So, what exactly is a “healthy” lifestyle? And do I have one?
These are questions I never really thought about until recently, a national lockdown does give you plenty of time to ponder these things! The earliest memory I have of being taught what a healthy lifestyle is “Make sure to have your 5-a-day!”. Truth be told, this is the only memory I have of ever being taught about healthy lifestyles… but surely there should be more to it than just eating fruit and veggies every day?
This is why, here at Adventures with Amara, we decided to create our first ever eBook (available now on the Kindle Store) all about how we can live more healthy lives! We hope to incite a movement, getting children to think about their physical health as well as their mental health from an early age, creating a comfortable environment to discuss: what does “healthy” actually mean?
In our book, “There’s nothing to fear here”, Nurse David explains how staying hygienic, exercising regularly, having a balanced diet, and not being afraid to ask for help from doctors are all steps we need to take to live our best healthy life! In today’s blog, we’re going to explore a little bit more about how and why all those things do in fact lead to having a healthy lifestyle.
As our book is set in a hospital, it was paramount that we taught Amara the importance of hygiene and staying safe. Especially in this coronavirus situation, everyone’s become very much more alert to how to truly be efficiently sanitary: we’re all washing our hands for at least 20 seconds (or as long as it takes to sing happy birthday twice in our heads), washing our hands thoroughly using the helpful diagrams put up in almost all public restrooms and also carrying around hand sanitiser as if it is our most prized possession. These are all great practises to have even after this pandemic passes; it’s just another small step towards leading your best clean and healthy life.
However, of course washing your hands isn’t the only aspect of staying clean: brushing your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day, showering regularly and looking after your nails are all activities that will maintain both your physical and mental health. In people with poor personal hygiene, the body provides an ideal environment for germs to grow, leaving it vulnerable to infection. On a social level, people may avoid a person with poor personal hygiene, which may result in isolation and loneliness.
Here at Adventures with Amara we believe that parents/guardians should teach children how to keep themselves clean from a young age. Encouraging children to help clean themselves as soon as they are old enough is a good way to instigate a proper personal hygiene routine.
In ‘There’s nothing to fear here’, Amara draws a rough food plate in her notebook, and this is a much clearer way to understand what a balanced diet is (rather than just ‘have your five-a-day’!). This also illustrates why going on certain diet fads aren’t recommended for long periods of time: you shouldn’t cut any part out completely because your body needs it to function efficiently. Psychologically, dietary restraint can lead to increased cravings, overeating and binge eating – which in the long term could be damaging to your mental health. Biologically, dieting can lead to unhealthy changes in your body, including hormonal changes, reduced bone density and menstrual disturbances. So, ensuring that children understand the importance of every section of the food plate is very important to us.
Another aspect of a balanced diet is drinking water! About 60% of our bodies us made up of water and did you know that 90% of our blood is actually water! Keeping hydrated is crucial for health and well-being but many people do not drink enough. The Eat-well Guide says we should drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day. Water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count but of course the healthier option is Water as It has no calories and contains no sugars that can damage teeth.
ASKING FOR HELP
The last but most crucial part of this blog post is definitely knowing when to ask others for help and not being afraid to do so! Hospitals, doctors and medicine might seem very scary, but in fact they’re the best places to be because every single person working in a hospital is there to help you feel better and only want the best for you! However, many people do feel comfortable visiting their GP when they’re physically not feeling too well and rushing to A&E if there’s been a major incident and this is great – medical practitioners are there to help! But all too often, people overlook their mental health and neglect this part of their life by not asking for the help they need. Mental health is just as important as your physical health and it can impact your social life, your work and your lifestyle in many ways. So even if talking to the school councillor or your GP seems too daunting, try to talk to friends or family, because asking for help and sharing whatever issues you have is also a fundamental step towards living your best healthy life!