Friday 12 June 2020

Health & Fitness: An All Over Body Guide

   When it comes to our bodies health, sometimes we overlook the most essential parts. We all know we should be looking after our hearts and taking regular exercise, but there are other parts of our bodies that we need to look after as we get older. From your head down to your toes, are you taking care of yourself?

   Eye health is essential. We only have one pair of eyes, and loss of vision in either of them is life-changing. Many of us spend hours on a computer, and this can be stressful for your eyes and damage them. It can lead to issues with sight and trouble focusing.
   Our diet is essential when it comes to keeping our eyes healthy. Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day will help your body to keep your eyesight healthy. Eating a diet of sugary and processed foods can lead to diabetes which can lead to blurred vision and even blindness. You also need to stay hydrated. When we are dehydrated our body can’t rebuild the cells, we need to keep everything working. A dehydrated body will channel all its efforts into keeping your heart beating and other essential body parts working; this means your eyes, skin, hair and nails will all suffer. Drinking eight glasses of water a day will help this and reduce your risk of any eye issues.
   There are also exercises that you can do to help keep your vision sharp. They will keep your eye muscles in top condition and help you to focus too. You should make regular visits to your optician and make sure your prescription is up to date. Wearing the wrong glasses can put a considerable strain on your eyes, so make sure that you immediately see your optician if anything changes. As we grow old, it can become common to need progressive lenses to help regulate our eyesight. Visit your optician at least once a year for an all-over eye health review.

   Our gums and teeth are also essential. Cosmetically, it can be extremely upsetting if your teeth become rotten or you develop gum disease. To keep on top of your gum health, you need to have regular visits to the dentist. They can advise you of any issues that you have and help you to fix them.
   You should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth isn’t as simple as giving them a quick scrub in the morning. You need a good quality toothpaste and to clean your teeth with small circular movements for at least two minutes. Then you should floss between them to remove any small bits of food that have built up during the day. This will protect your gums and help reduce the risk of gum disease. Invest in a good quality mouthwash, your dentist will advise you of the best one. This will also help to protect your enamel and keep your teeth looking whiter, and healthier for longer.

   Our joints and bones become fatigued, especially if we are sitting still for long periods, or we have a high impact sport such as running. Joint health is one of the most overlooked areas when it comes to body health, yet it can be one of the most debilitating problems we experience in later life.
   Increasing the strength of your muscles can reduce the stress on your joints, so including a weight training regime into your exercise plan can help ensure you stay supple and healthy. You should also eat a diet with plenty of protein and calcium. Try sticking to a whole-food diet with lots of leafy green vegetables and plant proteins. If you can’t drink dairy, then there are lots of other ways to get calcium such as eating broccoli or cabbage and even small fish such as sardines or pilchards.
   You should look at exercises that keep your joints moving too—everything from making small circles with your ankles to wiggling your toes at night. If you notice any strange noises or feel any grinding in your joints then get to a medical centre straight away, the sooner you deal with joint issues, the better your outlook is. 

   Our gut health also really matters. It can be affected by many things, including diet and exercise. If we aren’t eating the right foods, then our body will have a hard time breaking down foods or maybe breaking them down too quickly. This can lead to issues such as diarrhoea or stomach cramps. Irritable bowel syndrome is becoming more common and can cause problems in our day to day life leaving us to feel depressed and lacking in energy.
   A whole-food diet with plenty of fibre is essential for good gut health, but you also need to ensure you have plenty of good bacteria in your stomach too. You can help aid your body to produce these by taking a good probiotic. Either in a natural live yoghurt or a supplement. This will help ensure that your stomach is working efficiently and can keep your digestion in peak condition. Fibre gives our stomach something to break down and helps to move the waste products through our system efficiently. This will ensure that we are regular with bowel movements and help keep us feeling healthier, lighter and more active.
   If you have any issues with your digestion, it’s worth seeing a dietitian who can help to discover if you have any food intolerances. Unlike a food allergy, an intolerance doesn’t cause you to have distinct extreme reactions. It could leave you feeling lethargic, cause a breakout on your skin or give you a constantly running nose. Intolerances can give you severe stomach cramps and could be the cause of any irritable bowel syndrome symptoms too.

   Our skin covers our whole body and protects our vital organs from the outside. Many of us focus on looking after our faces to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, overlooking the rest of our skin. However, our arms, legs and back are all exposed to threats on a daily bases, so keeping all-over skin health is essential.
   The sun is one of the most significant issues for our skin. Although we should be absorbing the sun's rays to help us get vital vitamins and to improve our overall wellbeing, going out without skin protection on can lead to cancer and premature ageing. Make sure you use an all-over body moisturiser with a high SPF factor to keep your skin healthier for longer. You should also exfoliate your skin once a week, using a salt scrub or similar. This will help to keep it soft and will stimulate the cells. It will also remove any dead cells and support your body in regeneration. It is an excellent time to look over your skin and see if you notice any lumps and bumps or moles that are increasing in size or are new. Then make sure you speak to a doctor straight away if you see anything different.

   Health and fitness is more than just getting outside and taking regular exercise. You need to look after every element of your body to ensure you get longevity. Sleep and hydration are two of the best areas to start, so if you can’t make immediate changes to your lifestyle, try to ensure you are getting enough rest and water every day. Your body will thank you for it!


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