As we start to see signs that the global pandemic is easing, and the stay at home orders are relaxing a little, maybe it is time to consider how much attention we pay to our overall health. Our bodies and our minds are so relevant, and if this recent COVID-19 crisis hasn’t made you stop and think, then maybe now it’s time to ask yourself if you are doing enough to protect your body from the threats that nature throw at us?
YOUR HEART IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT MUSCLES IN YOUR BODY
It carries on doing its job, and the only time we think about it is if something feels a little strange, or if we are experiencing a broken heart. The rest of the time, we take it for granted as it pumps blood around our bodies. We know the basics when it comes to heart health. Get plenty of exercise, eat lots of healthy fats like omega 3 and go for whole foods instead of processed. Drink lots of water, this is vital for your immune system as well as your heart. Don’t smoke and keep your drinking to a minimum. Do we apply that, though? If you don’t, then make this the time you start looking after your heart. You’re going to need it to be strong as you begin aging!
OUR JOINTS AND BONES ARE VITAL TO DAILY LIFE
If you have ever broken a bone or pulled a muscle, then you will know how debilitating it can be. As we age, our joints start to deteriorate, and this can lead to chronic pain and, eventually, surgery. How we look after them now will have a considerable impact on our older years.
A diet that is rich in omega-three and lots of green vegetables such as curly kale and spinach will help you maintain supple joints. You also need to take up low impact sports such as yoga or mountain biking. Swimming will help support your joints while you exercise, but running could put stress on them, which can bite us later in life. To help improve your bone strength, calcium-rich foods such as whole milk (Avoid semi or skimmed) will benefit you. This is especially important in young children who are growing, by giving them enough calcium at the start of their lives, you are setting them up before they age. Chicken is an excellent source of calcium and can help you reach your daily recommended intake. Extra virgin olive oil and cherries are also perfect for your bones and your joints.
THE HEALTH OF YOUR TEETH IS ALSO ESSENTIAL
Teeth issues can lead to body confidence issues and have an impact on your mental wellbeing, especially if you are too concerned about them to smile. It’s surprising how little people know about oral hygiene, one of the most frequently asked questions at a dentist is “how often should I do a dental cleaning?” and the answer is every day! It’s simple to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Brush twice a day, use floss and mouthwash, and visit your dentist up to 4 times per year for maintenance and check-ups.
MENTAL HEALTH IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS PHYSICAL HEALTH
Depression contributes to many physical ailments. In a study that was conducted after the 9/11 attacks, it was found that if symptoms of PTSD weren’t treated within five years, then these symptoms would become physical conditions. Mental health issues can indeed impact your physical health, so it’s imperative to take time for ourselves every day. You don’t have to meditate or take up yoga, merely talking to people about your feelings or focussing on a hobby you really enjoy, could be enough to keep anxieties at bay.
If you know you are out of control of your thoughts and feeling depressed, then find a good counselor and get some help. Often just talking through our problems can help find solutions, but in some cases, you may have deep-rooted issues from the past, which are holding you back from being truly happy. Try to remove as much negativity as you can from your life, and this includes people that are toxic or bring you down. Try to find ways of being confident in who you are, we are all unique, and that is what makes us so special. If you are unhappy with some of your core values, reevaluate, and make some changes. We all have the power to improve ourselves. It just takes one small change.
Look after yourself. Always.