How Can You Support Your Body To Safeguard Your Health?

Looking after our health has never been more important than right now. In the midst of a global pandemic, we’ve all come to realise that wellness is the most valuable asset we have. After all, the old saying ‘health is wealth’ rings true for a reason. With such an unpredictable factor as a virus at play, it pays to ensure that your health and immune system are in a good position, to give you the best possible chance at recovery should you catch coronavirus. Paradoxically, even as good health is becoming more prized than ever, some of us are sliding into bad habits during lockdown conditions - neglecting our daily exercise, sitting on our behinds binge watching Netflix and gorging on salty, sugary snacks. If you’ve been treating quarantine sort of like one long snow day, now is the time to shape up your habits and start prioritizing your mental and physical wellness. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be a huge adjustment all at once. Just simple, small changes to your daily habits can add up to a significant impact over time, and start you on the path to healthier living.

Step Change Your Diet

Great nutrition is the best way to support your body’s overall health and ensure that you’re well set up to guard against infections and viruses. Making dietary changes can feel overwhelming if you try to completely alter what you’re eating overnight - instead make small baby steps towards better nutritional choices and they are more likely to stick. A good way to start is simply by aiming to include more fresh fruits and vegetables on to your daily menu. Aim to eat a rainbow of different colours as this will provide your body with the broadest range of different vitamins and minerals. If you struggle to meet your quota, think outside the box by adding a few homemade smoothies into your week, or blending extra vegetables into a pasta sauce. You could even consider things like swapping out white rice for cauliflower rice, or traditional red meat for vegetarian mince and sausages. There are lots of simple healthy recipes that you can find online and now have a little more time to try out. Try to include some foods that boost the immune system into your weekly choices, and add in spices like turmeric which help fight inflammation in the body.

Assess Your Sleep Hygiene

Along with what you eat, how you sleep is also of great importance. Behavioural scientists recognize it as a ‘keystone habit’ - something which influences almost every other area of your life, from your mood and interpersonal relationships to your ability to focus and be creative and even your choices around diet and exercise. So if you don’t have good sleep hygiene, now is definitely the time to do something about it. Understandably, anxiety about the current uncertain state of things can make it hard to drift off. So try learning some relaxation deep breathing techniques or listening to a mindfulness podcast to help you unwind more at night. It’s also a good idea to take a look at your sleeping environment. The room you sleep in should be kept dark with lined curtains or blackout blinds, and be ever so slightly cool in temperature. Go for breathable cotton bed linen and the best quality mattress that you can afford. Take the step of banning electronics from the bedroom if you are struggling with sleep - not only does the endless ping of notifications draw us into email and social media when we should be winding down for the day, but the blue light devices like smartphones, tablets and televisions emit disrupts the body’s natural production of the hormone melatonin, which is needed for a restful night’s sleep. When we don’t get enough quality sleep, our overall health and our immune systems take a dive - so focus on improving this area of your life for lasting benefits.

Add Some Supplements

Although nothing beats focusing on the right diet and exercise, supplements can be a useful addition to an otherwise already healthy diet. Specifically, there have been some recent studies published showing that a Vitamin D deficiency makes the impact of Covid 19 far worse, so it's a good idea to take Vitamin D tablets, especially if you don’t have a lot of exposure to sunlight during the day. It can also be worth looking at a probiotic multivitamin. The health of our gut microbiome has a huge bearing on how well our bodies respond to illness and infection through our inflammatory response. It’s also worth looking into substances like serretia that can aid the body in a quick recovery. Adding a powdered supergreens supplement is another way to turbo-charge your diet and make sure that your health is supported throughout lockdown and beyond.

Keep On Top Of Health Appointments

Many of us put off niggling health issues that we feel too busy in our daily lives to tackle - but this is simply storing up problems for the future. Prevention is far better than cure in every case. It can be difficult at the moment, when many routine medical appointments have been suspended due to the pandemic, but as things gradually start to return to normal make sure you get your name onto the waiting lists that you need to rather than letting things spiral. Or if your issue can be addressed via a video chat or a telephone appointment, some of those options are running as normal. Make sure you book in a physical exam at least once every six months, know when to take a break to avoid burnout, never miss a smear test or a mammogram, book in for physiotherapy if you have troubling musculo-skeletal issues, and make sure to book that check-up with the dentist as soon as it's safe to do so.

We get out what we put in when it comes to taking care of our bodies. So if the current pandemic has given you a new appreciation that you need to start putting your health first, make sure you take these steps to improve your wellbeing in the pandemic and beyond.

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