COLUMN: Your health and future matter

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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By Chris A. Quilpa
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Irrespective of what season you’re in, be it winter, spring, summer or fall, rain or shine, wet or dry, your health matters because it’s your passport to a better, longer, productive, and successful life.

Your health is your wealth, rich or poor materially. Even if you’re the richest person in the world, if your health is deteriorating or not the same as when you were younger, full of stamina, zest, and energy, you feel you’re not happy and content in life. You don’t (seem to) enjoy life. That’s the reality. 

If there’s one person who’s most concerned about you and your health and future, it should be you. You matter most.

As a retired U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman-X-Ray Tech and then Education petty officer and currently an American Legionnaire, I have dealt with many different patients of different backgrounds and nationalities, sizes and forms, ideologies and beliefs. God knows I did my best to be as competent, effective and professional as other healthcare providers who are educated or “indoctrinated” to give your overall quality patient care or customer service.)

All health care providers and educators are there to care for and educate you about your health and well-being and how to maintain good health.

In this connection, I’d like to share with you useful health tips. Whether you’re a veteran, active or retired, private or public person, baby boomer, millennial or Gen XYZ, these are sort of “reminders” on how to help improve or maintain your good health and well-being:

  • Be involved in your health care. 
  • Eat wisely. 
  • Be physically active. 
  • Strive for a healthy weight. 
  • Limit alcohol. 
  • Get recommended screening tests and immunization. 
  • Manage stress. 
  • Be safe. 
  • Be tobacco-free. 
  • Sleep well.

Taking care of yourself is your business. You play a vital role in maintaining your health. Your complete and honest participation with your doctor or healthcare provider matters most. Follow and observe your doctor or healthcare provider’s advice or recommendation.

Watch out for what you eat or consume. Moderation is key, even with alcohol consumption. Your knowledge of nutrition can help.

As young children, we received Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)- recommended vaccinations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we received vaccinations, shots, and booster shots to combat this pandemic. Thanks to our scientists, front-liners, other caregivers, government officials, spiritual leaders, and clergy for their profound service to humanity. Get vaccinations when necessary.

Stress is a natural state of worry or mental tension caused by difficult situations. It’s something that’s inevitable in life. A little stress is good. It helps keep you stimulated and motivated to do something productive and profitable. But, if you can’t tolerate your distress (extreme anxiety, pain, sorrow) if it gravely affects your health (mental, emotional, physical, social) and relationships, see your doctor ASAP (as soon as possible).

April is recognized as National Stress Awareness Month, bringing attention to the negative impact of stress on our lives. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), managing stress is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. 

One of the vices or unhealthy habits people have is tobacco smoking. Health experts have attested there are no health benefits from smoking. Those harmful chemical agents present in tobacco contribute to lung or pulmonary problems and other diseases associated with smoking. 

Secondhand smoke can also pose a danger to your health. It’s easy to say, quit smoking. But the reality is, it’s not that easy. But, if there’s a will, there’s a way to quit. No matter how much people want to help you, it’s up to you. 

Take care of yourself and your health because you and your future matter.

Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk. Email him at