Did you know that April 7 is World Health Day? This day is a time to raise awareness for global health issues, recognize the efforts and achievements made to improve health internationally, and focus on policies that are needed to overcome these health challenges.
As a way to celebrate World Health Day, here is a list of things you can do to promote healthy living for yourself, your family, and your community.
- Be physically active. You don’t need to spend hours at the gym. In fact, for most people, that simply isn’t possible. A simple approach is to just move your body more. That might mean a regular at-home or outdoor exercise routine, organized sporting activities, or actively playing with your kids or pets. It can also mean taking the stairs instead of the elevator, when possible. And, if you can, then walk or cycle to work or to run errands. Not only is it better for your body, but it’s a great way to save some money on gas!
- Eat healthy food. It’s not enough to just exercise regularly — you also have to watch what you eat if you want to be healthier, but there is no one way to eat right. In fact, what works great for one person may make another feel awful. In general, however, more whole foods and fewer processed foods is key. Make sure you eat lots of vegetables, get enough fibre, choose healthy fats, and select high-quality proteins. While variety and moderation are words that come up often when talking about eating well, that doesn’t make it has to taste bland. Use herbs and spices to add flavour and you’ll also get their added health benefits.
- Reduce stress. Stress is a global health epidemic, but it’s not something that has to continue to break you down. While stressors will happen, it’s important to find ways to manage your stress response. Make time each day for things you enjoy, and make sure to get enough sleep every night. There are also many stress management techniques that can help you relax and unwind, including, yoga, meditation, exercise, and deep breathing.
- Take care of your mental health. No matter how busy you are, always remember that your mental health is a major priority. Don’t forget to take care of your mind as well as your body. If you feel like you may not be mentally well, do not ignore it. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to get professional help as soon as possible.
- Volunteer in your community. Join efforts that promote health in your community. Volunteering has physical and mental health benefits. It helps you feel happier, more connected with others, and improves self-esteem and confidence. There are numerous opportunities to volunteer to help others in need. From your local food bank to your local hospital, there are many ways you can lend a helping hand.
- Plant a tree, tend to plants. Trees are good for our health as they remove air pollution and cool down urban areas in summer. They also provide a habitat for wildlife, and people can enjoy being close to trees in green spaces.
If you don’t have a place to plant a tree outdoors, bring smaller plants into your home. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, easy-to-care-for plants like spider plants, English ivy, mother-in-law’s tongue, and peace lily can help improve your indoor air quality and make you feel better.
If you have space to grow your own herbs or food, even better! Getting your hands in the dirt is therapeutic—and having the fresh food you grow can’t be beat.
- Donate items you no longer use. Support organizations that provide basic necessities like food and clothing to help people who are affected by poverty or natural disasters. For example, you could donate gently used clothing or household goods to help the less fortunate.
- Give blood. Did you know that giving blood just once can save three lives? Your local blood donation centre is always looking for new donors. Not only does it help save lives, but it also makes you feel great knowing you’re helping people in your community!
- Recycle. The number of plastics that end up in our oceans and landfills is causing serious problems for our environment, our wildlife, and our health. Recycling not only saves the environment but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. We can all do our part by minimizing our use of plastic and by recycling plastic bottles, paper bags, glass jars, and aluminum cans — which are all prime examples of recyclable products we use every day.
- Incorporating reishi mushrooms into your life. If you want to mark the occasion with something that will help you take care of your own health, I recommend taking reishi mushrooms. These fabulous fungi have been used for thousands of years as something of a panacea for everything from cancer to heart disease, and many modern studies support these claims. Reishi mushrooms are said to help strengthen a balanced immune response, fighting off viruses that cause colds and flus, and well as taming an over-responsive immune system that causes allergies or autoimmune disorders. They also help your body adapt to stressors, calming your nervous system and providing you more energy.
In order to take care of the health of our world, it’s important you also take the time to make your own health a priority. A healthy mind and healthy body are crucial to living a fulfilled life. These tips will help you get started in your journey to more health and happiness, so don’t wait another day, get started this World Health Day.