• Rebecca Watts

Is it time to take control of our health?

In the strange times that we are currently in, we realise that some things are just out of control. It is hard to put Coronavirus to the side but it is important for us to focus on the things we are able to control - our own lifestyle

If Coronavirus is teaching us something is that we can not always rely on our health system (NHS) to make us well again. They are incredible but are struggling, with the knowhow of this virus, and the overwhelming numbers it is effecting.

What we can do is take some accountability for aspects of our own health for ourselves, our families and for the NHS.

It’s hard to know the true facts and numbers, but it is starting to emerge that metabolic syndrome conditions seem to increase severity of symptoms and risk of death related to the virus. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. They are often attributed to lifestyle and are seen as risk factors for conditions such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

It is not all doom and gloom

It may seem all doom and gloom, but there is rise for positivity here. As the symptoms of metabolic syndrome are risk factors, it is still possible to reverse them and prevent more serious ones, through lifestyle changes. Generally most health related symptoms, whether lifestyle or not, can be improved to some extent by lifestyle and these improvements can be seen in weeks, not years.

So what are you waiting for?

Now is the time to take control of what we can - our lifestyle.

We have been given the opportunity to reflect, to be accountable of our actions and make some improvements.

Im not saying this is an easy thing to do, many have spent years neglected our health so cant just overhaul your whole life as that rarely works. Just be more conscious in your decisions, make a couple of new habits a week and they are more likely to stick.

Remember it only takes a couple of weeks to start seeing , noticing improvements.

Here are some simple tips to get you started during lockdown

  • drink 2 litres of water a day

  • cut sugary foods and drinks right down (occasional treats only)

  • keep alcohol intake down

  • eat natural unprocessed foods whenever possible

  • walk or do some activity everyday

  • ensure you get 7-9 hours quality sleep

  • find something that helps you relax and destress - reading, yoga, exercise, a hobby, a bath, family time…

Think of this has a long term plan. Be proud of the lifestyle changes you are making, you are taking some responsibility for your own health.

It is highly likely this virus is going to be around for a while so if the virus does come knocking at your door, then you have made some improvements to your health and lifestyle to help you fight it.