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It don’t mean a thing … if taking care of your health ain’t got that swing

Dr. Gerald Deas | 9/26/2013, 2:35 p.m.

When Duke Ellington composed the song “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” which is now accepted as a jazz standard, with the lyrics of Irving Mills in 1931, it was based upon the thoughts of Ellington’s former trumpeter Bubber Miley, who was dying of tuberculosis. The word “swing” is interpreted as actively and completely, without restraint; living up-to-date or, in other words, being “hip.”

When you think about it, health care don’t mean a thing if you’re not swinging it with good health habits. This life is no dress rehearsal, and good health and longevity depends upon your health care choices, which includes the right foods, exercise, moderation and positive mental attitude.

Half of our hospital beds would be empty if alcohol, poor food choices, recreational drugs and smoking were not part of the routine of millions of Americans. There have been many quotations from prominent people concerning health care that I would like to share with you and hopefully change your attitude and help you to swing into good health and longevity.

“Take care of your health; you have no right to neglect it, and thus become a burden to yourself and perhaps to others.”—William Hall, English poet (1748-1825).

“To preserve health is an oral and religious duty, for health is the basis of all social virtues. We can no longer be useful when not well.”—Samuel Johnson, English author (1700-1748).

“Look to your health; and if you have it, praise God and value it next to good conscience, for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of—a blessing that money cannot buy—and therefore value it, and be thankful for it.”—Izaak Walton, English author (1593-1683).

“He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope has everything.”—Arabian proverb.

“When it comes to your health, I recommend frequent doses of that rare commodity among Americans—common sense. We are rapidly becoming a land of hypochondriacs, from the ulcer-and-martini executives in the big city, to the patent medicine patrons in the sulphur-and-molasses belt.”—Edwin Vincent Askey, American surgeon (1895).

“Many a man who would not dream of putting too much pressure in his automobile tires lays a constant overstrain on his heart and arteries.”—Bruce Barton, American author (1886-1967).

“Some people think that doctors and nurses can put scrambled eggs back into the shell.”—Dorothy Canfield Fisher, American novelist (1879-1958).

“Be sober and temperate and you will be healthy.”—Benjamin Franklin, American statesman, scientist and author (1706-1790).

“Without health, life is not life; it is not living life. Without health, life is only a state of languor and an image of death.”—Francois Rabelais, French humorist and satirist (1494-1553).

Finally, “When meditating over a disease, I never think of finding a remedy for it, but instead, a means of preventing it.”

—Louis Pasteur, French chemist (1822-1895).