Towards the end of the last year 2019, most of us had set goals such as changing jobs, a healthier diet or even committing to daily workout but little did we know that the pandemic would change all that.
Here at Pharmahealthtalk, we had mapped out strategies to deliver health projects tailored to benefit our community for their physical health and mental wellbeing. We take pride in the fact that we have continued to help people take ownership of their health through our healthtalk, health campaigns and collaboration with other health professionals all through 2020.
The global pandemic caused by the coronavirus and otherwise referred to as covid-19 no doubt exposed major deficiencies in healthcare and also affected the economy of the world causing an economic recession, loss of jobs, increase in mental health illness, and even loss of loved ones. There is no gainsaying that our physical and mental health and wellbeing have been seriously affected by the effect of the pandemic.
I, therefore, would like to use this opportunity to encourage everyone to play a part in their health and wellbeing even as the government continue to tackle and come up with adequate preventative health and treatment strategies that will help us sustain a healthy 2021 and beyond.
Our survival and coping mechanisms against communicable and non-communicable diseases are anchored mostly on our immune system, our environment, personal hygiene and the healthy lifestyle choices that we make.
I would like to encourage you to take some practical steps to develop and sustain a healthy new you in 2021. The following tips may help you in accomplishing a healthy 2021.
- Develop and sustain a healthy immune system through healthy nutrition by eating healthy and tasty foods, including fruits and vegetables as part of your diet. Foods are rich in zinc such as cashews, beef, egg yolk. Oysters, liver are claimed to have some virus-fighting effects. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and have been shown to support a healthy immune system. Seeds nutrition are equally important as they contain fibre, minerals and they can help maintain a healthy immune system.
- Cut down on sugars and salt as there is strong evidence linking high intake of salts and sugars to high blood pressure which can also put you at risk of other cardiovascular diseases. Opt for whole foods rather than processed foods choices. Also, ensure that you are familiar with good nutritional labels.
- Reset your daily schedule and ensure you have a set routine in an organised manner. Get enough sleep as lack of sleep or insomnia can affect your overall health that could cause serious health damage.
- Develop realistic and attainable goals. Be honest about the things you can achieve in the New Year. Break big dreams into smaller steps, write them down and tick off your checklist once you have accomplished any. Also, learn from past mistakes and commit to your goals. Also, don’t forget to celebrate your success when you achieve them.
- Have a health check to help you detect any hidden ailment. Health check or screening offers valuable insight for your overall wellness. Know your blood pressure numbers, get a diabetes test of your blood pressure is high and you take medication for blood pressure, check your cholesterol levels. For women, it is recommended that they have mammography done every 2years from age 50, cervical cancer test from age 21 and chlamydia test every year for women age 24 and sexually active.
- Maintain healthy body weight. This will help lower heart disease, control diabetes and other chronic diseases. Combination of diet, exercise and discipline is good to maintain healthy body weight. Following a Mediterranean diet has been recommended. It includes fruits and vegetables, wholegrain bread and cereals, healthy fats from nuts, seeds and olive oil, lean protein from chicken, fish and beans, limited red meat and moderate consumption of wine with meals according to guidelines for men and women.
- Include exercise in your healthy goal plan. It helps reduce risk of heart diseases, stroke, diabetes and depression. 150 minutes of aerobic exercise such as brisk walking per week or 75 minutes of rigorous exercise such as running per week has been recommended. Strength training exercises that work on the muscles are also recommended.
- Manage your mental health by managing your stress levels. Mental illness includes depression, anxiety, bipolar and even post-traumatic disorders among many others. Ensure you know how to recognise symptoms which include mood swings, withdrawing from friends and family, being aggressive or thinking about death or suicide. Speak to a mental health professional or your doctor if you begin to experience these symptoms.
Thank you for your support all through the year 2020. I look forward to an exciting time together in 2021 as we bring your way quality health programmes in collaboration with other healthcare professionals that will help you live a healthier life in 2021 and beyond.
Don’t forget to connect with us on our webinar series scheduled for January 9th, February 6th and March 6th 2021. You can visit our website www.pharmahealthtalk.co.uk or our Facebook page for further information on healthtalk and other useful resources.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.