KEEPING A HEALTHY HEART AS THE SUPER EAGLES RIDE INTO VICTORY
Following the Super Eagles of Nigeria's 1(4) - 1(2) win against South Africa's Bafana Bafana, the whole country has been in a jubilation frenzy. Truly, nothing unites Nigerians more than a good football. Meanwhile, amidst all the celebrations, a sour taste has been left in the mouths of some families.
It's no news that the football match had many at the edge of their seats from extra time to penalties. This intense excitement gave rise to high blood pressure, and unfortunately, some hearts just couldn't withstand the pressure and stopped working. This could have been avoided if proper measures had been taken.
Three confirmed cases include Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress; Alhaji Ayuba Abdullahi, the Deputy Bursar of Kwara State University; and a serving National Youth Service Corps member, identified simply as Samuel.
Ojougboh, representing the Ika Federal Constituency of Delta State, reportedly screamed and slumped as soon as the South Africans scored the equalizing penalty kick. In Adamawa State, Samuel, hailing from Kaduna State, passed away just before Nigeria’s final penalty kick that secured the Eagles’ win. He was confirmed dead at the General Hospital in Numan, Adamawa State.
Similarly, Alhaji Ayuba Abdullahi watched the match from start to penalties at a viewing center in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. After feeling dizzy and deciding to go home for rest, not realizing his blood pressure had risen, he collapsed upon reaching home. Despite being rushed to the hospital, he died before receiving medical attention.
Although the direct cause(s) of death are yet to be ascertained, these cases highlight the importance of health awareness, especially in moments of high excitement. Ahead of the finals between Nigeria and Ivory Coast, it's important that we check our health and keepour hearts in proper shape to avoid heart-wrenching stories. Below is a list of some things that you can do to manage your health:
MONITOR YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE AT HOME
Home monitoring can help you keep tabs on your blood pressure. It also allows for early detection of potential heart health complications.
GET REGULAR HEALTH SCREENINGS
High blood pressure often goes unnoticed. Regular check-ups can catch and manage it early, and it's vital for everyone, regardless of generation. Both young and old should get regular screenings.
Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. It's recommended to limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day for women (and men with a lower body weight) and two drinks per day for men.
MANAGE STRESS WELL
Stress can contribute to high blood pressure and unhealthy habits. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, relaxation techniques, or talking to a professional.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Aim for 7-9 hours of good quality sleep per night. Lack of proper sleep can increase your risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.
EAT A HEART-HEALTHY DIET
Prioritize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Limit saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars.
Remember, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider for a diagnosis and to discuss the best treatment plan for you. Also, before making any significant lifestyle changes, ensure you speak with a professional.
As we look forward to the AFCON finals and root for our boys, let's not forget to stay healthy.