Health Corner – Naturally improving our Lifestyles

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A Naturopathic Doctor (ND) uses the process of “nature disease prevention” via holistic, proactive prevention to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment; this is completely noninvasive as it avoids surgery or drugs; rather, we provide guidance with nutritional and herbal medicine as well as lifestyle advice. The philosophy is: “Treating the whole body not just symptoms”

Holy Quran Sura: 2 Ayat 172 “O you who believe! Eat of the good things that we have provided for you.  And be grateful to Allah, if it is him you worship”.

We as Muslims have just completed the Holy Month of Ramadan during which time we displayed tremendous willpower.  We can take what we used for the last 29-30 days to begin making health conscious decisions about our lifestyles.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services the following statistics were reported: Unhealthy eating and inactivity cause 310,000-580,000 deaths every year.  This is similar to the number of deaths caused by tobacco and 13 more than caused by guns.  Unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are major contributors to reduced quality of life and disabilities such as amputations and blindness can be complications of diet-related diabetes.  Almost, 61% of American adults are overweight or obese.  Obesity in children has doubled in the last two decades prompting concern about the rates of diet and inactivity related diseases that will occur as obese children age.  Diet and inactivity-related illnesses are expensive.  Better nutrition could reduce the cost of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes by $71 billion each year.

What can we do as individuals to lower our risk factors?

1. Receive preventive screenings annually.  Examples include: blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, cancer, dental and eye exams.

2. Become active.  Begin any type of physical exercise (with a physician’s approval) at least 30mins/most days. Such as: walking, bike riding, aerobics, swimming.  Choose something that’s enjoyable to you and be consistent.  Tip: If time is an issue, one may choose to walk during half of one’s lunch break.

3. Make healthy food choices. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high fiber foods, and lean proteins such as fish.  Limit foods high in saturated fat and added sugar and sodium such as prepackaged and fast foods.  Tip:  When one packs a healthy lunch, one is more encouraged to choose a healthy choice verses fast food. This is also a great money saver.

4. Pay attention to mental health.  Take steps to reduce stress and learn to manage stress in healthy ways to decrease risk of depression.  Start sleeping 7-8hrs nightly/daily depending on your work schedule.  When one loses sleep, this may lead to a risk of stroke, obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hunger, accidents, violence etc.  Taking 30 minutes of time per day for prayer, meditation and reading, taking a bath, yoga, Tai Chi, working in the garden or healthy conversations. Decreasing stress may add years to your life.

5. Avoid unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, alcohol and drug use, not wearing seat belts, overeating, viewing the television or internet for long hours, etc.

One may ask, “Where do I begin”?  The answer is start with one concern and be consistent such as eating more fruits and vegetables and less breads and sweets. That’s a beginning to making healthy lifestyle choices.  To learn more about HealthyJourneyWellness, LLC or to schedule an appointment, please email at info@healthyjourneywellness.com or visit www.healthyjourneywellness.com (office hours are by appointment only).

Wishing you all to embark on your journey to wellness!

K.Muhammad, BS, RN, ND

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