Changing Times, COVID-19 Your Health Today Affects Your body and Health Tomorrow
We are now close to the end of our third week of lockdown in the UK, and you may well have asked this question.
What do I really care about in life?
All of us are being asked to conform in one way or another to standards set out by the government in order to save lives of loved ones, the selfless medical staff of our NHS, and all the workers that are keeping supplies of food and life’s essentials stocked.
LIFE has changed, as have times.
Some people have lost loved ones, others have friends and family sick and cannot see them, and for many, life will never be the same as they have been laid off, furloughed or have a business that may not make it over the long haul!
None of us want to be in any of these situations, and while this virus seems to kill only a small percentage of infected, one thing looks obvious, it has been hitting people with poor health hardest.
FOR those lucky enough to still have their health, we do our part by staying home and helping others where and when we can.
Your Health the Covid-19
Today there are many things we cannot control.
You cannot control who gets infected by COVID-19. You can’t control who will recover of those that contract COVID-19.
BUT there are things you can control.
Things that if we choose to control will have a profound effect on our life, and the lives of those that come after us.
Things that will have an effect not only on our NHS today, but also in the weeks and years ahead.
Consider this from the NHS site:
“The NHS seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of patients, communities and its staff through professionalism, innovation and excellence in care. This value also recognizes that to really improve lives the NHS needs to be helping people and their communities take responsibility for living healthier lives.”
Now is the perfect time to take responsibility for living healthier lives. Because Living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent chronic diseases and long-term illnesses, and keep you from having to use the NHS, now and in the future.
We all have the ability to make decisions, to communicate using words, symbols, body gestures, posture and facial expressions, and we all bear the consequences of our decisions, whether today or years in the future.
Today many of us are dealing with the decisions we made in the past and are mostly the cause of our poor health today, but today we have a perfect time to make changes in our lifestyle to make an impact on our health today and in the future. And in making good adjustments today we will help out our loved ones and our NHS tomorrow.
Where do we
The obvious places are not the easiest. And the reason they are not easy is because they have become habits.
We all know how difficult it is to break a habit, and in many cases it’s because they are pleasure based and can prompt your brain to release a chemical called dopamine, which in turn sets up an internal habit of wanting that reward, and so keeps us craving the things we’re trying so hard to resist.
AND while nail biting or picking skin of your fingers may offer small positive effects on health, there are other habits that offer large leverage on good health.
FIRST for those those that still smoke (I hold my hand up, I smoked up until I was 25), today the NHS can offer you some help in directing you to a free local Stop Smoking Service to help you set off on your journey of quitting.
The UK Chief Medical Officer offers this:
“smokers are more susceptible to respiratory infections, it makes this an important time to encourage smokers to quit.”
The fact is of 2 Jul 2019, 16.5% of men (around 3.9 million) and 13.0% of women (around 3.2 million) reported being current smokers in the UK. So if only a small percent managed to quit that would offer great benefits for to lot of people and take a huge burden off the NHS in the future.
We know more today about the harm smoking has on our body and life, and in our environment today it’s hard to come up with better reasons to quit. Yes, smoking creates greater susceptibility to infections such as pneumonia and influenza because of its affect on the immune system and reducing the bodies’ natural protection against infections, like coronavirus.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU QUIT SMOKING
By stopping smoking you lessens the burden on the NHS, not only now, but for the rest of your life, and other than having a healthier lifestyle you get to save on average about £1,500 a year.
Next on the list of habits is alcohol consumption.
Today more research and evidence is being published about alcohol and the harmful affects of regular consumption.
“The harmful use of alcohol is one of the world’s leading health risks. It is a causal factor in more than 60 major types of diseases and injuries and results in approximately 2.5 million deaths each year.
The good news! Even if you do not quit for life, just stopping for a month or two offers health benefits.
Your immune system will be working better, because alcohol suppresses your body’s immune system, so when you’re free and clear for a few weeks you’ll notice you are less likely to succumb to every virus that is about, and even if you do come down with something, your recovery time will be reduced!
Research also found that just four weeks without a drink can be enough to start lowering both blood pressure and heart rate. Your risk of type 2 diabetes has already started to reduce (in one study insulin resistance came down by an average of 28 per cent), and your cholesterol levels should be lower. One research study also found that just four weeks without a drink can substantially reduce liver stiffness.
Not bad, and if you manage to quit these two habits. you not only improve your health starting today, but lower the pressure on the NHS, not only from today but for the rest of your life.
What if you don’t drink or smoke you might be saying. Are there things you can do to improve your health?
As I no longer drink or smoke, I asked the same question a while ago, and this is what I found.
DIET and exercise has a huge impact on health!
First, diet provides both fuel for growth and function, and exercise has become vital as so many of us today do less physically and so require exercise to keep our body flexible and strong.
WHO offers this:
“ A healthy diet helps protect against malnutrition in all its forms and is a foundation for health and development. It also helps to prevent noncommunicable diseases (NCD), including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some cancers and other conditions linked to obesity. Together with a lack of physical activity, an unhealthy diet is one of the leading global risks to health.”
Broadly speaking, a healthy diet means there should be a balance between energy intake (calories) and energy expenditure.
WHO recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 2 grams per day (equivalent to 5 grams of salt), reducing free sugars to less than 10% (ideally 5%) of total energy intake, and shifting fat intake away from industrial trans fats.
But is all food create equal?
Most of us know the answer to this is a resounding NO.
And here another problem of habit pops UP.
What we grew up eating can become a habit, good or bad. What we eat in our 20’s after leaving home with perhaps little dietary knowledge can have a huge effect for years to come.
More and more evidence shows the types of food we eat can have a worsening effect on our gut health and immune system, which play major roles in protecting our overall health. Researchers say that changing the way we eat could help prevent us from getting sick sooner — or later — in life.
If here you feel you eat decently for the most part, you might also be asking, should I take supplements?
The NHS offers this:
“Most people do not need to take vitamin supplements and can get all the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a healthy, balanced diet.”
Sounds simple enough, case closed, perhaps?
But wait theres more!
1. What do they mean by “MOST PEOPLE”?
2. What is the NHS idea of a healthy, balanced diet?
Does MOST people mean most people stay at home if you had a pandemic and asked everyone to stay away from mass gatherings, or most people that like, or do not like President Trump?
I feel in this case MOST, isn’t really helpful and perhaps why this word was used rather than offer a percent. There’s simply not enough data available with the ever changing knowledge of the human body and how it works.
So if we go on the assumption that you and I are MOST PEOPLE and go back to the question of are you getting all the vitamins and minerals you need?
“The Department of Health and Social Care recommends certain supplements for some groups of people who are at risk of deficiency.”
Now you may be asking what is too long, or how much is too much, when we don’t even know how much we have in our body to start with, or how long each stays in our system, or if other things we ingest interfere with these.
AGAIN FROM THE NHS:
“Vitamin D supplement
From around late March or early April until the end of September, most people can get all the vitamin D they need through sunlight on their skin and from eating a balanced diet. However, during the autumn and winter, you need to get vitamin D from your diet because the sun is not strong enough for your body to make vitamin D.
Because it’s difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone, everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter.
Some groups of the population are at greater risk of not getting enough vitamin D and are advised to take a supplement every day of the year.”
It feels like Healthy Living comes back to what we ingest and the nutrients we put in our body.
And perhaps it does not end there. It seems the way we absorb, or fail to absorb the vitamins and minerals in our food, along with gut health and the environment we live and work in can significantly impact the benefits we receive from our nutrition. Boosting our metabolism then might help better convert what we eat and drink into energy. Taking supplements then may be something you might consider after first consulting with your GP, and do your own research.
For myself I take a well balanced system called the Kyäni Triangle of Wellness
that provides me with a complete nutritional spectrum that is simple and easy to take. So no matter what my daily schedule looks like. Built to introduce with ease alongside a healthy diet and exercise, Kyäni’s Triangle of Wellness is specially formulated to give my body what it needs when it needs it – all in a simple system