7th April each year is observed as World Health Day across the world. It is commemorated to spread awareness about the various physical and mental ills that plague the world and to spread the message of global health awareness.
While its inception took place at the First Health Assembly in 1948, it came into effect from 1950.
Theme for World Health Day 2019
The theme for the World Health Day for 2019 is ‘Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere.’ This is to highlight the importance of ensuring that everyone across the world has access to quality healthcare services irrespective of their financial, cultural, ethnic, and social backgrounds and their locations.
Importance of Health
While many associate health only with physical well being, it is a much broader concept. It is a state of physical, mental, and social well being. While ill-health impacts individuals, it also impacts the entire family and all near and dear ones. If you look at it in a broad way, it also affects the entire community, inhibits work productivity, and thus the overall economy. So, the health of an individual is strongly correlated with the health of the overall community. Thus, it is imperative that each individual take responsibility for his own health and that of all around him.
In today’s times when life runs at a frenzied pace, here are a few simple tips that can help you improve your overall health. Do remember that little changes make a huge difference.
How to improve physical health?
1. Exercise regularly
Now, this does not mean that you have to hit the gym, while it will certainly be beneficial if you can. A simple brisk walk in the local park, a good swim, or a dance that you enjoy is good enough. For those of us whose work is demanding and you cannot spare much time, try to, maybe, park your vehicle a little away from your workplace and walk to your office. Also, try to take the stairs and ditch the elevator. Just walking your way to the supermarket to get your groceries rather than ordering online and carrying the bags back home can serve as a good exercise. Let me give you another tip – do not take phone calls while sitting. Keep walking as you speak on the phone and you’d be surprised to see how much you have walked!
2. Drink plenty of water
Water is a resource whose power we often underestimate. Staying hydrated helps your body to function effectively by keeping you more active and less lethargic. Water also flushes out the harmful toxins out of the body.
3. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole foods
Hasn’t it been said very often that you are what you eat. Fruits and vegetables contain a host of vitamins and minerals that are essential to the body. Also, cutting down on fast food and sugary drinks will certainly help in keeping you healthy. Cut down on refined food and try to consume more whole foods.
4. Try to cook your own meals
Unfortunately, we hardly have any time to cook our own meals and we rely heavily on restaurants outside. However, we can never be certain of the quality of ingredients that they use. Isn’t it always better to cook your own meals and have wholesome, salubrious ones? Try it out! I must tell you that there is nothing more rewarding than eating a meal that you have just cooked!
5. Sleep well
Sleep plays a very crucial role in the overall health of a person. An average adult needs an average of 7-9 hours of sleep every day. Sleep deprivation is linked to physical ailments such as coronary diseases, strokes, and diabetes along with mental disorders like depression.
How to improve mental health?
1. Express gratitude
Sometimes, we are so engrossed in comparing our lives with others and thinking of what we don’t have that we forget to appreciate what we do. Expressing gratitude and counting your blessings can go a long way in making you feel happy, content, and joyous. Make a journal in which you track the great things that happened to you in your day.
2. Value yourself and your close ones
You are special and deserve to treat yourself with kindness, respect, and care. You must learn to be less harsh on yourself. Also, mental health is closely related to the bonds that you share with your near and dear ones. Learn to respect your family and friends, and make an effort to keep them happy.
3. Pursue your hobbies and interests
Do take time off your schedule to pursue a hobby and interest. Relaxation and recreation also contribute tremendously to mental well being.
4. Give more
The great Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi once, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Also, the fact that most of the richest people in the world are heavily inclined to philanthropy is a testimony to the fact that the best way of finding yourself and finding happiness is by means of giving. Various studies have consistently linked giving and making a difference to other people’s lives to happiness.
And by giving, we don’t necessarily mean money. It could be giving someone your time, friendship, a shoulder to cry on, or a listening ear.
5. Disconnect from technology
Studies have increasingly supported that overuse of technology, the internet, and social media are closely linked to anxiety and depression. The omnipresent buzz of notifications and alert are detrimental to mental health. So, go off-the-grid once in a while and rejuvenate!
6. Learn how to deal with stress
In today’s world, it is inevitable for us to feel stressed at some point or the other. What is more important is to learn how to deal with it. Analyze and understand what triggers stress in you and learn how you can cope with it. Also, seek help when you feel overwhelmed by the happenings around you. Just talking things out with a therapist or a trusted friend or family member can, many times, help you feel better.
What do you do to keep yourself healthy? Do let us know!
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