World Health Day, 7 April 2021, working toward fairer, healthier world.
On April 7th, people around the globe will be recognizing World Health Day. This international event has raised awareness about a variety of important wellness topics for 70 years. So, what is World Health Day all about? Let’s look at what should be recognised on this day…
- Importance of your wellness the whole year round
- finding simple ways to look after your general health should be your top priority
- Be Active
- build exercise into your usual routine
- Eat well
- Eating well means eating a healthy, balanced diet – “You are what you eat!”
- Your genetic makeup plays a big part in your health
- learning more about your DNA or blood biomarkers could make a big difference
The day, this year on April 7th, will aim – through advocacy activities and campaigns around the world – to shine a light on all the work that these dedicated health professionals do daily.
We have taken a look into health from our perspective and from the Professionals we work with everyday, who strive to make their world and the people around them a healthier place…
One of our WH gurus, who is passionate about fitness, and has educated herself with a diploma in Personal Training is Jaz. Sadly, we say goodbye and now wish Jaz all the best as she furthers her endeavours to work within the health and fitness industry. We asked Jaz to write on the importance of physical activity in our lives, before she left.
As you probably know physical activity has a great effect on your health, as little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day will not only help with weight management but also reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and also many types of cancers such as breast, uterine and colorectal. Exercise has these wonderful benefits as it is helps to regulate hormones, strengthen immunity and help your body to function to the best of its capacity.
In addition to physical health, exercise also has a major positive effect on mental health. Physical activity releases endorphins in the body which have been proven to improve anxiety and depression by up to 42%.
Sweat induced through exercise can improve the health of your skin. Sweat regulates body temperature and sends signals to the body to rehydrate. It also has the ability to purge the skin of bacteria, dirt, oils and impurities.
Being physically healthy means something different to everyone, it may not necessarily mean slaving away in the gym for hours on end and eating a salad for every meal. It does mean finding an activity that you enjoy and that moves your body, it does not have to be a chore and will have invaluable benefits on all aspects of your health. This World Heath day I challenge you to find a physical activity such as yoga, jogging, team sports that bring you joy and allow you to feel your best!
Asha Evertsz, The Clear Skin Experts, Victoria, writes for us below on Skin Nutrition.
When treating skin, we need to look at things holistically – from the outside-in and the inside-out.
We often forget that the skin is an organ, and our biggest one!
Our skin is fed from the inside by the nutrients from the food we eat. Our body generally prioritises the other organs (think brain, liver, kidneys etc) first (they keep us alive after all) and will give any ‘leftovers’ to the skin. This is why eating a low inflammatory, high nutrient diet is so important. We want an overflow of vitamins and minerals to be available to the stem cells in the skin.
As well as having an abundance of nutrients in our diet, we need to understand that factors like gut health and stress will affect our ability to process and use those building blocks. This is why a healthy gut microbiome and a regular mindfulness practice are just as important as the food we eat. In fact, stress can be more detrimental to our skin than a poor diet, and is a major trigger for all skin conditions.
Naturopathy looks at the skin as being a reflection of overall health and vitality. The skin is like the tip of the iceburg, what we see is only 10%, and what is under the surface is the majority. As naturopaths, we treat the cause (or trigger) of the issue – which can be a little different for everyone.
Fleur kindly adds her take on good health here…
Good health today is so much more than the physical nutrition, fitness, and safety that our biology prioritised as health for surviving our caveman days.
However, our bodies still can’t tell the difference between a real or imagined threat, or a major or minor stress. Our brain doesn’t naturally distinguish between an immediate urgent danger, like our caveman ancestors fleeing for their lives from a sabre tooth tiger, and the worry of missing an important deadline for our boss.
We are living in our sympathetic nervous system – wired and overtired as we attempt to do it all.
Our everyday busy-oriented lifestyles are keeping us in a state of constant fight or flight, continuously pumping out adrenalin and cortisol. Globally, lifestyle diseases such as depression and anxiety have overtaken heart disease and cancer as the leading cause of disability. And at any point in time, 1 in 5 people are now living with a mental illness.
Many of us recognise that we can’t operate like this anymore, that we need to take control of our health and wellbeing.
So, we need to think more broadly and realistically about good health. The World Health Organisation describes it as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.
I share with you my personal definition of wellbeing:
“Feeling good, functioning well, living with purpose, having fun, and positively contributing.” Fleur Heazlewood
Top tips for taking back control of your health and wellbeing:
- Build movement into your everyday routine – morning walk with the dog, walking meetings for work, family wind down walk in the evening.
- Develop coping resilience skills to manage daily pressure and defuse stress.
- Learn the mental health basics to recognise when you are feeling wobbly and need extra care.
- Stay connected to your social supports – friends, family, colleagues, neighbours, community.
- Make time to rest and recharge – dance, sing, read, walk, tennis, gardening, excursions.
“Self-care isn’t selfish. You can’t drink from any empty cup”.