Health maintenance is necessary for a person to be an effective and productive citizen. It is necessary to be able to maximize one's potential while alive. It is necessary to take care of oneself well in order to help others, be active in the community and contribute to society.
I see comrades, family members, co-workers and friends who ignore common knowledge about health and nutrition and let their bodies deteriorate. I shake my head. Most people are aware that fresh fruit and vegetables are healthier than processed foods and that exercize optimizes the body's ability to fend off disease and run well for them. I know these are habits rooted in culture and culture defies logic, but there is a lot of education on this topic and people have choices.
I don't tell these people in my life what I think they should do. I just share what I am doing and hope that presenting myself as an example will have some influence.
Everyone is vulnerable to health problems. It does take time, money and effort to keep up good health practices. Slacking off is easy to do.
I know I was not getting the all-round exercise that I should have and could have gotten last year. Given that situation and the fact that I qualify as a senior citizen now, several symptoms of aging caught up to me last fall: inflamed and sore joints, hemorrhoids, increased susceptibility to minor infections and chills, weight gain, defective balance, dehydration, muscle cramps... I was most worried about my knee, which was collecting fluid, swelling and being sore frequently. I faced the possibility of having mobility issues in the near future.
After reviewing x-rays of my knees, the doctor had positive news: she said exercise was the solution to reduce the knee aggravation and generally sore joints. I made an appointment with a physical trainer immediately after leaving the doctor's office. I am now seeing a trainer twice a week and going to the gym four times a week. He first made an assessment, something the doctor did not do, I might add; verdict? --weight a bit high, bp a little high and dehydration, potassium deficiency but body fat proportionately okay. We started on the arms, then moved into steps and leg raises and are now doing steps together with weighted arm raises. I also do 15 minutes on the stationary cycling machine. After eight sessions, my joints hurt less, my muscles don't cramp so much, and I am basically stronger.
The regime includes adjustments to my diet: I drink coconut water for the potassium and electrolytes; I eat bananas for the energy and potassium; I drink less coffee and black tea but more plain water; I drink diluted fruit vinegar, which deters the hemorrhoids and little infections.
A prescribed nasal spray has been effective, and I thank the doctor for that. I have no more headaches and there is much less congestion.
Regarding my health, in sum my outlook is much brighter now. I feel more confident about my body. I have regained some energy. I am able to lead a busy and productive life as a peace and social justice activist, a teacher, a woman, a family member and a community member.