Did you know that April 7 is World Health Day? The date of 7 April marks the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948.
In support of World Health Day, the team at Epping Family Medical & Specialist Centre have put together these three simple, but very different, healthy life tips that anyone can apply.
And, importantly, see a benefit from.
In this article, we’re giving tips on THREE important areas of a healthy life:
- Physical health
- Mental health
- Planet health
💡 Physical health tip: Don’t blur the line between ‘busy’ and ‘active’
It’s very easy to confuse being busy with being active. For example:
- Making and receiving phone calls
- Catching up on emails
- Lunch with colleagues
- Finishing reports, presentations and work tasks
- Driving to appointments, school pickups and dropoffs and trips to the shops
None of these are active.
‘Active’ means physical exercise or engaging in physical activity that sees your heart rate increase (in a safe and healthy way of course), and can include things like:
- Bike rides
- Going to the gym
- Team sports
- Swimming, kayaking or other water activities
- Even chores like giving your home a thorough clean or handy work can be active
There are many activities that you can incorporate into your weekly routine that are actually active and can really provide you with a healthy life.
Physical health in general
Maintaining physical health means healthy life habits backed by lifestyle choices. Some of the best practices include regular exercise and healthy eating.
Exercise can help improve cardiovascular health, increase strength and flexibility, and boost your mood.
Exercise releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that greatly improve your mood.
Eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains can provide essential nutrients and help maintain a healthy weight.
By practising these healthy life habits regularly, you can improve their physical health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Physical health fact:
According to data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in 2017–18, 67% of Australian adults were overweight or obese, up from 57% in 1995.
💡 Mental health tip: Mood diary
What and why
Mood diaries are records of your moods each week over several weeks that show patterns, with the goal of finding when and what causes bad moods and ideally increasing the good ones.
They are simple, free and can offer a big step towards a happy and healthy life.
Create a grid with days across the top, seven columns of course, and periods of the day down the left side (y-axis). Periods of the day usually mean:
- Wake up
- And so on
This is much easier than actual clock times, a mood diary is not supposed to be a chore.
Moods go in the boxes, ideally with colours to make it easier to review.
Perhaps you might make happy dark green, sad dark red and content white. Make other moods closer to those colours as they feel to you: annoyed light red, proud light green, bored brown, worried grey, excited blue for example. It’s best to list moods that you feel relate to your life.
Using a mobile app like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets makes mood diaries much easier.
Can you see any patterns in your mood diary? After a few weeks, you’ll almost certainly see patterns, some quite alarming.
With this information, make some changes where you can by minimising situations that cause negative moods and maximising the positive ones.
Mental health in general
Mental health awareness is massively important for a healthy life. Awareness helps to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues and promotes early intervention and treatment.
Here are a few of the many signs that someone’s mental health might need professional help:
- Feeling anxious or worried
- Feeling depressed or unhappy
- Emotional outbursts
- Sleep problems
- Weight or appetite changes
- Quiet or withdrawn
Find more information here.
Did you know that one of the best mental health practices is regular exercise?
Engaging in physical activity has been shown to boost mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
You don’t have to do intense exercise, as even moderate exercise such as walking, yoga or cycling can provide benefits.
If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health concerns, help is available.
Mental health fact:
Over 2 in 5 (44%, or 8.6 million) Australians aged 16–85 estimated as having experienced a mental disorder at some time in their lives.
💡 Planet health tip: BYO mug
Did you know that single use coffee cups create a huge amount of waste plus the emissions from their manufacturing?
All that waste and those emissions can be reduced by simply reusing mugs.
Bring your own mug or carry cup with you when you go for a coffee and help cut down Australia’s single use coffee cups.
Getting on board, many coffee shops offer a small discount to customers who bring their own mugs, yet another benefit.
Carry cups have removable lids too so you can easily travel with your fresh brew.
Planet health in general
Climate change affects all living beings on Earth, and it is caused by activities like burning fossil fuels. The consequences of climate change are widespread and include rising sea levels and more frequent and intense heat waves to name a few.
Minimising climate change is crucial for our health, wellbeing and security. Climate change exacerbates air pollution, which causes respiratory diseases and premature deaths, and increases the spread of infectious diseases.
There’s also the dollars. Minimising climate change offers economic benefits by reducing the costs associated with damage from extreme weather events, health care expenses, and loss of productivity.
Planet health fact:
Australians throw out 2.7 million single-use or disposable coffee cups every single day.
Your healthy life
Ensuring you’re both physically and mentally healthy is a must for a happy, healthy life.
Make this year’s World Health Day a time for you to make at least one change towards a healthier life.
This can often start with a check-up, as knowing where your health stands is paramount to improvements and early detection of anything serious.
Get in touch with the team at Epping Family Medical & Specialist Centre or booking online today.