Happy, healthy 2012 is within reach

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This week’s column has really the same message as last year.  This is because it is that time of year when we make all those good resolutions that we have absolutely no intention of keeping, but it all sounded right at the New Year parties!  Well, that’s the truth, isn’t it?

However, there are a few resolutions that if you follow or abide by them you will get even more New Years to celebrate.  Interested?  You should be – I am offering you up to 10 more years, but like all great offers, there are some conditions that apply!

The first resolution, for all cigarette smokers out there, is to give up the weed in 2012.  It is no use trying to deny it.  We have shown, more than adequately, that cigarettes are the greatest killers of mankind, even including all the terrorists on the planet.  All smokers are on borrowed time.  End of story.  And I don’t care if your grandfather smoked 60 a day and lived to be 123 and was shot ‘in flagrante’ by a jealous husband.  The big numbers that have been examined in studies all over the world say it all – smokers do not live as long as non-smokers.  Smokers get all kinds of cancers much more than non-smokers, and that’s all kinds – not just lung cancers.  Smokers get more heart attacks than non-smokers.  Do you want me to go on?  In the face of all the evidence, continuing smoking in 2012 is just plain dumb.  So how do you give up?  I am not going to say it is easy, but the best method still remains your positive desire to give up and then go Cold Turkey.  You tell yourself you are giving up right now, and never take another cigarette.  Forget the other ways of giving up.  Cold Turkey has been shown to be the best – and as a bonus, it costs you nothing!

The second resolution is very easy.  Take 100 mg of aspirin every day.  Once again, the large number of research papers looking at large numbers of people prove the hypothesis.  Your chances of having a heart attack are very much less by that simple expedient of 100 mg of aspirin a day.  You can either buy 100 mg tablets, such as Cardiprin, or take quarter of an ordinary 500 mg aspirin tablet, which is 125 mg.  Or even the 80 mg children’s aspirin.  Close enough.

Another easy resolution is to get more exercise – daily.  This is a resolution that will tone up your cardiovascular system and reduce your chances of having that final coronary occlusion (or as it is often called, a coronary conclusion)!  You don’t need to go to a gymnasium, pump iron, take steroids or wear those silly strappy singlets either.  Half an hour of brisk walking, or fifteen minutes of exercising each day will do.  I keep fit by walking, and if I have not done enough during the day will go for a walk with my little daughter in the evening.

Since you are what you eat, or so it is said, your next resolution should be to look at exactly what you do eat.  Cut down on animal fats (where you get your cholesterol from) and increase your intake of vegetables is a good start.  Eat ‘Asian’ twice a week, fish twice a week, and sensibly for the other three days.

How’s the alcohol intake these days?  Fuzzy heads in the morning?  Then perhaps you should include alcohol reduction in your resolutions, too.  Four ‘standard’ drinks a day for men and two for women (sorry girls, but you don’t handle alcohol as well as we do)!  Plus at least one AFD (alcohol free day) per week.  And two a week is even better!

What is a ‘standard’ drink?  That is taken as 10 gm of alcohol – equal to one glass of full strength beer (285 ml), one small (100 ml) glass of wine, or one measure (30 ml) of spirits.  One can of regular beer contains about one and half standard drinks, while a bottle of wine contains about seven.

Happy New Year, and stay well in 2012.