This month I thought what shall I talk about, and I thought – Health, this matters to all of us and even more so as we all get older. Health is one of the most important aspects of our lives. It can affect our ability to work, play and enjoy time with our loved ones. It can be quite a challenge in today’s world due to the pace of our everyday lives.
It is so important to understand that our health is not solely determined by genetics or luck. While these factors can certainly play a role, our lifestyle choices and behaviours have a significant impact on our health. This means that we have the power to make positive changes that improve our health and wellbeing. Some of these changes might include adopting a healthy diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, and getting enough sleep.
Regular exercise is essential for our health. Exercise helps us maintain a healthy weight, strengthen our muscles and bones, and reduce our risk of chronic diseases – I must admit I have never personally found the endorphins that make you feel happy whilst exercising as I hate exercising, so I think they must be hiding somewhere 😊, but those that like exercise, you go people!!!
If we make positive lifestyle changes, these can have a huge impact on our quality of life. Keep our minds and bodies moving by learning something new. If it’s something active (whether that’s joining a walking group, learning to dance, or playing a sport) then that’s even better
Managing stress is also crucial to our health. Stress can negatively impact our physical and mental health, so it is important to try and manage it effectively. This might include practicing relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing, regular exercise, or talking to a Counsellor.
Finally, sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing. Sleep helps our bodies repair and rejuvenate, and it can have a huge impact on our physical and mental health. It is recommended that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Deciding to go to bed earlier rather than staying up to watch another episode of a binge-worthy TV series (which, for night owls like myself, can become tempting!), can be a quick way to improve the quality of your sleep.
Whilst at work
Check your posture
Many of us sit slumped at our desks or on the sofa or walk hunched over without realising.
Having good posture is more important than many of us realise. Not only can it reduce back and neck pain, and improve circulation and digestion, but it can improve the health of your spine.
While most people can’t improve their posture overnight, there are many exercises you can try that will increase your awareness of your spine and how you’re aligned, improve your core strength, and slowly help you to achieve and maintain good posture in the years to come.
The Dreaded Social Media
Limit your social media, because although its good with keeping us up to date with things and seeing things we want or that we like etc, as well as being a force of good by allowing us to stay connected, being connected to the wrong people or publications online can be detrimental to our wellbeing
Our social media news feeds can have a significant impact on our mood and it’s important that yours only shows you information about people or things that you want to see. Go through your feeds on Facebook/ Instagram etc and declutter/disconnect with groups/posts/contacts that are not beneficial to you and can be detrimental to you in the long run. I have seen both sides of social media, one is fabulous and entertaining, and the other is ugly, that’s why it’s important that we only get things through that are right for us. Currently, it seems that some people feel they have the right to say hurtful and unkind things and become keyboard warriors, so please make sure you are never in that position as its not good for your health and can cause a lot of upset and I am talking from personal experience. ☹
Summertime care for our skin and ourselves
We all know that sunburn and tanning can increase our risk of skin cancer. Rule of thumb is stay out of the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun's harmful rays are strongest. You are not protected if it is cloudy or if you are in the water — harmful rays pass through both
The NHS recommends using a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to protect against UVB – rays and one that has at least four-star UVA protection. It’s especially important to apply it to sun-exposed areas such as the face, ears, neck, lips, and back of the hands, where skin cancer most commonly develops.
Some Moisturisers now have SPF in them which is good for your face as some creams can be a little bit too heavy for your face. Cool yourself down. Have cold food and drinks, avoid alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks, and have a cool shower or put cool water on your skin or clothes.
Keep your living space cool. Close windows during the day and open them at night when the temperature outside has gone down. If you are going to do a physical activity (for example exercise or walking the dog), plan to do these during times of the day when it is cooler such as the morning or evening and be mindful of the temperatures on the pavements for the dogs’ paws.
Adopting a balanced diet is one of the most effective health measures. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help us maintain a healthy weight. It can also lower our risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes and improve our overall wellbeing. Salt - Adults shouldn’t eat more than 6g of salt per day because too much salt can increase blood pressure, damage arteries, and put strain on our hearts. You can buy a product called lo salt which whilst is still salt it is much healthier if you are a person that needs salt on their food. I use this at home and cannot tell the difference at all.
A healthy balanced diet will help you build healthy bones from an early age and maintain them throughout your life. You need sufficient calcium to keep your bones healthy and vitamin D to help your body absorb calcium. Poor bone health can cause conditions such as osteoporosis and increase the risk of breaking a bone from a fall later in life.
Adults need 700mg of calcium a day. You should be able to get all the calcium you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.
Good sources of calcium include:
milk, cheese and other dairy foods
bread and anything made with fortified flour
green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage but not spinach (Although spinach contains a lot of calcium, it also contains oxalate, which reduces calcium absorption, and it is therefore not a good source of calcium
plant-based drinks (such as soya drink) with added calcium
fish where you eat the bones, such as sardines and pilchards
Some Quick-Fire useful points to help you have
Get rid of excess clutter in both your physical and mental world. (This is something I am very bad at, as I like to have my things around me!)
Stop doing what doesn’t work for you and keep doing what does work for you. – shake things up a bit!
Accept the things in your life that you cannot change.
Do something for others just because you can- this is more important than ever in this world.
Try to be spontaneous or try something new each week. If you are a creature of comfort, this will be quite hard.
Don’t forget your dental or eye health. Ensure you have regular check-ups and eye exams
See your doctor if you have any concerns or are due a check up or medication review etc.
Learn to relax more. – Easier said than done I know!!! But will be well worth it!
Focus less on your weight, and more on your overall health.
Find things to be grateful for in your life. I try to find 3 things each day that I am grateful for which sounds easy, but some days are easier than others. So today for instance, I am grateful that my dad’s health is improving as nearly lost him a few weeks ago, I am grateful for the friends I have in my life now and I am grateful to have my health.
Don’t forget to smile and laugh routinely. It really does take more muscles to frown, about 47 of them. And for smiling, we only use about 1 😊
Do something fun every day. We forget about the fun things when adulting sometimes so its something to bear in mind.
Have a sense of purpose in your life. Find something that gets you up in the morning.
Let go of the past, focus on what you can do to improve your present and future.
Making plans for things we enjoy can increase our sense of hope, which is important for our mental health. Our plan could be for anything from small pleasures, like a cup of tea or your favourite TV programme or dance class, to a trip with family or friends, or seeing your favourite film or singer/a band. I make a point of planning things in my diary, which give me that sense of purpose and something to focus on moving forward to look forward to. Whether it’s a small or a big one, the important thing is to plan it.Decide what you’ll do, when and with who and, if needed, book it. It’s important to follow your plan – and repeat…
That’s it for now and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did put in together!
Ps in case you are having a moment and just need to take a few minutes out, follow this link, its brilliant to just bring you back down to the present and to feel a little calmer.
https://youtu.be/o31wvrZP7bg - taken from the Action for Happiness site and is very useful.