Article: Health Guide For Teens ...

Health Guide For Teens … By Keith Dorsette                                               

Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are conditions that are directly related to being overweight, having bad dietary habits and poor conditioning. They include heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic lung diseases and a handful of others. NCDs are the leading cause of annual deaths worldwide (53% – 57%), yet a survey taken in 2013 (Suriname, Caribbean) and 2015 (NYC, USA) among 1,000 persons (each market), revealed that approximately 12% and 11% of the people know what NCDs are. Even fewer have an idea of how to prevent them. NCDs are Non Discriminative. They affect us all no matter our age, race, status, denomination, etc. Education and breaking up with bad lifestyle habits can help us all remain NCD Free. NCDs are PREVENTABLE!

The earlier we adopt healthy lifestyle practices and disciplines, the less at risk we are of getting an NCD.

Just because you may be younger (not in your 20s yet), does not mean that you are healthy. Nor does it mean that you are not at risk of developing serious conditions that dramatically alter your physical state and quality of life. We (SAAF CAMP) have concluded after training more than 4,000 people over the past six years, with 25% of them being under the age of 20, that having a mindset geared towards prevention during these years has a monumental impact on your overall health management agenda for a lifetime. Prevention is a much better path to follow than Treatment. The younger you begin abandoning bad lifestyle habits and adopting and incorporating good lifestyle habits, the more likely you are to look, feel and perform younger as the years pass on.

Bad lifestyle habits may include smoking (of any kind), drinking alcohol, habitual consumption of junk foods such as chips, candy, cakes, sugary beverages, fast foods, fried foods, processed foods, not participating in regular exercise and spending countless hours engaged in activities that do not contribute value towards your goals. I know, this sounds like “no fun”. These bad lifestyle habits make steady and real deposits into your health account. Day by day they add up and generate interest that a loan shark would lust after. Those deposits can actually be considered as debt on a loan. Debt that you are obliged to settle before your body (the loan shark) comes to collect. Your body is unforgiving. Your body will collect on that debt in the form of stacking on weight (obesity), lack of organ performance (kidney, liver, pancreas, heart failure …) or scream out with diabetes or cancer. Think of a prisoner that has been captured in a spy movie… during the interrogation process, you see a variety of weapons that are displayed and ready to be used to collect information. Those weapons are the multitude of conditions that can and will be used against you at one time or another for your failure to abandon bad lifestyle habits.

Now on the other hand, good lifestyle habits (inclusive of not engaging in the above bad lifestyle habits) plus regular checkups with your doctor (at least once per year), will dramatically reduce the chances of you going into debt with your body. In fact, by being a practitioner of good lifestyle habits, you can go into a surplus with your body. This surplus will contribute to your body looking, feeling and performing as it is designed to …malfunction free. Your metabolism will be healthy and your digestive system will do it’s job to perfection. Your cardiovascular and respiratory systems will flourish. Your skin will thrive with producing healthy cells. Your body will experience a state of “hakuna matata” (Lion King). Ever see anyone that is in their 40s or older, yet they look like they are in their 20s or 30s? That is more than likely the result of good lifestyle habits. Looking a bit further ahead … when you reach your 70s, 80s and 90s, good lifestyle habits will strengthen your position to be mobile (walk, use the bathroom, shower, etc.) without assistance. Isn’t that worth the effort?

Do not put your body (health) in debt by practicing bad lifestyle habits! You use your body every day! You must pay your body! Pay your body by making good lifestyle choices. Your body is the most amazing vehicle ever created. It is the only vehicle that you have to carry you and sustain you throughout your entire life. The earlier you commit to making your health a priority the more benefits await you. Making your health a top priority will improve the quality of your life!

–Keith Dorsette is the developer and senior trainer for the SAAF CAMP NCD Prevention and Health and Wellness Program. He is also the Health And Wellness correspondent for the SAAF CAMP TV Show. Visit Us At: saafcamp.org