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Create a health bucket list

The phrase ‘kicking the bucket’ is fairly well known. It was popularized by two men with terminal illnesses in a 2007 movie. They decided to actualize their dreams before kicking the bucket. They came up with a ‘bucket list’ of stuff they wanted to do before they died.

Bucket lists are mainly associated with leisure and travels. But there’s nothing against coming up with bucket lists for literally anything, including health goals. A health bucket list would hopefully translate into optimal health for most of your days. You won’t then need to wait until you are in the process of dying to really live your life. You can live it in the present, by consciously taking a healthier path.

Your health bucket list should just be simple strategies that require minimal efforts. Start by evaluating your current status of health. Are there things you could do to be healthier? Are you predisposed to certain ailments, and could you benefit from some preventive strategies? Do you keep yourself up to date with general health screening tests? A self-evaluation can help you come up with simple things you can do to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Strive to be physically active. You will easily find guidelines on the levels of physical activities you should be achieving daily. Any physical activities you enjoy will do, regardless of their intensity and duration. Those who are physically active have less risks of cardio-metabolic diseases; including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Combine physical activity with a healthy diet. Fresh and non-processed foods are best. Lots of plant foods are better than animal foods. Adequate physical activities, combined with a healthy diet will keep your weight in check. And mitigate against many diseases.

It’s best to avoid toxins as much as possible. Excessive alcohol, smoking, and use of recreational drugs are all toxic habits. Some find such habits pleasurable, and cannot resist the occasional indulgence. The link between excessive indulgence and disease is solid. Tobacco and alcohol have always ranked among the top causes of preventable deaths. Best to avoid toxins, or at least limit the temptations to overindulge. This way, you might just avoid kicking your bucket unexpectedly.

Remain proactive whenever any unusual symptoms crop up. Getting a timely diagnosis raises the chances of a cure, or optimal disease control. Be very selective about where you seek healthcare, you are better off with healthcare facilities providing the highest quality of care. Don’t ever take chances with mediocre healthcare, you’d only be opening yourself to higher chances of a premature demise.

Go ahead and check what your leisure bucket list contains. If there’s nothing about health, add a few lists. This may just optimize your health, and longevity.

Dr Alfred Murage is a Consultant Gynecologist and Fertility Specialist. amurage@mygyno.co.ke

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