Healthcare is becoming an increasing concern for many people around the world. Compared to just half a decade ago, we’re not worrying more and more about every facet of life. Are we consuming the right nutrients? Are we getting the right amount of exercise? Are we drinking enough water? These are just some of the many concerns that people think of on a regular basis.
And with good reason. With recent media exposure, there are a lot of issues going around that are putting people in a state of panic. For a while, sitting was said to be worse than smoking in terms of increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. However, scientists are now saying that standing is actually no healthier than sitting despite all the articles, blog posts and other media scares.
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Don’t always believe the media
While the media can often cite sources, it’s important to remember that not everything they say is often true. They can get facts muddled up, you might misinterpret something, or perhaps you just don’t understand what is being said when it comes to the facts and technical details, but they win over your opinion with scare tactics.
Don’t always fall for these media tricks. There are times when the media releases quality information that does hold some truth but do remember that the goal of the media, articles and bloggers is generally to get as many views as possible, hence the clickbait titles and outrageous claims. Make sure that before you believe in an opinion that you do ample research on your own. It is your health, after all, so it makes sense to put in extra effort to ensure that you are getting the right help.
With that out of the way, let’s look at some easy ways for you to get your health back on track, a single step at a time.
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Focus on lifestyle changes, not temporary changes
Your body and health are in their current states because of how you have been treating it for the past couple of years. If you feel you are overweight, have a bad back, or get strain injuries when using your computer then that’s likely because of the activities you partake in. If you use the computer a lot then you’re going to eventually end up with wrist and hand strain injuries if you don’t take regular breaks or try to strengthen those joints. If you feel like you have a bad back, it could be the result of bad posture when you sit in your office chair.
To fix these issues, we can often make drastic changes and we’ll be motivated to keep them for a long time. For example, you might invest in a standing desk and use it for a couple of weeks, but eventually, you could get tired and not only will you use it less often, but you’ll also have wasted money on it.
This is why it’s important to make lifestyle changes that you can keep. For starters, instead of using a standing desk, how about getting up and stretching more often? Celebrate completing an assignment at work by getting up, stretching and walking to the kitchen to get yourself a cup of tea. Just finished eating dinner? How about taking your dog for a walk or strolling around the block to get a bit of post-dinner exercise to let the food settle. It’s these small changes that will amount to habit, and once they become habits you can keep on refining those lifestyle changes to make your body more healthy.
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Your diet should be consistent, not a fad
The food we eat is incredibly important when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s for this reason that we are more likely to check food labels, read up online about the nutrients we should be getting, and we might consider taking supplements or hiring a nutritionist. But whatever you decide to eat or cut back on, remember that you are supposed to maintain that diet as a lifestyle change, not a temporary one.
Too many people believe that “diet” is a term used for a temporary change in your eating habits, and it has been advertised as such by big-brand news sites and even some fitness regimes. Unfortunately, a diet isn’t supposed to be something that you take on for a couple of days, weeks or even months. If you can’t stick to dietary changes, then it’s a good idea to take it slow and make small changes here and there.
For example, cutting out soda might be hard for someone who used to drink a lot of it. You will undoubtedly get cravings for soda later in the future if you try to cut it all out in one go, so the best way to get around this is to slowly cut down. Buy less soda, buy smaller bottles, or reduce the frequency that you go to the store to buy soda. Replace it with carbonated water, flavoured water or even just tea. The idea is to reduce eating unhealthy things, not replace them entirely. Once you get used to having smaller amounts of something unhealthy, you can then proceed to phase it out entirely and only have it when there’s a special occasion.
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Look after yourself at work
Many of our negative health factors could be attributed to our working conditions. For example, if you work around a lot of smoke, then you could develop a cough very easily or even worse, other health conditions that you might not be aware of. In times like this, you need to really consider if the job you are doing is worth the health risk. If not, then consider leaving and finding another job that puts your own health at less risk.
You could also speak to your employer about safety equipment. If we use the example of smoke, then your employer is expected to equip their members of staff with the proper safety equipment and have security measures in place for the well-being of their staff. For example, making sure the exhaust fan works to pull out smoke and chemicals from the air, smoke and gas masks for periods of heavy smoke, and regular screening to ensure that you aren’t inhaling nasty chemicals. You should also be limited to the amount you can be exposed to those conditions. There is some great info from Robins Cloud that will teach you about adverse working conditions, and the options you can take should you feel like you are being mistreated at work and, as a result, you are suffering from adverse health conditions.
You might be fortunate enough to not work in a hazardous environment, but that doesn’t mean you are free of nasty chemicals or health risks. For starters, if you are sitting for long periods of time then you need to ensure your posture is correct. Keep your back straight, stop slouching and ensure you have a good quality chair that supports your back. Keep in mind that there are a lot of different devices and gadgets you can use to improve your quality of life at work, such as arthritis gloves for typists or back support devices that attach to your chair. Keep in mind that your employer should be looking after your health and safety, so always approach them about these changes so they can help you pay for them.
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Take care of your mental health as well
Bottling up your emotions and struggling with stress can be debilitating. It can have a huge negative impact on your quality of life, and the issues could develop into worse conditions if not handled correctly. If you feel like you are suffering from depression or other mental issues, it’s never a bad idea to visit a doctor and speak to them about your problems. Having a close friend or family member to speak to can also help you maintain good mental health.
Mental health can be improved by first improving any other aspect of your life. Stress usually stems from an inherent fear of something, and that fear could be something like your job security, your weight or even your appearance. But eating well, keeping active and taking care of your body, it will reduce the amount of mental stress you have and contribute to your overall health.
Going on regular holidays, taking relaxing breaks and relaxing at home are great ways to melt stress away. Always try to indulge yourself in a luxurious activity once a week, be it a spa experience, a comfortable night in with a film and some friends, or even a massage. By having something to look forward to when the work week ends, you’ll feel motivated to work and push through the week of stress to reach your goal of relaxation.
Taking small steps is perhaps the most critical part of improving your overall health. Large changes can be done, but they often don’t stick because of how difficult it can be to stick to those changes. Instead of trying to make large sweeping changes to your life that are hard to swallow, take it easy and work on those changes one at a time.
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