World Health Day
4 things you can do for your health
April 6, 2023
Since 1948, the World Health Organization has been celebrating 7 April as World Health Day, a moment for raising global health awareness.
We all know that taking care of our health is important. Thankfully, there are a few little things we can do to improve our health that don’t involve enormous amounts of effort.
Here are 4 easy things that you can do to stay healthy:
1. Exercise regularly
Exercise is the closest thing we have to a miracle cure. Not only can it reduce your risk of most major illnesses, it’s also free and anyone above the age of 5 can do it.
Regular physical activity can reduce all-cause mortality, leaving you less susceptible to cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults should engage in at least two and a half hours (150 minutes) of moderately intense physical activity per week. One way to do this could be by adding a half an hour walk or bike ride to your daily routine. Breaking a sweat here and there can be fun – have you ever experienced the “runner’s high”? –, while boosting your self-esteem and energy. What’s not to love?
2. Eat a balanced, plant-based diet
One of the most important things we can do for our health is to adopt a balanced, nutritious diet. While we should aim to cover all necessary nutrients, care should also be taken to avoid or reduce the consumption of foods that are detrimental to our health. Eating a balanced plant-based diet is in line with many current dietary recommendations and can reduce your likelihood of developing coronary heart disease and risk factors for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
In addition, people who follow plant-based diets are usually closer to reaching the recommended daily amounts for protein, carbohydrate, and fat than omnivores.
A plant-based diet can provide an ample supply of all the nutrients needed for optimal health. But whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or meat-eater, a healthy body requires a balanced and varied diet that includes all the necessary nutrients.
3. Get plenty of good sleep
In addition to exercising regularly and eating nutritious food, our body depends on us keeping our batteries recharged to function properly. Not having enough quality sleep means we do not get the chance to recover from the impact of stress.
According to the UK’s National Health Service, adults should try to sleep between 7 to 9 hours per day. Doing so can reduce the risk of developing inflammatory disease, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
4. Have fun!
All work and no play would make anyone dull. Take care of your mental wellbeing by hanging out with friends, engaging with your hobbies, and cooking delicious plant-based meals with your loved ones.
- World Health Organization (2022). Guidelines for physical activity. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity
- National Health Service (2021). Benefits of exercise. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/exercise-health-benefits/
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2016): Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets. J Acad Nutr Diet 116: p. 1970–19
- National Health Service (2021). Insomnia. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/insomnia/
- Irwin M. R. (2015). Why sleep is important for health: a psychoneuroimmunology perspective. Annual review of psychology, 66, 143–172. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115205