Effective Steps to Make Sure You're On Top of Your Health
Modern life is so busy, isn’t it? It’s so easy to be rushing towards our destination that we forget to savour the journey. The more this is true for us, the more likely we are to let important things slip, like our health. None of us are getting any younger, so we simply cannot afford to ignore it. I will now shine a light on a few things, to provide some helpful suggestions.
A Healthy Diet
Plan your meals at least a week in advance. If you don’t plan, you’ll be left to raiding the fridge for whatever is there, be it good or bad for you. Avoid processed meals because whilst they are easy to cook, they are high in fat, carbs and sugar.
Routine is so important in your daily life. Keep family mealtimes at the table. Don’t disappear elsewhere and eat whatever you want whenever you want. If you’re staring at TV or your phone, you won’t monitor your snacking properly.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are good for you. Choose high fibrous fruits like pears, and eat green vegetables. They are vitamin-filled and boost your immune system. For a healthy amount of protein in your diet, have eggs, nuts and chicken.
It’s great to have additional vitamins, particularly if you are e.g. vegetarian or coeliac. I came across this helpful website which contains articles including what to take during the cold season. Vitamin D helps you have healthy bones, magnesium helps with sleep and iron increases energy and assists red blood cell production.
Water is essential to keep you hydrated. Avoid drinks with additives and sweeteners. If you opt for tea or coffee with milk, this will have implications for your weight, not to mention the effect caffeine has on your body.
Did you know? Hot cocoa can boost your mood virtually immediately! Our diets are so important for optimising our health. Chew gum. You might think it’s a bad image, but it might stop you from snacking in between meals. If you DO need a snack, have a healthy alternative like a smoothie.
If you’re on a diet, why not join a Facebook group so you no longer need to feel that you’re going it alone. Avenues like this don’t even have to cost you anything.
As regards alcohol, the best thing you can do is abstain. If you really must drink it, have a couple of drinks a day but at least two weekdays where you don’t have it.
Many people have an inaccurate body image, but it is important to be the right size and shape for us. This makes it all the more important to get and stay healthy. Do you have two and a half hours’ exercise during the week? Do you make sure it’s enough to raise your heart rate? It’s important we keep our bodies moving. They are like batteries - with a ‘use it or lose’ mode. If you are stuck indoors and can’t get to the gym, do you have stairs you can go up and down? Do you take short journeys by car when you could have walked?
Neuroscientists say that changing our environment (e.g. going outdoors) helps recalibrate our brains from the familiar. It’s like a re-set mode. On the other side, it’s important we maintain a daily routine. Continue to have the same 7-9 hours’ sleep your body needs. If you can’t go outdoors, open the windows. The air is actually cleaner outside than it is inside your house.
A lot of the battle with exercise is that it’s a grind for people who don’t like sport. If you can make it fun the motivation will be much stronger. Make exercise part of your family time, when you all laugh and catch up on your lives. Buy a dog - then you’ll HAVE to take it for a walk, rain or shine! Wear an activity tracker on your wrist, like a Fitbit. It will help you know how far you walked today, and look at your weekly stats to check for improvement or consistency.
Preventive Medical Check-ups
Don’t miss your annual health check-ups, no matter how busy you are. Get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked. Find out what your Body Mass Index is. Keep up to date with any annual vaccinations.
Beware of playing music with headphones. If it’s too loud it can damage your hearing - there is a rising generation that is about to discover this! Avoid smoking or get help coming off.
I hope this whistle-stop tour has been of interest to you. More importantly, I hope I have raised awareness and put some keys into your hand. We are all busy people but we are powerful people: we can be in charge of our lives. We can be strategic, rather than victims of a fast food society with its obesity and health issues.