Health professionals, policy makers and individuals can potentially improve the chances of having a healthier life by addressing the complex interactions between genetics, development, and life events and lifestyles. Visit your doctor for an annual physical exam. Depending on your age, certain lab tests and screenings, such as mammograms, colonoscopies and heart tests, are necessary. Stay up to date on your health screenings to identify whether there are medical problems to address. Adopt bedtime rituals or ways that you can slowly wind down from your day and ease yourself into bed. Try using relaxation exercises to get to sleep.
The Heart Foundation community-based walking groups are free and led by volunteers, to help people stay active and take better care of their heart health. There is a group to suit everyone, including people over 50 years old, parents with children, workplaces and cultural groups. To find the nearest local walking group and to register online visit the Heart Foundation website.
Educate your partner on your illness. Remind your partner that your mood disorder is not caused by him or her, but by an imbalance of chemicals in your brain. Give your partner some concrete ways he or she can help you: by understanding when you don’t feel like going out; by helping ease the burdens of housework or child care; or by giving you a hug at the end of a long day. When you find yourself feeling irritable, emphasize that it is not because of your partner but because of your illness.
Being the healthiest you can possibly be means eating a variety of healthy foods, being physically active and understanding the nutrients you need to protect your bones, immune system, physical and mental health. AÂ healthy eating plan, knowing which diets work, how active you should be for your age and what you can do to manage your weight are important too. What about getting a good night’s sleep, knowing how much alcohol puts you in the risky category and the benefits of stopping smoking even after 24 hours? All these things contribute to a healthier life and we have topped it off with recipes from Jean Hailes naturopath Sandra Villella.
Get moving. Aim for at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate aerobic exercise, or an hour and 15 minutes of more vigorous physical activity each week. You also should try strength training at least two days a week. Being healthy is not about being skinny or building up your muscles in a gym, then, it’s about feeling fitter – physically, mentally and emotionally.