Engineering: a total body infrastructure … like a fine running automobile

  • Published
  • By Col. Kimberly Cox
  • 39th Medical Group commander
The infrastructure at Incirlik Air Base demands constant and consistent attention just like our bodies. Attention to your health will provide many years of shelter, comfort, protection and utility. Take the steps necessary to prevent injury and disease, to promote good health. Just as you perform maintenance on your home, work building, equipment ... routine maintenance is required for your body.

Keeping your infrastructure solid and beautiful takes a comprehensive approach. It's like taking care of your car ... many of us really pamper those automobiles, so take a few tips from me and my infrastructure engineer who happens to specialize in "car mechanics" ... Doctor (Lt. Col.) Scott Green, chief of the medical staff.

I have always had a personal list of tips to maintain my body, but when I had a check up with Colonel Green recently, he talked to me in auto mechanic language to ensure I followed through with my maintenance plan. Check out these tips to keep your bodily infrastructure running as smooth as a vintage car.

13 health tips even your car mechanic could have told you

1. Get the consumer's report ... what tends to break on this model?

Knowing your genetic pool, just like your car's manufacturer, prepares you for the likelihood of things that may go array. Are you a BMW or a Ford? Make a list of your parents' and grandparents' medical conditions and share this information with your physician.

2. Maintenance records are important.

Keep a personal record of your illnesses, outpatient procedures, surgeries and hospital admissions. Also, don't forget dental care.

3. Use the right fuel to avoid clogging up the lines.

Balance your diet with fruits and vegetables. Minimize fat, salt and alcohol. Think moderation. You'd be surprised how a balanced diet fights disease.

4. Check the water level to avoid engine overheating.

Drink plenty of water to maximize your body's performance. Water helps you to maintain a better complexion and avoid constipation.

5. Wax the car to avoid rusting, and maintain that shine.

Use sun block for Ultraviolet and Ultraviolet A protection to avoid skin cancer. You may also need to moisturize your skin to keep it soft, supple and strong.

6. Put the pedal to the metal.

Play hard and enjoy some vigorous physical activity - it's good for the mind, body and soul (some call this exercise).

7. Take the top down and enjoy the stars.

Relax and meditate to help alleviate stress. Stress plays havoc on your body and mental health.

8. Keep the air filter clean.

Do not use ANY tobacco products!

9. Your warranty requires good maintenance so don't wait until things break down.

Ensure you have needed preventive health screening exams based on your lifestyle, risk factors and healthcare recommendations (i.e. colonoscopy, mammograms ... etc).

10. Never open a steaming radiator.

Seek mental health/family advocacy services before problems become overwhelming.

11. Drive a new route home each day.

Challenge your mind and keep learning. It can stave off Alzheimer's and keep life interesting.

12. Drive safely ...

Make responsible lifestyle choices to minimize your exposure to threatening diseases.

13. Keep a screwdriver handy ... you never know where you might breakdown or need to lend a helping hand.

Maintain safety reflector gear and a tool (first aid) kit to treat minor problems when they arise. And of course ... drink responsibly and never, ever drink and drive!