After a difficult year that has put health front and center in our minds due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the current vaccine launch and roadmap out of the lockdown are giving us plenty of reasons to feel more positive. But if there’s one thing the pandemic has highlighted, it’s the importance of taking care of ourselves, no matter what happens in the world, and more of us than ever are looking to overhaul our diet and fitness routines and take better care of ourselves. our physical and mental well-being.
From kicking bad habits to sleeping better at night, there are a multitude of different ways we could all be a little better off in the health department, but if your lifestyle needs a complete and utter rethink, then it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. But with a few simple steps, you can be back to feeling at your vibrant best in no time and living the healthiest life of your life; all it takes is a few small changes and you’ll be well equipped to face whatever life has to offer. you in the future.
Try these simple ways to get things moving in 2021.
CHANGE YOUR BEDTIME ROUTINE
Not getting enough sleep? The problems that can arise with this can go far beyond simply feeling a little tired and lethargic during the day, and if left unchecked, can have a detrimental impact on our overall health and well-being. Numerous global studies have highlighted a worldwide sleep shortage, with nearly 67 percent of all adults in the UK reporting sleep disorders and a worrying 25 percent sleeping less than five consecutive hours each night. Long-term sleep deprivation can lead to mood swings and memory problems, weaken your immune system and put you at risk for diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Some simple ways to prepare for a better night’s sleep include taking a warm bath or shower and banning blue light-emitting devices, such as cell phones and tablets, from the bedroom for at least an hour before lights out. Make sure your bedroom is a comfortable temperature before falling asleep, so you don’t wake up sweating or shivering at night, and avoid eating heavy meals close to bedtime, as digestive problems such as acid reflux can disrupt good health. sleep at night.
If the problem persists, consult your family doctor, who will be able to give you some additional advice and recommend the necessary treatments.
FIGHTING BAD HABITS
Vices and bad habits can seem like small problems in the grand scheme of things, and when we eat right and exercise often, it’s easy enough to ignore them as insignificant. But habits like excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and overeating can easily undo all your good work if you’re not careful, posing a substantial risk to your health. So, if you’ve had the idea that it might be time to address yours, then there’s no time like the present, so sit down and take an honest look at what vices you have and which ones you’re willing to work on first.
The key to success here is getting the help and support you need, so confide in a friend or family member you can trust and make an appointment to see your family doctor. They will be able to advise on the best way to proceed and may be able to refer you to a therapist who can help you work on your mindset, not just the physical vice itself.
If you are a smoker who wants to quit, for example, nicotine products such as Killapods nicotine pouches can help you quit smoking. Meanwhile, CBT has been shown to help with overeating and binge eating. The approach you take will largely depend on the bad habit you’re dealing with, so it’s always worth seeking advice from professionals.
MONITOR YOUR VITAL STATISTICS
Health fitness tracker
As you get older, it becomes more important than ever to stay on top of key health measures such as blood pressure and cholesterol, so regular checks at your GP are essential.
If you’re over 30, consider investing in a digital home blood pressure monitor to keep track of yours: the standard normal value is 120/80 mmHg, so use this as a benchmark. If yours is lower, then it’s generally fine, as it tends to rise with age, but any value above 135/85 mmHg and it’s advisable to see your GP. High blood pressure is a major risk factor when it comes to heart attacks and strokes, so it is important not to leave it unchecked.
Cholesterol should also be checked regularly. Your cardioprotective HDL cholesterol is an important level to monitor: it helps protect your heart, so if yours is low, you can take a daily Omega-3 supplement for a simple boost. On the other hand, if your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol is above 2.6 mmol/L, it’s time to take steps to lower it. Your family doctor will be able to advise you on the best approach.
FIND TIME TO BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Self-care has become a buzzword in recent years, but nevertheless, many of us still don’t make enough time to refill our cups. This has been especially true over the past year, as the need to juggle working from home with homeschooling puts extra pressure on parents in particular, but taking just a few minutes each day to reboot can do wonders for your mental health and well-being.
Try to set aside some time for yourself each morning to meditate or practice some gentle yoga, or go for a nature walk at lunchtime. Taking care of your physical health is important, but if you don’t also take care of your mental health, you won’t be able to prioritize either, so take preventative measures now while you can and give your mind the boost.