Hey guys… Welcome to the first #HealthTalkThursday of the year
I am so excited about the health topics I have planned for the year. This year hehn, we will be healthier. We will be more intentional about our health. And we will consume knowledge about the way our bodies work. That’s the plan!!
So to start the year, we will be talking about Health habits we need to pick up this year. Some of them you may already know, some may be new to you. Whichever it is, I am hoping reading this will be the extra push you need to get going.
Drink more water
You must have heard this a couple of times before. Drink more water. On the surface it sounds like something simple. Something you are already doing. But a lot of us don’t drink as much water as we should. A general rule of thumb is that you should be drinking at least 2 liters of water (these requirements may vary depending on your gender, age, weight, health conditions etc). That’s about 8 glasses of water, 4 sachets of pure water (50cl) in a day. Not only will drinking water give you penger and fresher skin, it is great for your kidneys, it helps increase your energy levels, helps with metabolism, digestion… you name it! You have probably heard that your body is made up of about 60% water so a lot of bodily functions require water.
I know that one thing about drinking water that discourages a lot of people is having to pee so often, but compared to the benefits, I think it is so worth it. A pro tip that helps: Get a bigger water-bottle, it motivates you to drink more.
A wise person once said “Reading is for the mind what exercise is for the body”. This year, try to read more. It bugs me to see that the reading culture, especially among millennials, is fast fading all thanks to social media.
But then, technology has made reading even more accessible and easier. You don’t even have to carry a big book everywhere you go. We have e-books that are available on your cellphone whenever you want to read. You can listen to audio books on your drive to work or school., or even while you are doing your chores at home.
So you see that you don’t have any excuse. If you can spend hours a day on social media, you should be able to dedicate at least 15 minutes a day to reading.
So read. Even if it’s a few pages a day. Read.
Don’t know what to read? Check out our book-of-the-month feature for reading suggestions??
Watch your teeth.
Dental health is one area that is too often ignored. A lot of us think that brushing our teeth daily is all we need for good dental hygiene. See hehn, error! One day I will tell you the story of how I moved to Canada and went to see the dentist for my first teeth cleaning session at a whole 19 years of age!
Teeth cleaning with a dental hygienist is something that you should aim for at least twice a year. And regular dental check ups too.
Flossing is another habit you should integrate into your dental routine. Aim to floss at least once a day and brush your teeth for 2 minutes as least twice a day. Pro tip: Don’t forget to brush your tongue too. It helps curb mouth odors. Thank me later
Get regular checkups
Have a family doctor. Go for checkups at least once a year. You need to have regular screenings. You don’t just see doctors when you are sick, or when there is something wrong with you. Make it a habit to see the doctor when you are healthy so you are not forced to see them because you are not.
Know the screenings recommended for your age group. Ask your doctor about them. Pap smears, FIT tests, urine test, mammograms, regular blood work, blood pressure checks… All of these are important. So this year, get a family doctor and book an appointment with them.
Eat food that is good for you
Hmm…this one hehn, it’s a big thing (I can imagine my roommate reading this and rolling her eyes at me??). We all like good food, but it is important that we eat food that is good for us . You can take it one step at a time. Make small goals like incorporating more vegetables and fruits into your diet. Start by making it a habit to eat at least one fruit a day. Reduce fast food consumption. Try making a resolution of reducing your fast food consumption to maybe once a week, or a month depending on how often you eat out now. Reduce or cut out processed foods, sugar, soda drinks, processed fruit juices etc. Try portion control. Instead of 2 wraps of pounded yam, eat 1 wrap and use water to “shock” it ??.
The other side of this is; Don’t be a chronic dieter all because you are trying to lose weight. Do your research about diet fads. Watch what goes into your mouth. Do you research about all the so called slimming teas and things they market to you. BE a wise consumer.
Health experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. And this could be anything. You don’t have to go to the gym to exercise. Long walks can be really calming and beneficial to your health. Is there a sporting activity you like? Check the area you live in and see if they have clubs or groups for that sport. There are lot of online workouts on Youtube. Running, skipping, playing football, dancing…the list is endless. Walking is probably my favorite kind of exercise. It is free, doesn’t stress me too much and I can listen to my favorite podcast or e-book while taking a walk. So maybe start with that.
Simple minor changes also make a difference. Stairs instead of elevators, walking instead of driving or bussing, using a basket instead of cart while grocery shopping etc. All of these are drops of water, that with consistency, can make a mighty ocean.
Practice self care
Make out time for yourself. Pay more attention to your mental health. Find things that make you happy. Hang out with friends that boost your mood and positivity. Take breaks. Don’t overwork yourself. Travel. Have Fun. Go for massages, manicures, pedicures etc. Pamper yourself abeg. You deserve it? #YOLO
So there you have it, new health habits to practice this year.
Thank you for reading, and remember to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss the next #HealthTalkThursday post?