Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Mind Your Health

A Rolls Royce needs maintenance, but does one have a service programme for the body? Are you living your life by accident (waiting for incidents to happen), or by design (having a health strategy)?

When a baby is born, so very often, the cute little miracle is deprived of the caress of the mother’s bosom and given a hard plastic bottle to nurse on. When the child grows older, the milk is exchanged with a bottle of coke. With the dawn of adulthood, the beer bottle takes over, and as the wheels of misfortune continue to turn, one may have to find sustenance through a bottle of intravenous fluid, reflecting on regrets of the past.
If exercise can give an additional five years of health, would one not be interested? If exercise, lifestyle, dietary modifications and taking the right supplements can offer 10 or more years of enhanced living, would one not embrace it?

If the picture is still hazy, it is because the “why” zone is rusted and clouded by cobwebs. With a little clean up, there should be better connectivity with the live wire.

Cigarette packaging carries pictures of lung damage so grotesque that it makes the seasoned pathologist squirm. Visual image at best is carried up to the occipital lobe where it dissipates with no impact. The “why” zone is not activated because the desire to smoke overwhelms the perceived danger.

Unless something significantly dramatic occurs, like being a survivor of a nasty heart attack or severe bronchitis, there is no trigger for change. A smoker will continue to smoke, a drinker will continue to drink, a heart will continue to be attacked.

We hear of the typical sponsored radio message that goes like “Heart disease is the No.1 killer in Malaysia. Exercise, eat healthily, reduce stress, and do not smoke and drink. Act now!

That lyric has been sung for the last two decades, but heart disease is still the chart-topper. The song never touched the “why” zone. I should know as I, too, serenaded that ballad for the greater part of my career to impervious minds. Unless the “why” zone gets connected, there is no U-turn.

Despite herculean efforts to take action, change is usually inconsistent. Have we not heard of the diet plan that failed? Or someone who tried to stop smoking but quit trying to quit?

The final link to success in better health, wealth, or happiness is sustained commitment, not just for a day or a month, but daily.

If we do the right things today and everyday, we need not spend all of tomorrow rectifying yesterday’s mistakes. A health plan that works will add another decade of good years to life, but one has to work on the plan. A parting caution of D.I.Y. is that, if the wrong plan is chosen, a short circuit can electrocute the “why” zone, resulting in permanent damage.

Above article is partially extracted from the star online dated 9th Feb 2011 by Dr C.S.Foo

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