Contributor: Dr. Peh Yan Soo
DPT(USA), MSc(UK) & BSc Honours(UK)
MTS Program Director
Welcome to MTS second post on our Health & Wellness blog series.
MTS aims to reach out to the local community by being the champions of health and wellness education and to promote a healthier and happier lifestyle.
We will be covering a variety of health, medical and wellness topics that are relevant to your needs as well as the current trends and health-related issues so stay tuned each month.
A big Happy New Year 2018 to everyone! I believe that like myself, most people will be setting New Year resolutions for themselves to kick start a fresh new year. We often think that we have countless days left but looking at the average life expectancy of humans, an average of 75-80 years, we really only have the period from 20-60 years old to be as productive as possible and to fulfill our life goals.
The ‘Ideal’ Situation
Taking the above as the ‘ideal’ situation, we often forget that life is unpredictable with ups and downs.
Read the recent viral post of a real life story from a 27 year-old losing her battle to Ewing’s Sarcoma, a type of cancer common in young people.
What if we do not have tomorrow? Would you want to live your life differently starting from today?
On a reflective note, MTS would start the first blog of 2018 by providing some medical and health information on 4 habits of promoting wellness in your everyday life and help you kick start your journey. Learn to listen to your body, physically looking after yourself and happiness will come along when you are able to do the things you like to do with good health and a positive mindset.
1. Diet – You Are What You Eat.
There is increasing scientific evidence that supports the view that certain diets like caloric restriction, fasting, and a ketogenic diet ‘switch on’ certain positive gene pathways which support cell and tissue repair, fuel up the brain, increase the production of antioxidants and even reverse some conditions like diabetes and Alzehmier’s.
Listen to the interview by internationally renowned “The Empowering Neurologist”, Dr. David Perlmutter and Dr. Valter Longo, a global leader and researcher in aging and nutrition on the longevity diet.
2. Exercise – Not All Exercises Are Created Equal.
One common misconception that most people have is that if they are walking and being physically active by participating in a sport, it means that they are exercising sufficiently to obtain health benefits. Depending on the exercise goal(s) one is trying to achieve, the exercise prescription base on the ‘FITT’ (Frequency, Intensity, Type & Time) principle will differ across individuals and also the stage of one’s life. If you want to read more, the American Health Association provides up to date internationally recognised guidelines for physical activity and strengthening recommendations for adults cardiovascular fitness.
Additionally, strength, balance, flexibility and mobility are equally important as we need our neuro-musculoskeletal system to work optimally to be able to perform activities of daily living like driving, cooking and showering etc. Therefore, to improve these specific areas of physical health, we need to incorporate specific exercises that aim to improve strength, balance and flexibility/mobility in our exercise program. If you are unsure of what you require in a holistic exercise program for your health and wellness, always seek professional medical advice from a physiotherapist or qualified personal trainer as exercising insufficiently and incorrectly is exercise in vain!
3. Sleep – Recovery And Recharge for Your Brain & Body.
We often hear people saying ‘sleeping is a waste of time’. This is certainly untrue, as research has shown that the appropriate number of hours of sleep is a vital component of good health. When we are asleep, our body is actually hard at work healing itself and optimizing different processes that we require in metabolism for our brain and body on a daily basis. The result: better physical and mental health when you wake up in the morning. For the first time in 2015, the national sleep foundation had developed age-specific recommended sleep duration based on a rigorous, systematic review of the world scientific literature relating sleep duration to health, performance and safety lead by Dr. Charles A. Czeisler, PhD, MD, chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation and his team of collaborators. The results are published in Sleep Health: The Journal of the National Sleep Foundation and are summarized below:
- Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
- Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
- Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
- Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
- School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
- Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
- Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
- Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)
More and more psychological research studies have been emerging associating mindfulness with happiness and this topic has also been widely spread by the book The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama XIV and Howard C. Cutler. A memorable quote from the book that resonates with this is:
So, let us reflect what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren’t born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier.”
? Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness
In order to adopt a healthy lifestyle, we need to be able to reflect and be mindful of our thought process and be able to sharpen our instinct to things, people, our surroundings and ourselves.
A good way to practice mindfulness is through meditation, which is a systematic form of mental intervention. Seek professional guidance from a life coach, counselor or psychologist if you are struggling, as learning from an expert is always easier than learning through trial and error. Surround yourself with like-minded people who practice good habits and lifestyle and also push yourself to be better.
Take the right step TODAY by creating actionable goals towards a happy & healthy life!
The above is probably a lot of information for some of you to digest at one go. Wondering where to begin this process?
MTS will be dedicating a two-day medical and wellness weekend retreat from 20-21 April 2018 for the first time to show you the way and also answer any burning questions you may have.
The best thing about this retreat?
The theme is on Women’s Health, Mind, Body and Medical truth or myths and there will be a group of wonderful women who are leaders in their own fields of medical and wellness. They will be demonstrating and speaking about a wide range of women-related and wellness topics such as life coaching, functional fitness, meditation, yoga and pilates. We will also be having a few exercise sessions in between the talks to get our circulation moving!
Read more or feel free to email us for more details or registration at firstname.lastname@example.org as limited space are available to make this event an intimate connection with you.
We hope to reach out to more like-minded adults like you in 2018 with the launch of our medical and wellness retreats happening in different parts of U.A.E. All women are welcome regardless of your nationality, age, religion, disability, looks and marital status. In many ways, we are definitely more similar than different.
The whole team in MTS is looking forward to the first weekend retreat that truly speaks of our mission and vision in nurturing and inspiring you. Come join us and be part of the journey…..