2017-11-30 / Voices

This Year Give The Gift Of Life And Longevity


With the Lakota Nation Invitational only a couple weeks away, it is a good time to start thinking about which gifts we are going to give our loved ones during the winter holiday season.

This exercise is very stressful for some of our people who struggle to provide the basics for their families. There is one gift however that we can give our families that costs very little, an attempt at living a long, healthy and active life.

I have long been an advocate of normalizing health and fitness in Indian Country. The promotion of this lifestyle is the only sustainable and viable fix to our high rates of diabetes, heart disease, and depression.

Each and every week we post obituaries from across the Northern Plains. Sadly, it is not uncommon that I come across funeral notices for people I grew up with. Its tough to know that some of these people would still be here had they been able to discover the power of living a healthy life sooner.

There are some obstacles that make it hard for our people to access health and fitness. There are very few places where our people can exercise in the winter, and when there are places available they are often located miles away.

So, what are some of the simple things that we can all do to improve our health over the winter months? The most obvious have been thrown at us for a longtime. Abstain from smoking tobacco. Try to replace soda and sugary drinks (this includes most fruit juices) with water. Lastly, try to get your full 8-10 hours of sleep every night. The combination of these three positive lifestyle habits can radically change a person’s life for the better.

There are plenty of places out there that can provide more scholarly and detailed advice on how to workout than this column. What I do know is that getting out and doing any physical activity will benefit your health. That is a good place to start.

This holiday season maybe some of us can make a commitment to those we love by making a conscious effort to improve our health and to live a longer life. Our families and community deserve it from us.

*Brandon Ecoffey is the editor of LCT and is an award-winning journalist who was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

*Brandon Ecoffey is the editor of LCT and is an award-winning journalist who was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

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