During Men’s Health Week, the man/woman in the street were asked to speak on their lifestyles and what they do to maintain their health or to encourage their significant others to lead healthy lifestyles.
Deoraj Jaikarran (Rice farmer): `I just went for a checkup today, this was the second time for the year. I eat healthy—no white rice, just brown rice; no oily and fatty foods and so. It wasn’t ordered by the doctor, I decided to do this on my own. In terms of exercise, I play cricket and so on, but the type of work I do also keeps me active’.
Nazim Hussain (Public Servant): `The last time I got a checkup was about a year ago, but right now I am 54, I take good care of my health, I realise what I eat, I go to the gym very regularly. Every day in fact, but not now because it’s Ramadan. I think people need to get to the place where they’re conscious of their bodies, and can recognize when they are sick or something is off balance. I eat healthy, I don’t drink or smoke, so I’m well.’
Andrew Martin (Taxi Driver): ‘I eat healthy, I use a lot of greens and less oily food. I have a low cholesterol diet—no cheese, no fast food and so on, brown rice. In the morning I use bread and butter and I eat like about 2 in the afternoon, this is what I’ve been doing for the longest while. The last time I checked my cholesterol was about three or four years ago and it was high, that’s the main reason why I started watching my diet. So far so good. Exercising is good but I don’t get the time because I start working from 8 and I go home about 7:30. On Sundays I do a lot of yard work though.’
Trevis Johnson (Business owner): ‘Exercise is not routine for me, neither are checkups at the doctor. That I only do in extreme cases. In terms of eating healthy, no I do not, I eat a lot of fast food. Maybe a few years down the road I’ll change those habits, but right now, no. But I think that generally in my daily routine I am very active so I guess that kind of balances it out.’
Joan Marshall (Vendor): `When I was employed I was more active but now I’m self-employed, I’m less active. So the cholesterol is going up, the pressure is going up, I sit here from morning until I’m ready to go home most of the time. And I know I’m lacking exercise but sometimes when I’m at home I do some pushups. I’m very athletic because I was an athlete…My husband doesn’t believe in going to the doctor but he will go whenever his mind tells him to. He prefers to get drugs over the counter although I try to convince him otherwise. I try to advise him but he would prefer to listen to people on the road before he goes to the doctor, but normally, I try to tell him that both of us should go to the doctor to get a general checkup. We both went about two weeks ago.’
Cecil Benn (unemployed): ‘Over a year now was the last time I had a checkup. I hope that other people go and check up on themselves too. In terms of health, I eat the right foods, I don’t drink much and I don’t smoke. I just eat vegetables and mostly greens because one time I had jaundice and the doctor said to beware of oily foods and red meat and so on. The last time I checked my blood sugar and pressure was when I had the checkup last year. As far as exercise goes, I have a bicycle so I ride a lot.’
Lorna Glenn (Cleaner): `Where food is concerned you have to be careful because there’s a lot of germs around so you have to wash your hands before you prepare meals. You have to try to eat properly to keep the body up. I give them [my family] a lot of milk and proteins like fish. I don’t like the doctor really but we use a lot of bush medicine like bitters to clean our system out because the types of foods we eat have a lot of fertilizers so you have to keep the body healthy by using a lot of medicines to purge the body out. We exercise and so at home, sometimes we do physical activity at home like pushups or running or play a game to keep our bodies active. To my knowledge I don’t have problems with blood pressure or sugar, sometimes I get headaches but it might not necessarily be related to that. I find that when I rest my body, when I wake up I feel good, but I do go to the drugstore to get those things checked out.’
Clifton Jones (Pensioner): `I do checkups whenever I go to the clinic, sometimes monthly. I probably eat healthy, you try to do what you can as best as you can. Things are expensive so whatever I can afford. I do a lot of walking. I live up Soesdyke so when I stop off at Parliament building I walk, sometimes down Water Street and all those things.’
Wei Wong (Student): `Everyone should take care of their health, both physically, mentally, spiritually and in all sorts of manners. I usually exercise every morning, try to get a few miles in and otherwise, just basic walking is good enough for anyone. For mental health I try to relieve most of my stress through hobbies and whatever creative means. I’m into photography so once in a while I go out and shoot and it brings peace. Because I’m Chinese we usually have steamed cuisine so it’s much healthier than regular oily foods.’
Mark McCalman: `Up to last week I did a full body checkup, I usually get one about twice a year. I also try to keep fit and eat certain foods. I don’t trouble with pressure, it’s always been normal. You have to work on your structure, eat well and build yourself. Eat a lot of fruits and keep your body occupied.’ (Photos and interviews by Dreylan Johnson and Shabna Rahman)