a bottle of clean drinking water with you wherever you go. And while you do that, discipline yourself to do away with carbonated drinks, energy drinks, and alcohol. Or at least reduce them to the BAREST MINIMUM. 

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Another way of supplying your body with enough water everyday is to take as much fruits and vegetables as possible. That way, you are actually ‘eating’ your water. You can blend a couple of them together, and turn them into tasty smoothies. 

You Need Enough Sleep/Rest

Make it a habit to give yourself enough time to sleep at night. Doctors recommend that each person needs an average of 6 to 9 hours of quality sleep or rest everyday. While you run around to handle different activities during the daytime, endeavor to give yourself meaningful breaks in-between to rest and recover. 

Your moment of sleep or rest is designed to allow your body to recover from stress. Sleep/rest time is also when the body has the opportunity to repair itself, clean up thoroughly, and refresh the brain.  Thus getting enough sleep improves mental and physical health. 

Daily Exercise Is Important

Daily exercise can boost your metabolism, even if it is just for 10 minutes. It could be as simple as taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood. It improves blood circulation, thus reducing heart problems to a minimum. It further helps to control your weight by burning excess fat. It is a mood booster. Again, it helps to tone and strengthen your bones and muscles. These are just a few common benefits of daily exercise, amongst others. 

In fact, nothing kills faster than inactivity, or sitting in one place for too long. No matter how old you get, your body still needs some form of exercise everyday. And it does not need to be too rigorous. Besides going to the gym or lifting weights, you might try other simple exercises. Walking, climbing up and down the stairs, dancing, skipping ropes, and other such simple exercises are equally useful. 

Get a Medical Check-Up

Getting a regular medical check-up is recommended worldwide, not just in Nigeria. We understand it is a touchy issue, because it requires setting aside a considerable amount of money every year. But it is highly recommended to do so at least once a year, in order to stay healthy and fit. Better still, you can register with a health management organization (HMO). That way, small deductions can be made from your salary or earnings by the HMO every month. You can channel your HMO savings into getting a regular medical check-up (if no other health issue arises).  

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Taking Food Late at Night – Not Recommended

It is really not a good idea to eat late dinners or snacks. If at all you crave to eat anything at such late hours, practice snacking on fruits, nuts and vegetables. Otherwise, your stomach may soon fall out of shape (regrettably). And you face the possibility of poor digestion. It is definitely not a good day to control your weight, so avoid it as much as possible. 

Pray and Believe in God

Prayer and faith works, no doubt. When God our creator becomes the very center of our lives, it gives us access to unseen but real energies. An individual has access to grace from Heaven that can renew and strengthen us with such faith in place, no matter the situation.

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About the author

Omolola Akinyemi

A Computer Science graduate of UNILAG, I hail from Ekiti state of Nigeria. An astute teacher, learner & admin assistant of many years experience. I love technology, innovation, and Nature. A problem solving mentality is important to me. The future is only seconds away, and I believe I can define the future now. You can also.