A week ago, ie on Monday September 14, 2020 to be precise, the Chancellor of Gregory University Uturu, drew my attention to the marauding effects of sudden deaths being experienced all over Nigeria in general and Abia State in particular. These were non covid-19 related deaths. We attributed these deaths to unwillingness of people to do just routine periodic medical examinations of their bodies – especially those above 40.
Like Malvolio in “Twelfth Night” by Shakespeare – we appear to be sick of self love. We no longer bother to look after ourselves, unless we suddenly collapse and are forced to seek medical help. God forbid, if catastrophe strikes, and we suddenly develop Cerebro-Vascular-Accident(CVA) eg strokes or paralysis – we then blame our enemies.
It is very difficult to fathom that someone more than 50, will glibly tell you with pride that he has not gone for ordinary BP check in 3 years. Tell me why the person cannot be a possible candidate for sudden death.
The Chancellor wanted me to run an “Executive Stress Hospital” ex-gracias in Gregory University Specialist Hospital Uturu, with the sole aim of alerting and directing those above 40 on healthy precautions, and proper management of those with pre-existing morbidities. There medical records would be computerized with an internet marker on when and what to do in case of an emergency, and to be able, at the touch of button, forward the person’s medical records to a doctor anywhere in the world.
I have written this ad nauseam, please if you are above 40, do not stay more than 6 months without going into a health facility to check your BP, especially the very busy ones amongst us, who will qualify for the hazard of executive stress. Yes executive stress could lead to sudden death.
According to wellbeing.com. In this day and age, executive stress and sudden deaths are common realities we have to face. To achieve success we often work long hours, skip lunch and exercise and take frequent plane journeys causing jet lag. Our stress levels increase and we feel more out of sync. Sleep is often disrupted and our busy schedule causes us to eat less than ideally.
Ten tips to reduce executive stress and sudden-deaths.
1. Make sleep a priority.
Maximum of 8 hours is the sweet spot, but we may not achieve this everyday, so strive for 5 to 8 hours on average.
2. Be consistent.
When you are not traveling. Go to bed at the same time and rise at the same time daily to get back into your natural rhythm. Especially after traveling or disruption by activities.
3. Cut out mobile phones & communications
Please cut out mobile phones, laptops and iPads at least one hour before sleep and ban them from the bedroom. Use a regular old fashioned alarm clock to wake, and with time, if you are getting enough sleep, your body should fall back into its natural cycle.
4. No emails, texts or social media 1st thing in the morning.
Do not dive into emails, texts, or social media first thing in the morning as this is likely to cause a “fight or flight” response in the body. Instead – meditate first, pray and ease into the day, establish a morning routine and try and take some “me”, time to set yourself up for the day ahead.
5. Limit caffeine (coffee), kola before sleep.
Limit caffeine, coffee, kola few hours before sleep so that sleep is not affected – a cup of coffee should be okay.
6. Get out early in the morning.
Get out early in the morning between 6:00am and 8:00am, when the body clock has been found to be most receptive to morning sun. This can be really helpful in resetting our circadian rhythm and healing sleep disorder and enhancing longevity.
7. Exercise daily.
Exercise daily, ideally for 30 minutes, even as little as walking around your premises.
8. Eat healthy.
Eat a healthy diet, including lots of variety of green vegetables, cucumber, healthy fats and protein in moderate quantities eg protein such as yogurts, eggs, nuts, seed, fish, white meat etc.
9. Periodic check up.
Do periodic medicals if you are above 50. Again do not stay more than 6 months without visiting your doctor for routine check up such as BP, Weight, BMI, FBS etc.
10. Frequent fliers.
Flying frequently and shift work messes with our internal milieu and body clock. Be extra mindful to take care of yourself if you travel for work frequently or work shifts. Always be medically guided.
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