Happy World Health Day 2018!
The theme for World Health Day by the World Health Organization is Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere calling for “Health For All”. Half the world’s population is unable to obtain the health services they need. World Health Day was created to raise aware of the need for universal health coverage. Director-General Dr Tedros argues “No one should have to choose between death and financial hardship. No one should have to choose between buying medicine and buying food”.
In the UK we are unique to other countries in that we have the National Health Service which allows us to access healthcare with no upfront costs, although, it is no secret that the NHS is facing financial hardship. Various public health campaigns argued that simple lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of ill health and prevent added strain onto our NHS. This is something that I have discussed before in my post “Selfish or Selfless?”
In aid of World Health Day I thought I would discuss 8 ways in which we can take responsibility for our own general health & well-being, in the hope to reduce the risk of ill health and the need to use health services.
An unhealthy diet has been linked to obesity, which increases the risk of some diseases such as cancer and diabetes. The public are recommended to follow the Eatwell Guide in order to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Strapped for cash? You should check out my post “How To Eat Healthy On A Budget”.
2. Physical Activity;
Getting active is another lifestyle choice which can have a positive impact on overall health and well-being. The NHS advise adults to aim for a total of 150 minutes of exercise equivalent to 30 minutes of exercise five times a week. This should include a combination of aerobic & strength exercises.
3. Keeping Up With Regular Health Checks;
These could include dental check-ups, sexual health checks, doctors’ appointments, having a mammogram and so on. These are key to helping monitor our health and identifying when further medical interventions may be required.
4. Early Intervention;
Although it is important to keep up with regular health checks. It is equally important to seek medical intervention if we notice any changes in our health and well-being. Accessing support early can help identify risk factors before they become serious and if caught early, treatment is usually more effective.
5. Doing Something We Enjoy;
Doing something we enjoy just for ourselves can have a positive impact on our mental health. Whether its exercising, socialising with friends or relaxing, hobbies are an important way of taking care of ourselves.
6. Having A Balance;
The Mental Health Foundation argue that the pressure of an increasingly demanding work culture is the biggest and most pressing challenge to the populations mental health. Ways in which people can ensure they have a work-life balance is by ensuring they take their full lunch break and time for themselves away from the work environment.
7. Drinking Plenty Of Water;
The EatWell Guide doesn’t just recommend food choices, it also advises people to drink between 6-8 glasses of water a day. This has been found to help maintain the balance of body fluids and helps support the function of organ within the body.
Mind charity argue that loneliness isn’t a mental health problem, although the two are closely linked. It is argued that most people need some kind of social contact to maintain good mental health and well-being. One way in which people can gain this is from joining social groups which gives them the opportunity to connect with people who have similar interests. Connecting with others is also important to discuss health, whether this is physical or mental, in helping people access support for their health needs.
How are you going to take care of your own health and well-being today?