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We only have one body (and one brain), so it is vital to take good care of ourselves! As obvious as some of the basic ways to help stay healthy are, they can easily get forgotten about within busy everyday lives. Sometimes a quick reminder about looking after our health prompts us to re-evaluate our current habits and make positive changes. So let’s start with simple daily practices that support good health…
• Get enough sleep – a good night sleep has numerous benefits; it improves memory, attention and concentration, helps regulate mood, helps you to maintain a healthy weight, fights off inflammation, lowers stress and inspires creativity too!
• Be active – move around as much as possible throughout the day, try to avoid sitting for long periods, and exercise regularly. Some practical ways to do this in daily life might include simply taking the stairs instead of the lift, ditching the car and walking or cycling to work, taking a lunchtime walk, joining a gym, taking a fitness class or jogging/ park run. You could also consider a standing desk if you work in an office. These are just a few examples.
• Eat healthily – make sure you eat a balanced diet with plenty of nutritional value. Ensure foods rich in protein, fibre and essential vitamins. Remember your 5 a day! Avoid excess salt, sugar and saturated fats. Drink plenty of water too. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
• Take time to relax – taking time to enjoy a hobby, reading a book, taking a bath or watching TV; whatever helps you to unwind. Other relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga are also beneficial, or indulge in some art therapy.
• Stay connected – whether it is a quick chat with a colleague, catching up with a friend, a phone call to family or sharing your feelings, it is important to talk and stay connected.
Track Your Health At Home
Whilst monitoring your own health at home should not replace consulting with professionals, it is very useful to track your own health at home. The information can be used to motivate yourself to improve your health and pick up any danger signs early. Often the reports from apps and devices can be sent straight to your GP too, so that they can monitor results; which means you can work together more closely with your healthcare provider.
Health Concerns – Visiting Your GP
Looking after your health isn’t a solo job! If you are concerned about your health, go see your GP. Of course, common illness and ailments can be treated at home, and you can also pop into a pharmacy for advice. But if you have any doubts or niggles about symptoms then do make an appointment asap. There is no need to feel embarrassed or fear you are wasting their time; it is far better to air on the side of caution if you are worried.
For mental health concerns, the same applies. Talk to your GP or make a self-referral for support. Also try to open up to friends or family members about how you are feeling too. There are private therapists both online and in person too, if you prefer to go down that route.
Allergies and Allergy Testing
If you suspect you may have an allergy, it is helpful to get this confirmed via allergy testing. Allergies can produce a whole array of different symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Of course those on the extreme end of the scale, such as instantly life-threatening allergies, are spotted quickly due to severity. However, mild allergies can go undetected for many years, causing discomfort and affecting quality of life. Companies such as Klarify offer home allergy test kits. Alternatively, potential allergies can be investigated at a private clinic, or your GP can refer you for allergy testing at hospital.
Health Conditions and Treatment
It can be daunting to find out you have a health condition or allergy. Remember though that getting a correct diagnosis means that the condition can be treated, or managed, in the best way possible, and as soon as possible.
Ask questions of professionals and seek support from local groups and networks. Talk to friends and family too. Also try to focus on any positive changes that can be made to possibly improve your health condition. Looking after your health is essential, especially if you have a condition. Make sure you get all the help and support you can in doing so.