Drawing Inspiration From Others To Grow Healthier

Sun, 18 Jan 2015 Source: Essel, Kojo Cobba

It is challenging enough for most of us to wake up earlier than usual to exercise. This year the harmattan appears to be making things even more difficult. It is darker than usual and the weather seems to have a way of convincing us to stay in bed a few minutes longer.

A friend of mine told me she was waiting for the North East Trade Winds to stop blowing before she starts her exercise programme for 2015. This piece is to encourage this friend and many others like her to start now lest they begin to enjoy the extra snooze so much that their goals never see the dawn of day. It is also worth noting that some of the contributors below have several months of winter in a year yet they manage or at least plan to keep their health plans on course.

Hopefully you will identify with some of the plans my friends have in place to grow healthier this year;

Following the excesses of the festive period, I am embarking on a dry January (no alcohol; going to miss my glass of rouge). I am increasing my fruit and water intake and cutting back on my savoury and sweet snacks throughout the year.

I plan on maintaining a positive attitude throughout the year, knowing and trusting that God is walking alongside me in every situation in my life.

Hugs and cuddles for your loved ones is a great way to start and end the day.

-Malik (UK)

In 2015 I plan to tackle the following;

1. Drink lots of water daily. About 3L

2. Increase fruits, vegetables and fish in my diet

3. Cut down on caffeine and fizzy drinks

4. Enjoy 8 hours of sleep each day

5. Exercise for 3 to 6 hours each week

- Archibald Tannor (UK)

I am starting my health resolutions this weekend and I will focus on the following:

1. Eat a lot of vegetables. Cut down on red meat and increase white meat and fish.

2. Have a cup of green juice a day to supplement any lack of vegetables.

3. No prepackaged foods or preservatives.

4. No alcohol and to cut down on fatty foods and carbohydrates. When fat is visible in my plate, I will take it out and not eat it.

5. Eat whole wheat instead of regular flour

6. Exercise three (3) times a week for at least an hour per a session

a. Do a lot of walking whenever possible instead of driving

b. I will aim at at least 10,000 steps each day

c. I will carry my child up and down the stairs daily for cardiovascular exercise and family bonding.

7. Sleep for 7 – 8 hours a day.

8. Periodic check-up with doctor

9. I will encourage people to download at least one health application on their phone; a good motivation is when you are able to track your progress in real time.

- A. Komeh (California)

I look forward to making this year the healthiest in my life so far

1. I will exercise three times a week

2. I will ensure I get seven hours of sleep each night

3. I am already drinking a lot of water and I start off with 2 glasses each morning

4. No alcohol except a glass of wine the odd day at functions

5. No sugar will be added to my beverages

6. No salt to be added when cooking rice and yam

7. Cholesterol-free oils to be used at home.

8. No red meat. Fish only and in its absence chicken.

9. No eating after 7pm or strictly “light” meals

10. Increase social activities with friends and family to release tension and have a laugh.

11. Work stops at 7pm no matter what

12. Proper time management

13. Make sufficient time for God.

- Mr. Peters (Ghana)

Some have taken extreme measures while others have very lengthy steps but the bottom-line is to write down your plans and start slowly and you are likely to achieve your goals.



Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel

Moms’ Health Club


*Dr Essel is a medical doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy and fitness nutrition.

Thought for the week –“Fatigued? The list of possible causes is endless and includes; anaemia, cancer, diabetes, allergy and inadequate sleep.”

Columnist: Essel, Kojo Cobba