To mark World Health Day 2021, Cumbernauld Community Health Information Hub is profiling how vitally important it is for everyone to look after their health and highlighting some simple ways in which wellbeing can be improved.
Taking place on Wednesday 7 April, World Health Day aims to create awareness of specific health themes which are areas of concern for World Health Organization (WHO). The theme for this year’s campaign is building a fairer, healthier world.
In the past, the initiative has brought to light important issues such as mental health, maternal and child care and climate change. The celebration is marked by activities which extend beyond the day itself and serves as an opportunity to focus worldwide attention on these crucial aspects of global health.
Its promoter, World Health Organization, is an international agency that focusses on the public health of the world at large. It has a constitution that countries involved in the United Nations (UN) have an opportunity to sign and unanimously agree upon action to promote the general health of the world’s population.
Through its efforts, the world has seen the eradication of small pox, progress in the fight against tuberculosis and HIV / AIDS and more recently central involvement in responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Mary McNeil, Development Manager at Cornerstone House Centre, said:
“Everyone needs to be concerned about the health of themselves and their community, and as such it’s a good time to turn your attention to this year’s World Health Day theme.
“As COVID-19 has highlighted, some people are able to live healthier lives and have better access to health services than others, entirely due to the conditions in which they are born, grow, live, work and age.
“All over the world, some groups struggle to make ends meet with little daily income, have poorer housing conditions and education, fewer employment opportunities, experience greater health inequalities and have little or no access to safe environments, clean water and food security.
“To this end, it’s always good for us to be grateful that we live in a developed western society which has a free and advanced health care system available to all citizens.
“Of course, this does not mean our country or our area is without health and wellbeing problems; far from it. But World Health Day does give us an opportunity to be thankful for what we do have in this respect.”
Poor health and wellbeing affects individuals and families in several ways, including physically, mentally, emotionally and relationally. To enjoy life to the fullest each and every day, Cumbernauld Community Health Information Hub has compiled some ideas (see below) to help give you a kick-start to the ways you can improve your health.
10 STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH AND WELLBEING
1. Exercise Regularly
If you are already exercising daily, good for you; if not it’s time you started. This is all the more important if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, for example if you sit at home or you have a job which keeps you inactive for long periods of time. As well as the obvious health benefits associated with weight loss and improved fitness, exercise improves your strength, stamina and flexibility. It also makes you less prone to injuries and ‘aches and pains’ such sprains, backaches, shoulder aches and so on.
2. Limit Your Screen Time
We all know many of us have to have a certain amount of screen time for our work or studies, but too much unnecessary screen time is not good for your health. It not only makes you lethargic but also has a negative impact on your eyes and brain. Over time, you can develop lifestyle disorders such as obesity, hypertension or diabetes as you sit for hours in front of a computer instead of undertaking more physical activities.
Watching television for long periods of time affects your eyes also because of the radiation from the screen. It can have a derogatory affect on your mental health as it does nothing to stimulate your intellect.
3. Get Outdoors
Try to get out of a confined indoor space as often as you can. The fresh air, sunlight (a great source of vitamin D) and the open ambience will do loads of good both for your mental and physical health. Time outdoors decreases your stress levels and the fresh air energises your brain while enhancing your mood. Moving whilst outdoors is also going to improve your physical fitness.
4. Reduce Alcohol Intake
Drinking too much alcohol has multiple side effects on your body. Alcohol interferes with your brain’s working pattern and disrupts clarity of thought and coordination. Regular intake of alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, arrhythmia or even a cardiac attack.
Alcohol affects your liver too and regular consumption can cause fatty liver, cirrhosis, fibrosis or alcoholic hepatitis. It can also affect your relationships with others and your mental health if you drink to excess.
5. Walk Wherever You Can
Walking is a great way to get your body moving. Walk to the supermarket, take a walk around the park and if you take public transport to your place of work, get off a few stops early and walk the rest of the way.
At the office, take a tiny break every two hours or so and go for a five-minute walk. If nothing else, walk around your house and always take the stairs where possible. You can always use a step counter or similar device to keep track of your steps. Set yourself a target each day and stick to it!
6. Share Your Problems With A Friend
We all have times where life is not so good and we feel depressed, stressed out or incapable of handling a situation on your own. Instead of keeping it bottled up, share your problems with a friend you trust.
We’ve all heard of the common saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. Getting a different perspective from someone close can often solve the problem. Holding up negative feelings can lead to chronic depression and other mental health issues in the long term.
If you feel that you can’t talk to a friend or loved one, there are many support groups out there to help. Further information on these can be found in this article.
7. Limit Processed Food
Processed foods contain a variety of additives, colours and taste enhancers. They are high in fat, sugar and salt, all of which are harmful to your health. They can also actually work out to be more expensive than eating freshly prepared food.
Processed foods have very little nutritional value and over-consumption can lead to obesity, diabetes, cardiac problems and digestive issues such as inflammatory bowel disease. For further nutritional advice, click here.
8. Set A Fitness Goal
Getting fit will have a huge impact on your overall health. If you are obese, try to shed the pounds. If you are too lean and weak, try to build your muscles and improve your strength.
It can, however, be difficult to exercise on your own if you have never done it before. So, set a fitness goal and select a particular workout regime, and remember to be realistic. It could involve, for example, walking, running, cycling, weights, yoga or pilates.
9. Stop Smoking
We all know that smoking is not good for you or those around you, particularly your children. The toxic effects of the smoke leave a dark tan on your skin and make it look dull. Those who smoke regularly are more likely to develop wrinkles earlier. Smoking can lead to lung and oral cancer, as well as many other health conditions. It also stains the teeth and leads to several gum diseases.
In women, smoking during pregnancy can lead to abnormalities in the developing foetus. Indeed, it affects fertility in both men and women. All in all, smoking is going to lead to many health risks and complications. Stop today, with help! Find support by clicking here.
10. Find Time To Relax
It is as important to take a break and relax as it is to work. Make time to sleep at least six to eight hours a day. Spend some quality time with friends or family to take your mind off life issues. Read a book, watch a film, listen to music or do something else that helps you de-stress. Then you will be more productive, healthier and better equipped to take life on.
Further health improvement advice and information can be obtained by contacting Cumbernauld Community Health Information Hub via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. More details about World Health Day 2021 and other global health movements can be found on World Health Organization’s Campaign Page.