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Give your body an MOT

All Areas > Health & Beauty > Looking Good, Feeling Great

Author: Will Mbanga, Posted: Friday, 29th January 2021, 09:00

With everything 2020 gave or took away from us, one thing remains the same – we are another year older and unless we take care of ourselves, growing old can be hard!

A decrease in capacity can have a knock-on effect: weight gain leads to loss of self-confidence; deteriorating eyesight and hearing can lead to social isolation; lack of endurance and strength can lead to injury and reduced capacity.

As 2021 ramps up, this is the ideal time to undertake an MOT on your physical and mental health and lifestyle factors to enable you to get through the year in your best shape.

A good place to start is finding or re-committing to your purpose. With all the challenges and drama of life, especially at the moment, connecting with or finding your purpose has never been more important. Whether we like it or not, the world has changed – how we respond determines the quality of our lives.

Physical health
In looking at our physical health, finding balance across the components of health-related fitness (cardiovascular, endurance, strength, flexibility, body composition) along with a nutritious diet will be key to ensuring good health.

Thereafter, building in additional components based on your fitness/performance needs (agility, speed, balance, power, coordination) in a progressive manner with appropriate recovery, will enable you to achieve and maintain your peak condition or goals.

Mental health
The mental/emotional aspect of our health is the most neglected and most difficult to manage, as it impacts our motivation and mental state, which can result in unhealthy habits or neglecting our physical fitness needs.

Connecting with family and friends has become more difficult, but it is an essential human need, so ensure that you reach out in whatever (safe and legal) way you can, for your own health as well as that of others – we are in this together.

A great starting point is gratitude. A daily ‘gratitude check-in’ or helping others less fortunate than you will make a huge difference to you in the long-term and to them immediately. After such a difficult year, with so much uncertainty of the year ahead, ensuring you are in the best possible head-space and remaining positive under the relentless pressures of modern life is critical.

Lifestyle factors
The biggest challenge for lifestyle factors is finding things to do that don’t cost money, or whose costs are outweighed by the benefits.
 Connecting with people
 Spending quality time with friends and family
 Developing new skills, habits and hobbies
 Being open to different perspectives and learning new things by getting out of ‘echo chambers’ that fuel your beliefs or biases
 Spending more time outdoors
 Exercise!

And finally, if you’re going to save up to do one thing this year, I recommend a sauna! There are so many benefits, including:
 Boost in circulation
 Supports cardiovascular health
 Improves flexibility and recovery
 Clearer skin
 Reduces stress
 Boosts immune system
 Boosts collagen production
Reduces inflammation
Like anything that has physiological effects, please consult your GP before hopping into a sauna.

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