With health advice fired at us from all directions, what’s the most effective way of staying healthy?
Whether we’re chatting to the GP or scrolling through Instagram, we’re constantly told how important it is to take care of our health. In this day and age, we’re more aware of self-care than ever before. Healthy living gets a lot of press, especially amongst social media influencers.
The new year heralds the dawn of the fitness frenzy. As we try and recover from a Christmas of over-indulgence, we’re bombarded with products to help us get back on track. Celebrities are gearing up to get their DVDs on the shelves. Our inboxes are inundated with gym memberships and ebooks. We know that self-care is the key to staying healthy, but with so many products for sale, how do we know where to begin?
Stripping it back to basics
What does ‘healthy’ look like? Does it mean you have to have rippling abs or drink chia lattes? We think not. Being healthy means something different to everyone. What we do know is that it can’t be achieved through quick fixes. Health derives from truly taking care of your body and mind. A short-term approach might help you lose a few pounds, but it’s not the key to long-term wellbeing.
We’ve teamed up with CoppaFeel! to help you navigate the path of health. Forget fancy teas and expensive training programmes. We’re stripping it back to basics to help you take your health into your own hands.
The simplest plans are always the most effective. Take note of our 6 biggest tips for taking care of yourself this new year. Stick around for the final two tips that lie at the heart of our collaboration.
1. A healthy perspective
Why are you trying to be healthy? Hint: the answer shouldn’t be because you ate too many mince pies at Christmas. Try and find a deeper meaning of health. If it helps, remember what your parents used to tell you. Some of the most valuable tips are overlooked because they don’t exude the glamorous notion of health that we see on social media. But truthfully, eating our greens and taking care of our teeth are up there with the best pieces of advice. As children, we recognise that our parents want us to be healthy so we can grow up to be fit and strong and avoid getting ill. As adults, health takes on a whole new, complex meaning. Recognise that the meaning of health is actually pretty simple. It is the basic human right to feel well.
2. Basic nutrition
The cliché is true: we are what we eat. At the most basic level, our bodies need food and water to survive. The best nutritional advice is to eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. This includes fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins and fats, plus a little bit of what we like. Natural foods are packed full of revitalising vitamins. These vitamins tend to be lower in processed foods. Ditch the complex nutritional advice and strive to eat fresh, natural foods. If you’re not sure about the food groups, simply look up ‘a balanced plate’.
3. Use your body
We weren’t designed to sit at desks and stare at screens all day. Unfortunately, many of us have to do this anyway, so it’s important to give our bodies a little bit of what they do need. Exercise helps to stimulate our bodies, so everything stays in working order. Being active helps keep our hearts and bones strong, as well as promoting muscle gain and fat loss. Exercise also releases endorphins to our brain. This is the so-called ‘happy hormone’ which boosts our mood. It really doesn’t matter which form of exercise you pick; be it swimming, dancing or lifting weights. When you think of all the benefits of just being active, does it really matter whether you stick to a strict fitness routine? Absolutely not.
4. Take time out
Rest and recuperation go hand in hand with exercise. Quite often when we set goals or New Years’ Resolutions, we go full speed ahead. This can be counter-productive, as we quickly exhaust ourselves. In this busy world, we’re always focused on doing as much as we possibly can. Make sure you acknowledge the need to slow down. Getting enough sleep and quiet time is the simplest form of self-care. Your mind and body need this switch-off to be able to function properly.
5. Be aware of your body
Take notice of how you feel, both physically and mentally. Keeping a diary is a great way to do this. Take your health into your own hands by monitoring changes to your body. It’s easy to overlook small changes to our routines that could have a big impact on how we feel. Be sure to note down any changes to your diet and activity levels. It’s also good to note down any stress that you might be feeling and your sleeping pattern. These are all things that can alter your physical wellbeing.
CoppaFeel! has already helped thousands of people all over the UK take their health into their own hands- quite literally! Take the time to examine your lumps and bumps, so you’re the first one to know if anything changes. Knowing how your body feels when it’s healthy is the key to knowing when something’s up. CoppaFeel!’s website has oodles of information about checking yourself, so take a look here.
6. Make it stick
If you require any treatment to keep you healthy, be sure to take it properly. Medication is only most effective when it is taken exactly as your doctor prescribes it. It sounds like the most obvious advice, but unfortunately it’s not the reality. Over 50% of people in the UK do not take their medication properly. This leads to health complications and an increased risk of hospitalisation. Following a medication regime can help you take control of your condition, so you can stay healthy.
If you do take multiple medications and you struggle to take them properly, check out the PillTime solution. We organise your medication into dose-specific pouches, clearly labelled with a dose description. This is a free service, and it could help you take your health into your own hands.