5 Tips to Better Health

Friday, October 15, 2021

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Emerging slowly into the world as lockdown restrictions start to ease, many of us may be confronted with the realisation that a) our favourite jeans no longer fit quite so comfortably and b) wearing high heels is really not that necessary. Luckily Summer is on the way so we can progress to more comfortable skirts, shorts and sandals pretty quickly. So, that’s the main issue taken care of.

What to do, though, about the impact lockdown has had on our health – be it physical or mental? For some the impact has been minimal; for others, it’s been significant. The time it takes to rebuild ourselves will vary from person to person, just like the time it takes to rebuild Australia’s economy will vary from state to state. Here, in no particular order, are my top 5 tips to support your path to better, post-lockdown health.

  • Drink more water. It’s easy to forget to drink water, even having been cooped up at home for months. Much of lockdown was during Winter, so it’s been cold; we often don’t notice thirst as much as we might in Summer. But just because we’re not thirsty doesn’t always mean we are sufficiently hydrated. Start the day with a glass of water; refill that glass consistently throughout the day.
  • Move more. Yes, I know those of us who’ve been in lockdown have probably been walking around the neighbourhood more than ever. But once the daily walk was complete, what have we done? Sat back down again? Whether working, studying, supervising home-schooling, or relaxing, many of us have spent much less time moving over the past few months. Once you are able to get out again, re-acquaint yourself with incidental exercise. Your body will thank you.
  • Eat 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables daily. You know this. It’s not hard to do. Add a handful of baby spinach to your breakfast smoothie or a side of mushrooms to your eggs, an extra serve of salad to your lunch and you’re already well on the way to your vegetable quota. Fruit for a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack and you’ve ticked that box as well. Simple.
  • Swap refined white products for wholegrains. Wholemeal and wholegrain options contain many vitamins and minerals important for your health. So, replace white bread with wholemeal or wholegrain bread, white rice with brown, black or wild rice, plain pasta with wholemeal pasta. If this sounds too daunting, start by slowing introducing the swaps – mix brown rice with white and gradually increase the proportion of brown. Make your sandwich with one slice of wholegrain and once slice of white bread. Add wholemeal pasta to plain pasta.
  • Eat at least 10 different plant foods each day. Fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, wholegrains. A variety of plants means a good mix of vitamins, minerals and fibre. The better your intake of vitamins and minerals, the better your body’s chance of fighting illness. The better your mix of fibre, the better your gut will feel. And given that 80% of our immune cells are formed in our gut, a healthy gut means a better chance of a healthy immune system.

That’s it. Simple. Effective. Easy. The path to good health.

Develop a positive relationship with food