April 7, 2021

World Health Day: Making Your Health A Priority

Written by kevin-c

Tips & Tricks

This past year of being isolated and sedentary has wreaked havoc with both my --- and I'd wager, yours --- physical and mental health. And let me tell you, I wasn't exactly a peak specimen to begin with on either counts.

Which makes the World Health Organization's annual World Health Day even more relevant this year, because no matter who you are. the compounded toll of reduced options for health plus the physical isolation from others is bound to have poorly impacted your physical and mental health.

But it's never too late to help your mind and body get back to your pre-Covid state, right?  Here's a few resources to get you all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the spring and summer 2021!

Fix Your Body

Back in 2008, The Centre for Disease Control released their guidelines for various age groups to outline how much physical activity each group should aim for each week to stay healthy. For adults, the guidelines were:

  • All adults should avoid inactivity. Some physical activity is better than none, and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits.

  • For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate - and vigorous - intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.

Now, when you're a lazy bum like me, 150 minutes of exercise a week sounds like a lot. That's where the US Department of Agriculture's incredibly useful site comes in handy. They have loads of tips and tools to kick that bum of mine into gear ---  everything from how to start exercising again after a break , to exercising on a budget, to tips on buying exercise equipment.Some other resources:

  • The Mayo Clinic has a great article about the "Covid 15" weight gain so many of us have experienced over the past year.

  • Health Magazine has a good article outlining things to be mindful of with regards to exercise after getting your Covid vaccine.

Fix your mind

This article from the Dana Foundation outlines the mental health toll of the pandemic, including this eyebrow-raising fact: One of the most recent, a population survey conducted in April and May, found a three-fold increase in depression since the pandemic began.

The University Of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre has a very good post about the differences between feeling "blue" and depression, which is a great starting point for a quick self-evaluation of your current state of mental health.

Luckily the Anxiety & Depression Association of America gathered their top ten strategies for coping with Covid related anxiety and depression, including the excellent suggestion of "media distancing," something I should learn to practice more myself.

As this pandemic creeps to its (fingers crossed) close, getting yourself physically and mentally fit will help you enjoy your post-Covid life!