Tuesday, December 31, 2019

How To Safeguard Your Health In 2020

These days, we are living longer than ever, thanks to breakthroughs in medicine and technology. We, generally speaking, have better housing, heating, and access to food and medicine, as well as support, which should help us to thrive. 

However, with this increased life expectancy comes more challenges to our health, and we have to take more responsibility for keeping ourselves safe and well. Our lives tend to be jam-packed with work, family commitments, social engagements, and various other things, and far too often, our health gets neglected. We only take action when a problem becomes apparent, at which point is it much harder, or even too late, to do anything. This is why is it is important to take measures to safeguard our health and do what we can to improve our wellbeing. Here, we share some tips to help you:


Have regular checkups

One of the best ways of pre-empting any health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, hearing problems, and so on is to have regular health check ups. Certain conditions and diseases are screened for once you get to a particular age, such as a cervical smear test or bowel cancer screening, while others you need to ask for yourself. You should also be having regular eye and dental checkups, as your eye and dental health can give you a real insight into other areas of your health. For example, wisdom teeth can be a cause of gum infection, so getting those teeth checked and sorted if necessary can prevent a whole host of other illnesses and conditions.

Eat well

One of the best things that we can do for our health is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. That does not mean completely cutting out that indulgent slice of cake, but making sure you balance it with plenty of fresh fruit or vegetables - at least five portions a day, as well as all the healthy fats and carbohydrates that your body needs to work at it's very best. Too many people associate a healthy diet with weight loss, but it is so much more than that. An improved diet helps every function in your body, from your immune system to your healing ability, to even your metabolism. If you eat right, you give yourself a better chance of living a long and fulfilling life where you can do what you love to do for longer.

Exercise

This is another activity that many people only associate with losing weight, but actually, it is another daily lifestyle habit we all need to get into to improve our chances of better health and longevity. Exercising helps us stay strong, improve our immune system, keep our metabolism going, manage our weight, and keep our organs healthy and strong. It also happens to have other, more immediate benefits, like increased natural energy and improved mood. To achieve a healthy, active lifestyle, try exercising for at least thirty minutes a day. Only fifteen of those minutes need to be vigorous enough to get your heart racing. The rest can be achieved by taking the stairs instead of a lift at work, parking at a space furthest away from the supermarket, getting off the bus a stop earlier, dancing, walking your dog, and otherwise just moving your body and getting out there into the world.

Keep an eye on your mental health.

We are more aware of mental health than ever before, which can only be a good thing. Poor mental health can leave us more susceptible to physical health issues and vice versa. If you begin to feel like your mental health is not as good as it should be - feelings of sadness and depression that you just can't seem to shake off, worrying about things that are out of your control or feeling isolated and lonely, take steps to get it sorted. It can be difficult asking for help, but there is no stigma. After all, it is likely down to a chemical imbalance in your brain - you would treat a physical health condition, so you should treat your mental health in precisely the same way!

Keep your brain active.

This is important at any age, but even more so as you get older. Dementia is one of the leading causes of death, and while there is a genetic component that is out of our control, there is little doubt that keeping the brain active and engaged can help reduce the risk. Staying curious and having interests that stimulate our brains, such as reading, puzzles, learning a language, or going to the theatre are all fun ways of keeping our minds active. It can also be hugely beneficial for our mental health, as well.

Get plenty of sleep

Alongside a healthy diet and exercise, sleep is one of the best things that we can do for our bodies. These days, few of us get the optimum amount of sleep, and when we do sleep, it can be disturbed. Try to limit the amount of caffeine that you drink after lunchtime, avoid looking at your mobile phone or other devices for around about an hour before bedtime and have a warm bath and drink to help you relax. By practising better sleep hygiene, you will feel more rested and able to face whatever challenges life throws at you.

Stay hydrated

Dehydration is much more than just feeling a little thirsty. Your body will stop flushing out toxins and waste, and your organs will begin to shut down, leaving you feeling very unwell. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water every day, more so if you are hot or are more physically active.

You can never prevent illnesses, but you can certainly take steps, like the ones above, to reduce the chances of you becoming unwell and leave you feeling healthier in 2020.

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