My Personal Health Challenges: 5 Things I Need & Want to Change!

Health. With the fast pace of modern life and work stress, plus the coronavirus pandemic, many young people lack healthy habits which lead to higher occurrences of certain diseases in our millennials. Therefore, staying healthy is becoming a far more urgent and important need than ever before.

I had this realization and determined to keep fit after I was diagnosed with reflux oesophagitis last year, as well as suffering from a recurrent injury to both sides of one of my ankles. So now, I’m discussing the journey of changing my lifestyle, staying healthy and of overall wellness with you…follow on for My Personal Health Challenges: 5 Things I Need & Want to Change! 

1. Refuse to Stay Up Late

Staying up late I’ve found disturbs the body’s normal sleep-wake cycle, which can have an impact on a person’s mental performance and energy levels the next day. Regularly staying up all night can definitely cause sleep issues as well as carry longer-term health consequences, even compromising one’s immune system function and becoming vulnerable to viruses etc. My stomach disease is related to this to some extent. Feeling hungry and starting to eat at midnight, then skipping breakfast in the morning. So, I’ve determined that I must develop a good routine for keeping myself healthy.

2. Keep a Healthy & Nutritious Diet

One of the reasons I have stomach problems is due to my regular consumption of spicy and oily foods. I’m getting this in order now. A healthy diet helps to prevent obesity, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, digestive disorders, and many other health problems. Eating healthy and nutritious foods I have come to realize, is an absolute must!

Choose a variety of foods and make grains the main course of every meal; eat lots of fruits and vegetables, (preferably go vegetarian!) consume a moderate amount of milk, egg and other meat alternatives, such as beans, spinach, tofu etc. Reduce high-fat, high-oil, high-salt, and high-sugar foods, as well as preserved and processed foods which, because they do nothing for you, aren’t a wise investment for your long term bodily health. Consume an adequate amount of fluids (including water, tea, clear soups, etc.) and maintain consistent eating habits.

3. Daily Exercise

Exercise helps weight loss and reduces the risk of certain illnesses, such as obesity and high blood pressure. For my personal situation, my doctor suggested me to tiptoe (ie. do calf raises) more often to strengthen the ligaments in my ankle as well as to do some aerobic (or cardio) exercise daily.

4. Safeguard Your Visual Health

Good vision plays a vital role in your physical functioning, mobility and overall well-being. Don’t take for granted that your eyes will always be healthy because these days, way too many people spend way too much time on their electronic devices, including me! So a regular eye exam, a good night’s sleep, and regular breaks away from the screen are sure ways to help protect our eyesight.

5. Mental & Emotional Health

The definition of health should not be limited to physical health alone, mental health is also important especially since the outbreak of COVID-19, which has brought disruptive change to the vast majority of people’s lives. Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that positive emotions are beneficial to physical recovery. Here are some principles I used to look after my mental health: keeping in touch with others, talking about my feelings; accepting myself, doing things that interest me; staying physically active, and eating healthily. At least, learn to ask for help when you feel lonely and helpless.

Are you increasing your physical activity? Are you reducing your junk food intake? Are you starting to begin improving your health and quality of life like I’m doing? It’s time to take action and share your story and the efforts you’re making to stay healthy in the comments below, and feel free to join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram!

Zhe Deng

Zhe is currently a student majoring in Psychology and Education at the University of Auckland. She is passionate about helping people to improve emotional health especially now with COVID-19. She also has a keen interest in physical exercise and enjoys badminton, table tennis and swimming. Zhe hopes to make valuable contributions to improving people’s well-being by passionately sharing her practical experience and knowledge accumulated so far.

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