2020 has been a tough year for most. Over the last few months, many of us have taken more of an interest in our health and wellbeing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. If you’re looking to adopt and embrace a healthier lifestyle, but you’re wondering where to start, this guide has got you covered.
Drinking and smoking
Have you realised that you drink more than you thought, are you looking to give up smoking, or are you wondering how to go tee-total? Smoking and drinking excessively are linked to a host of health problems, including some types of cancer and an elevated risk of heart disease. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of looking after our bodies. If you’re keen to make changes, there are strategies you can employ and there is help and support available. Many smokers are switching to vaping to try and cut down and eventually quit, and there are cheap vape deals out there. It’s also beneficial to take advantage of support programmes and advice provided by GP surgeries and local pharmacies. If you’re worried about drinking too much, or you’re eager to give up alcohol, keeping a diary can help and you might also find it beneficial to switch up your socialising habits and avoid keeping alcohol in the house. If your drinking has increased significantly during lockdown, see your doctor. There are also several charities and support groups you can contact online.
Increasing activity levels
Are you one of those people who roll their eyes when you see yet another home workout session on Instagram? While uploading images of yourself on a treadmill may not be your thing, it is advantageous to increase your activity levels. Inactivity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Regular exercise can lower the risk of potentially life-threatening illnesses and it can have an incredibly positive impact on your mental wellbeing. To embrace a more active lifestyle, you don’t have to join a gym or turn your living room into a fitness suite. Even simple things like going for a walk every evening, jogging around the park or joining a virtual circuit training, spin or Pilates class can make a difference. Try and get used to moving your body more and make time for active pursuits.
Improving your diet
All too often, we hear the word diet and we automatically think about losing weight or trying to survive on cabbage soup or vivid green juices for weeks on end. Your diet is important not solely for maintaining a healthy, stable body weight, but also for providing your body with essential nutrients. If you rely on fast food or microwave meals, or you rarely hit your 5-a-day target, start taking steps to prioritise nutrition. Add more fruit and vegetables to your daily menu, cut down on processed foods and products that are high in sugar and saturated fats and increase your intake of whole grains and foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals. There are hundreds of quick and simple recipes online and you don’t need to be a master chef to rustle up a healthy, delicious meal.
Our health is something we should never take for granted. It’s not always possible to prevent illnesses and health problems, but looking after your body and mind can lower the risks dramatically.