As we approach the Holidays, we thought it would be fitting to highlight some potential gifts you could give to yourself and your health in 2023 and beyond. We are approaching nearly 3 years since the start of the pandemic. While a ‘new normal’ has begun to take shape, we continue to suffer from deleterious knock-on effects. For example, many people still work from home without appropriate workstations, others have not yet found a sustainable and healthy activity routine, others continue to postpone doctor’s appointments and preventative appointments, despite being behind schedule.
The problems unfortunately don’t stop there. These knock-on effects are piled high on top a long list of growing health concerns that we have had in this country for decades, to include cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes; not to mention the opioid epidemic, which was recently highlighted in a 2021 study published in the journal of eClinicalMedicine by The Lancet, which revealed the UK as ‘the global leader in opioid use per capita in the world’.
While these are all serious global health issues, all health concerns are community and household concerns as well. In fact, anyone reading this article has almost certainly been impacted by at least one of these health issues. So it is our hope that by reading this article we can all take care by doing some ‘Self-Health-Gifting’ in 2023 on at least one of the Wishlist items below.
Control your blood glucose.
Do this and you will simultaneously combat your risk and severity of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Controlling your glucose, keeping it from getting too high (or too low) and you will control many aspects of your total body health.
Follow the British Heart Foundation recommended activity guidelines and do so without fail.
See your health care providers regularly, and get your checks sorted.
We have all gotten into the habit of neglecting preventative and ‘low urgency’ health care since 2020. Now is the time to re-engage or re-imagine (i.e. virtual care) regular health checks with an emphasis on the back preventative measures since 2020. We have also neglected tests that may not be urgent. But they are important! Be sure to get them done in 2023.
Test your Vitamin D.
Then supplement if you are deficient, and then be sure to re-test after you supplement to see if you have successfully restored your levels. Know that supplementation is one thing, but absorption of what you supplement is another thing entirely, and repletion of any deficiencies should be confirmed.
Build your movement competency, then build strength and power around it.
Movement competency is a spectrum. Some people are great movers, some are indeed very bad, and most others are somewhere in between. Before you can build strength and power into your activity (i.e. vigorous aerobic exercise), you need to first be competent in that movement. You can then build capacity over time and repetition before you can increase the intensity of it.
Learn something about your body and your health.
One thing about our health is that it did not come with a user manual at birth and so we must all take the time to learn about our health and our unique selves. Preferably this knowledge comes from a reputable source, and most importantly that you understand what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Complete 1 major health goal with a friend, family member, or coach.
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