April 2007 - If You Don't Take Care of Your Body, Where Will You Live?

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So much has been made about the role of culture and health disparities. University professors have documented the fact that race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status are major contributing factors to the excessive illness and death experienced by African-Americans. No doubt these factors do play an important role in the health disparities of Blacks and other ethnic minorities. However, these factors do not absolve us from taking personal responsibility for our health, nor do they negate the benefits of eating right, exercise, and maintaining a positive mental attitude.

Eventually, no matter how hard we try to eat right, exercise, and maintain positive thoughts, we will become ill. The illness could be something as simple as a common cold or as serious as cancer, a stroke or a heart attack. However, by working consistently to maintain a healthy body, you're doing your part to reduce your risk of illness or early death. More importantly, you're maintaining the "house" that houses your soul. Without doubt, your health status does impact your ability to enjoy life and contribute to society.

We know for a fact that our bodies will not last forever-it's the operative definition of being a "human" being. However, we don't have to speed our own demise. The purpose of practicing good health behaviors is not to make us immortal, but to make the time that we do have on this earth the highest possible quality. Good health behaviors do make a difference, and help to defy the odds and reduce the dismal health statistics that are all too often reported for Black people. So the next time you feel that it doesn't make a difference how you treat your body, ask yourself this question: "If I don't take care of my body, where will I live?"

With you on your Journey To Wellness...
Dr. Mary S. Harris

Dr. Harris invites your thoughts and comments. You can write to her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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