Living through the pandemic in 2020, and into today, we have all paid our health far more attention than ever before. Today is World Health Day - celebrated to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1948.
This past year has highlighted to us all just how fragile our health can be, and also how vital it is that we do all that we can to protect it.
There is much we can do on a daily basis to keep ourselves healthy. Our physical and mental wellbeing are tied together, and taking care of one can also benefit the other.
Here are four simple things you can do to today to protect your health
Exercise not only helps your physical health, but it can also positively impact your mental wellbeing too. It can help ward off diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. It also releases endorphins, those feel good chemicals which help to change the chemical levels in your brain. You don’t have to be a runner, or work out in the gym to feel the benefits. 30 mins walking, cycling or using a workout video three or four times a week is a great start.
Switch to natural products
Day to day, we all use hundreds of different products - from cleaning our houses, to washing our bodies, and doing the laundry. Many mainstream products are full of chemicals which are not great for our bodies. Thankfully, there is a plethora of alternatives available. It can be overwhelming knowing where to start, but if you switch out a product as you need to replace things, before you know it you’ll have made a big change. You could switch your regular soap for a natural hand wash, or purchase an eco egg to use with your laundry. You can even make your own cleaning spray with white vinegar and a couple of essential oils!
Make time to rest
Rest is just as important as being active. It’s been suggested that getting just the right amount of sleep can help prolong your life, decrease fatigue and increase athletic stamina. Allowing yourself rest time not only allows your body to recover, but also gives your mind a chance to decompress as well.
Be mindful of your diet
We all know the importance of eating our five a day, and not eating too much sugar. But in our busy lives it is easy to lose track of what we are eating. Grabbing snacks on the run, and one too many takeaways can take their toll on our bodies. Focus on whole grains, fruit and veggies, drink lots of water and limit processed foods and alcohol. Planning ahead makes it easier - having healthy snacks on hand can help prevent you reaching for the chocolate bars when the 3pm slump hits. Create a meal plan or consider batch cooking, so you aren't left in a sudden panic at dinner time every day.