African Americans Need Better Access to Health Care

Paul L. Hubbard

By Paul Hubbard
Guest Column

African Americans don’t have good access to needed health care. The reasons are many – lack of insurance, lack of transportation, lack of money for the co-pay and lack of motivation, etc. However, there are things African Americans can do at home without much effort on a daily basis. Cut this article out and tape it to your refrigerator or bathroom door to view every day.

Low-income senior citizens, in particular, should develop these following daily health habits. Habits are simply learned behaviors that repeat when paired with a contextual cue, explains licensed clinical psychologist Athey-Lloyds, of Reflection Psychological Services in NY. James Clear’s Atomic Habits says “things need to be obvious, attractive, easy, satisfying to develop positive habits.”

Here are good daily Health Habits for African Americans to develop:

Stay hydrated because every cell in our body needs water to function. Water helps keep us lubricated, it regulates our temperature, delivers nutrients to our cells, assists digestion and organ function and supports our sleep, mood, cognition and more. We need about 10 cups of water per day says the CDC. If you don’t like the taste of water, put a no-sugar favoring in it as I do.

Let’s get better sleep by going to bed at the same time every night. Turn cell phones and TV off and read a book or write in your journal. Have a nice sleep, place herbal scent in your bedroom that tells you it is bedtime. Find a form of Zen or meditation to practice in your bedroom. This will relief stress also.

Prepare healthy meals because meal prep can be a huge help when it comes to including all the building blocks of our bodies. Eat meals of vegetables, whole grain, lean meat, healthy fats and fruits. Avoid sugar, salt and processed or fried foods. There are soul foods that fit all of the above healthy categories.

Walk regularly about 30 minutes a day, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says over 50 percent of Americans don’t get enough aerobic activity per week. Research by American Heart Association confirms that walking will reduce risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases. Walking improves mood and mental health.

Maintain motivation and positive thinking. We all have challenging days but don’t let the lack of momentum or bad mood derail your daily healthy habits. Building in motivation and positive thinking as a healthy habit can help you stay centered and on track so your new health habit practices can become lifelong solutions, says “Good Housekeeping” magazine.