Thursday 17th October 2019
RAF spouse and Founder of DR ME, Claire Willsher writes regular blogs and is passionate about educating individuals to be the doctor of their own health. Here we share one of her latest pieces:
Health is defined as ‘the state of being free from illness or injury’. This suggests that so long as we are not poorly or injured we are healthy. The problem is we don’t always know what is going on inside us, and we only tend to notice our health once something goes wrong.
For me good health is about preventing ill-health happening in the first place. We only have one body and one life, and we need to prioritise well-being to make our bodies work to their optimal capabilities. I believe we can do this by taking a holistic approach to health, and by addressing a few key areas we can certainly help our bodies out!
Diet (the food we eat, not a fad that will last a few months)
It’s very easy to get stuck in a rut with what we eat, and repeatedly eat the same food over and over again. Our bodies crave diversity. Recent scientific research shows that by eating a vast range of plant based food allows the microbiome found in out digestive system to thrive. This in turn helps regulate our body weight, enhance our immune system and heightens our energy levels by converting food into essential hormones and chemicals. Cooking from scratch allows you to know exactly what you are feeding your bodies with, and can help add diversity to your daily diet.
Resilience (the equilibrium sleep gives our bodies)
We sleep 1/3 of our lives asleep, but in the last century we have de-valued sleep, reducing our nightly shut eye by up to 20%. Sleep is a key player in benefitting our health both mentally and physically. Whilst asleep our bodies clean and nourish cells, re-fresh our immune system, consolidate our learning, and stabilise our emotions. There is nothing like a good night’s sleep to make you feel in control of your health. So start going to bed a little earlier and make sure you relax your body and mind in the run up to switching your light off.
Mind (focus on the positives)
Taking time each day to be mindful is very ‘in’ at the moment, but with good reason. By appreciating your surroundings trains your brain to focus on the positives in life and not dwell on the negative ones. If you can have the confidence to believe in yourself, your positivity will spread to others, having a ripple effect. Even by sitting still for 5 minutes a day will help, so try to build this ‘you’ time into your daily routine.
Exercise (in any way you can)
Exercise can be carried out in many different ways from pole dance lessons to a group ramble across the local countryside. The World Health Organisation recommendation is to carry out 150minutes of moderate aerobic activity. Basically any activity that gets you out of breath is beneficial. This doesn’t have to be performed in one block of physical activity, but can be carried out in much smaller chunks known as ‘exercise snacking’. Perhaps whilst you are brushing your teeth you could do some squats, or do some jumping jacks whilst waiting for the kettle to boil!
Being healthy matters as when we feel good about ourselves we get more out of life. We become happier, more productive (either at work or in our social lives), and generally more contented. Surely we all want to achieve this feeling of optimal health, so why not try a few recommendations mentioned above to help get you there.