Loads of tips on maintaining your health and well being from a talk by Dr. Dixon Grant

Dr. Dixon

How can you stay healthy? You need to take good care of yourself by paying attention to all five aspects of your health: physical, social, mental, emotional and spiritual.  This was what Dr. Dixon Grant said in his talk on self-reliance last Friday evening at the Stake Centre, organized by Gordon Foo, Stake SRS specialist and the BYU Management Society.

Here are some tips offered by Dr. Grant, an Associate Consultant at the Singapore General Hospital who graduated from the Duke/NUS Graduate Medical School and has lived in Singapore for 11 years.

Physical Health

  • Eat a rainbow, meaning fruits and vegetables of all colors
  • Drink more water, cut down on soft drinks and sugary drinks
  • Exercise daily (or at least 30 minutes 5 times a week).  Take the stairs, walk instead of drive; and do housework.  Don't exercise before bedtime.
  • Get enough sleep – don't use your bed as your office.  Insufficient sleep increases the risks of cancer, heart diseases, and high blood pressure; it also weakens the immune system. 
  • Eat a balanced diet - get half of your calories from carbohydrates and the rest from proteins and fats; eat red meat sparingly
  • Download the 'Healthy 365' mobile app by the Health Promotion Board.  It tracks your daily step counts and calories burned as you move.

Recommended Health Screening Tests

  • At age 18, check for obesity by BMI; check for high blood pressure.
  • At age 40, check for diabetes, high blood, and cholesterol.
  • At age 50, check for colorectal cancer
  • For women, check for cervical cancer every 3 years; check for breast cancer every year.
  • Yearly influenza shot, pneumococcal vaccine after age 65, DTaP vaccine every 10 years.

Mental Health

  • Forgetfulness is normal. Dementia is consistently forgetting specific things such as turning off the oven or names of family members.  5% of people over 65 years will suffer from dementia
  • Take time to be still and reflect.  Keep your mind clean – get rid of frustration, anger, confusion, fear, and stress.
  • Attitude is a choice. We can choose to think positively or negatively.  People who think positively have lower depression rates and better health
  • Learn to meditate; it has great benefits.

Social Health

  • Being lonely can be as harmful to your health as smoking 15 packs of cigarettes a day. Loneliness increases the risk of poor health and high blood pressure.
  • Married people have better health – so cherish your marriage and your partner
  • Cultivate healthy relationships based on respect, fairness, trust and honesty and cooperation.
  • To have healthy relationships, you need to be able to resolve conflicts amicably.
  • Stephen R Covey taught that you need to constantly put deposits into other people's emotional bank account (EBA) to main a positive relationship.

Emotional Health

  • Learn to cope with stress, example, through deep breathing.
  • Perform acts of kindness and selflessness – they make us happy and healthy.
  • Do the things that give you joy – be childlike if you want to.

Spiritual Health

  • There are spiritual benefits in living a healthy life.
  • When we '…feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.' (2 Nephi 32:3)
  • Cultivate resilience as a personal strength – it is the ability to recover quickly from a trial by having faith in ourselves and in God.  According to Alma 32:27,  'But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than a desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.'


Gordon Foo, Stake SRS Specialist said, 'I agree with Dr. Grant that many people neglect their health to gain wealth, but subsequently they need to spend their wealth to regain their health. We are reminded that our physical body is a gift from God and should be properly cared for. Similarly, spiritual, mental, emotional and social health is also important and should not be overlooked. They can affect us both physically and spiritually. We must do all we can to take care of both our bodies and minds. A healthy person has a greater capability to be self-reliant and is better able to take care of self and family members'.

Sister Phay Fay Chong of Clementi Ward who attended the talk said, 'I always believe in being proactive when it comes to taking care of one's health.  Last Friday I learned about health and wellbeing from a doctor's perspective.  It was an evening well spent.'

Steven Seow, 2nd Counselor in the Stake Presidency said, 'It is so gratifying to see over 50 people attended the talk, from aged 18 to 80 years. This shows that people are generally concern about their health and wellbeing.  The refreshment provided was also very appropriate: fruits and nuts, going along very well with the theme of the talk.