Dr Tariq Jagnarine
Family Medicine, Endocrinology/ Diabetes
It should come as no surprise that 2020 has certainly brought its fair share of challenges with it. However, as we look ahead to 2021, many of us would have made various positive resolutions to be fulfilled throughout the year. Some may wish to have more wealth, success, happiness, travel, etc. Let us not forget the number one element needed to enjoy all of these wishes: GOOD HEALTH. It is time to move past the COVID-19 pandemic, and use it as a revelation in being healthier. Starting a new year is always an opportune time for a new beginning and instilling a new habit or two that would lead to a healthier, more fulfilling day-to-day life.
As the situation in 2020 looks to be extending into 2021, it is high time we start considering how we would keep healthy in the long-term. The harm done by contamination, shoddy nourishment, undesirable ways of life, substance misuse expands the dangers related to well-being.
Improving our health and well-being does not need to be complicated. In fact, great accomplishments are the sum of small steps! Start the New Year off on the right foot by trying some of these suggested health tips:
1. FOR EVERY HOUR OF DESK TIME, STAND UP & MOVE!
This is one of the most critical tips that are needed to staying healthy in 2021. Regardless of whether the work is done from home or in the office, for every hour of desk time, it is recommended that you stand up and move. This can be as simple as stretching, or going for a brisk walk out and around the office.
2. EXERCISE AS PART OF YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
Even 30 minutes of exercising daily is known to balance hormones, manage stress, and manage weight. It is also important to include some form of physical exercise in your daily routine. Consider bike riding, walking, yoga sessions, or even a run on the treadmill. A solid exercise routine has the ability to de-stress, bring positive energy, enable recuperating, detoxification and newness in a person’s life.
3. MAINTAIN HEALTHY DIET
Eating right is critical in order to give your body the sustenance it requires. Eating right deals with the basic needs of the body, and addresses any underlying medical problems. Avoid low-quality nourishments, bubbly beverages, caffeine and sweet beverages to spare yourself the unfortunate weight gain, diabetes, hypertension and heart problems.
Eating enough organic products, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits can invigorate and advance the body’s working capacity.
4. HEALTHY SLEEPING PATTERNS
Subsequent to having gone through a whole day shuffling between the gatherings, unpleasant circumstances, food propensities, and getting things done, it is critical to unplug and energise your own body. Practice setting up a devoted opportunity to rest 8 to 10 hours of each night, in order to allow your body to revive and energise from the everyday injury.
5. MINIMISE STRESS
We live in uncertain times, and things have never been more challenging than they are now. As we look ahead to 2021, a gentle reminder is to minimise stress despite the challenges thrown our way. Tuning in to music, conversing with companions, composing diaries, reflection, yoga and meditation are just a few ways to help reduce stress.
6. QUIT SMOKING AND DRINKING
The social influence, peer pressure situations and emotional turmoil often force people to resort to some sort of relief that comes with consumption of alcohol or tobacco. However, these substances do the most harm to the body, bringing a host of health, emotional and mental issues together. Avoiding tobacco and alcohol can help to restore hormonal imbalance, immunity, and body energy.
7. DRINK MORE WATER
Water is detoxifying, and there is no alternative to water. For optimum functioning of the body, proper hydration is necessary. The single most productive aid to hydration is water. Drinking at least 5 to 8 glasses of water daily is essential to maintaining a healthy digestive tract, energy and balance. Using water throughout the day can help catch up on hydration, enabling the body to heal naturally and flush out the toxins.
8. TAKE A BREAK AND TRAVEL
Travelling is a beautiful therapy that gives us a much-needed break from our hectic life. So, whenever possible, go for a short or long trip, keeping COVID safety guidelines in mind.
9. WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY
Make 2021 the year to practise regular personal hygiene. Keep in mind that washing hands frequently is one of the biggest steps to take towards staying healthy and reducing the spread of COVID-19 infection. It can also prevent the spread of other viral illnesses.
10. DON’T BE ‘TOO BUSY’
Amid our busy schedules, do not forget those who are dear to us. Be it our parents, other family members, or friends, keeping in touch is extremely imperative.
11. DON’T IGNORE HEALTH-RELATED SYMPTOMS
Be it a minor rash or headaches, never ignore the signs our body gives, because there could be something underlying. Get timely health checks done, since only an early diagnosis can be the key to better treatment. This 2021, be proactive about our health, rather than being reactive.
12. REDUCE SCREEN TIME
Laptops, TVs, or smartphones: try to limit screen time, as it can meddle with our sleep patterns and brain functions, causing mood swings and insomnia.
13. DITCH THE SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE
Be it at home or our workplace desk, avoid sitting for long hours, and stand or walk whenever possible. A sedentary lifestyle is closely linked to increased risks of cardiovascular diseases, as well as obesity.
14. LEARN NEW THINGS
Explore those fields which are unknown to you; such as learning a new language, exploring pottery, engaging in freestyle dance, gymnastics, reading favourite authors again, time for video games, painting or sketching. Try to learn more, and grow as an individual.
15. STOP OVERTHINKING
Stress can wait! Do not spoil the present by stressing too much on the future, and take one day at a time.
16. GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO HEAL
Be it a breakup or postpartum depression, or simply a bad decision, give the mind and body time to heal. After all, Rome was not built in one day.
17. KEEP POSITIVE COMPANY
The kind of company we keep matters a lot, since their thoughts and energies often reflect on how we begin to perceive things. Hence, it is crucial that one stays away from people with negative thoughts as much as possible, and let only positivity be contagious.
18. PRACTISE MINDFULNESS
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present now. Research shows it is seeing positive results in one’s daily lifestyles, like reduced stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms.
It is 2021! A new year! However, that does not mean everything has to start on the go right now. Every day is a new day, so don’t be too hard and push on yourself, as it’s absolutely okay to start slowly and build up the pace as the days go by. Have a wonderful 2021!!