I am not suggesting that our followers are unhealthy, but I really like these five simple tips from www.irishtimes.com and Dr Elva Dalton, GP in Stillorgan Medical Center. Common sense, but as the saying goes, it’s not always so common.
- Maintain a healthy body weight: Obesity raises blood pressure, increasing the risk of stroke and many cancers. It also worsens asthma symptoms and increases joint problems such as osteoarthritis. A healthy diet consists of lots of fruit and vegetables, chicken and fish, brown carbohydrates and not too much refined sugar, fat, red meat and alcohol.
- Aerobic exercise for 30 minutes a day: Exercise reduces blood pressure and lowers blood sugar, thereby cutting cardiac and stroke risks. It also makes you feel good by releasing happy endorphins reducing the incidence of anxiety and depression by 40 per cent. The leading cause of sick leave is stress and mental health problems.
- Maintain core strength and flexibility: The number two cause of sick leave is back pain, most of which results from weak core muscles and tight hips caused by a sedentary life. You can improve these with by doing Pilates, yoga, tai chi, or just by practicing a third world squat for two minutes every day.
- Expose skin to sunlight for 15 minutes / day between April and October. To have an adequate store of vitamin D in northern hemisphere countries we must stock up in summer. Taking care not to burn, be sure to get your 15 minutes of sunshine without sunscreen in the morning or the evening. Vitamin D is necessary for strong bone to prevent the onset of osteoporosis. There is now some evidence that it improves immune system functions, decreases the risk of cancer as well as heart disease and MS, and may improve mood.
- Don’t smoke: By not smoking you’re cutting the risk of various illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and cancer- the top three killers in Ireland- by 50 percent.