Often we can take our health for granted and don’t take good care of ourselves, leading to minor health concerns, e.g. stress, I.B.S or headaches, to more serious concerns such as diabetes, strokes and heart attacks. We can avoid or minimise the impact of illnesses on our bodies by adopting an ‘everything in moderation’ approach and incorporating better lifestyle choices into our daily routine can work wonders on restoring harmony and balance to our health.

A Preventative Health strategy involves making changes to your daily habits to build the body’s automatic defences and strengthen its core functions to prevent diseases occurring in the first place. The main five areas that can affect our body’s ability to respond to illness are sleep, diet, exercise, work life balance and stress levels.

Here are some simple tips to restore and promote good health:

  • Avoid burning the candle at both ends, focus on getting good quality sleep and get between 7-8 hours a night. If you find yourself with sleep deficit due to late nights or early starts during the week, try and make it up at the weekend. Have a lie on or an early night along the way.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet and include natural, unprocessed foods, fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrain food. Avoid salty, sugary, fatty and processed foods. The occasional treat is ok, moderation is key.
  • Exercise is a great way to boost and improve your health. 30 minutes’ moderate daily exercise can reduce stress levels, improve cardio function, boost immune function, improve overall physical and mental health.
  • We can spend up to 1/3 of our week working. Taking your breaks during the day, using your holidays and ensuring a good work-life balance are priorities to incorporate into your lifestyle.
  • Prolonged exposure to stress can damage your health and it is estimated that over 70% of diseases can be linked back to stress as a factor in their development. Stress needs to be managed effectively; promoting the four steps above will assist in supporting the body and mind to cope with stress. Other ways to manage stress include meditation, exercises like yoga and tai chi, talking to a counsellor or close confidant, taking a bath, reading a book and developing good routines.

Other helpful points
 to stay healthy:

  • Moderate alcohol consumption within recommended limits.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Have regular check-ups with your G.P. and other professionals.
  • Follow up on health concerns immediately rather than the ‘wait and see’ approach.
  • Early intervention gives the best possible outcomes.
  • Holistic Therapies including Acupuncture, Auricular AcupunctureReflexology, Hypnotherapy and Indian Head Massage are excellent health promotion therapies, focusing on creating a harmonious balance within the body.

Post by Pauline Mc Cormack