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Dr Ona Utuama – The 3 W’s of Wellness!

August 8, 2017

There are 3 W’s of Wellness – Wellness through Exercise, Wellness through Mindfulness and Wellness through Weight-loss.

Wellness is critical for women, men and even children, to enable us to find balance in our lives. Writing an article for Metro woman means that we-women are the focus, so I’m talking to all the women reading this.

As a mother of 3 boys; 11 years, 5 years, 6 months, and a wife, I’m on call 24/7. Is there soup enough for this week, meat, fish, a school project due, a school event I must attend, did I call the plumber, did I help my husband with his recent request, are we out of paper towel or bathing soap…don’t get me started…this is us all day every day.

As for work as a physician I’m on call almost 24/7 too, while I may be away from work every other week, you bet I’m thinking of a patient I prescribed medicines for or diagnosis I made if it was the right one or a project that’s due. So there’s really sleeping with one eye open at home and at play.

My job is no more important than yours as a waitress, CEO, fashion designer, talk show host, cleaner, nanny, model, hair stylist, farmer, uber driver, student. In all these roles, society demands we must be our best!

In being our best, we lose ourselves and spiral into this ball of chronic tiredness syndrome, where you are just tired for no reason even when you are alone and doing nothing! You are tired after eating, after waking up from an 8 or 10-hour sleep (people sleep this long most nights I sleep 5 hours), a nap, a walk, lunch break, dinner, watching tv, church.

You are tired all the time period!

Exercise is the answer. I didn’t say gym, swimming pool, nice area to run. I said exercise.

Disclaimer – Check with your doctor before starting any exercise, especially if you have heart disease or a family history of sudden death!*

Want to feel energetic, reduce stress, joint pain, mental fatigue, sleepiness, inability to sleep, risk of diabetes, hypertension, cancer……the list is endless, yes….exercise, it’s mostly free!

It’s the best pill ever created! It’s the best form of self-love. Do you seek external love/care when you can’t even love yourself?

Exercise is the best medicine!

You don’t need a prescription but if you did I can write you one all day every day.

When I have a very busy week and deadlines then I ‘must’ exercise every day.

Exercising not only gives you adrenaline to tackle the day, it increases blood flow everywhere including your brain, it keeps you giddy like you are in control of your life even when you might not be; you might have a boss, or a spouse!

Exercise makes me high. It adds pomp to my stride. I feel accomplished irrespective of how the day will go.

Exercise makes your joints supple, and the most important part, you lose/maintain your weight.

Now weight loss is a different cup of tea, you have to eat right to lose weight, not just exercise. Weight loss will be discussed differently.

As a mom of a 6-month old son and 2 older boys, who is at her smallest size since getting married almost 12 years ago, I am happy to share my success story with you!

Dedicate at least 150 minutes a week – 30 minutes daily, 5 times a week or however you are able to split it, just get it done.

Get those sneakers, cut out pictures of exercises from a magazine, Google that exercise description, watch that exercise DVD, buy a skipping rope, buy dumbells and exercise, it’s the best gift you can give to yourself.

As women loving those around us is why we were born, however only a full cup can give love.

Fill your cup with time for yourself, exercise in that time, stay healthy and look fabulous!

Remember the goal of exercising is to feel great not necessarily to lose weight! When you start enjoying the exercise, the weight loss follows!

*This article is not a representative of the views of my employer!*

About Dr Ona

Dr Ona Utuama is a Family Physician-Hospitalist and Public Health Researcher. She graduated from the College of Medicine, University of Benin, Nigeria, Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and Morehouse School of Medicine both in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. As a health professional and a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Fellow, she understands the importance of health communication in advocating for behavioural changes that foster good health and wellness. She is actively involved in research, academic writing and mentoring of physician residents and public health graduate students.

Dr Utuama derives pleasure in networking for research, career development, learning life’s lessons and employment opportunities. Off work, she loves playing tennis, biking and snuggling with her 11-year-old, 6-year-old and 7-month-old sons respectively. She hopes to volunteer more and travel the world with her sons, and Physician-Epidemiologist husband.

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