2020 has been challenging in more ways than one. Most notably, it has exposed just how vulnerable the human immune system is because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of people across the world have lost their lives to the pandemic.
Unsurprisingly, many of the people who lost their lives to the pandemic had weaker-than-average immune systems. It is a reminder that you should stay fit and healthy always to overcome illnesses, rather than succumbing to them.
Hopefully, 2021 will be less challenging and full of opportunities. However, you will need to be in good shape to take on whatever 2021 has in store for the world.
Practice the following tips to stay fit and healthy in 2021:
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
Food provides the nutrients your body needs to develop, grow, and stay healthy. For example, fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that help reinforce the body’s natural immune system to keep your body healthy. Additionally, meats and beans contain protein necessary for building body tissue and muscle to keep your body looking and feeling fit.
As such, it is advisable to eat a healthy and balanced diet to get all the nutrients your body needs. It would help if you familiarize yourself with the nutrient makeup of different foods. Here is a comprehensive overview of the six essential nutrients and their natural sources.
Protein provides the body’s building blocks, as mentioned. Body tissue, muscles, cells, antibodies, and hormones are made of protein. To this end, protein accounts for about 16% of the average person’s overall body weight. Protein-rich foods include meat, fish, beans, nuts, eggs, soy, and some seeds, among others.
Carbohydrates function as the body’s fuel. They support the healthy functioning of the whole body, especially the brain and central nervous system. They also help to reinforce the body’s immune system. As such, eat more carbohydrate-rich foods such as beans and whole grains.
Fats are unnecessarily vilified. Granted: eating too much fat will make you overweight. However, inadequate fat intake will compromise your overall body functionality.
Fats support a wide range of body functions, including developing new cells, clotting the blood in case of injuries, easing muscle movement, improving brain function, and boosting the body’s consumption of minerals and vitamins. Fats also help prevent a range of chronic diseases, including diabetes and type-2 diabetes.
There are two types of fats: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are unhealthy and associated with conditions such as cholesterol. As such, focus on unsaturated fats by eating foods such as fish, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils.
Vitamins are the building blocks of the body’s natural immune system. They minimize the risk of falling ill and accelerate recovery from diseases and injuries. Vitamins are naturally available in fruits and vegetables. It is also recommendable to take vitamin supplements if you can’t get enough from natural sources.
Minerals are essential for a wide range of body functions. For example, calcium and zinc help build healthy and strong bones and teeth. Additionally, iron is necessary for the production of red blood cells. Other benefits of minerals include regulating blood pressure, improving nerve signal transmission, and boosting the body’s natural immunity.
Mineral-rich foods include nuts, eggs, beans, avocados, fish, organic meat, and a range of fruits and vegetables. It is also recommendable to take mineral supplements if you cannot get enough of them naturally.
Water makes up about 62% of the average person’s body weight. It is essential for virtually every body function, including improving the digestive system’s nutrient intake. As such, drink at least 2.7 liters of water per day – and as much as your body needs.
2. Exercise Regularly
Exercising is one of the healthiest habits that you can adopt. It has a wide range of health benefits that improve virtually every aspect of your wellbeing.
For starters, exercising improves your body’s metabolism and boosts its intake of calories, ensuring that you make the best use of your healthy diet. Additionally, exercising burns excess fats and calories. It also stretches the muscles, keeping them toned – and leaned or puffed up, depending on your desired look. Bottom line: it improves your overall health and keeps you looking good.
Exercising is also one of the best ways to prolong your natural life expectancy rate. It keeps your organs in top shape and boosts your natural immune system. It also actively minimizes the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes. For example, strength training exercises improve bone strength, minimizing the risk of developing crippling bone conditions such as scoliosis – you can learn all about scoliosis among the elderly at https://scoliosisinstitute.com/.
Exercising also optimizes your body energy, giving you the strength you need to make the best of 2021. More importantly, it will help you see many more years to come.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Getting sufficient sleep is just as beneficial as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Most notably, sleeping is directly linked to a stronger immune system. This is because the body recuperates and rejuvenates best when you are sleeping. The body produces healing hormones, gets rid of dead and damaged cells, develops new cells, builds muscles and tissue, and generally self-improves as you are sleeping.
Getting enough sleep will also equip you to handle 2021. The muscles rest and energize during sleep, while the mind refreshes, preparing you for every new day.
It is advisable to sleep at least eight hours per day. Additionally, establish a regular sleeping routine – go to sleep and wake up at set hours – as an irregular sleeping pattern can scramble your mind and general body processes.
4. Ditch Unhealthy Habits
One of the symptoms of COVID-19 is shortness of breath – this explains the high demand for ventilators. Interestingly, the disease’s mortality rate was significantly higher among people who smoke, as smoking compromises their respiratory system.
Smoking is just one of many bad habits that people adopt. Other bad habits include drinking and doing drugs – and they all have extensive negative effects. For example, smoking considerably increases the risk of lung cancer. Additionally, drinking increases the risk of developing conditions such as liver cirrhosis, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.
Bottom line: your bad habits are bad for your health and overall wellbeing, and they will hold you back from being your best in 2021. As such, ditch all unhealthy habits and replace them with healthier habits such as exercising and eating well.
5. Address Your Feelings
Mental illness is an increasingly prevalent disease. Unfortunately, it is also underrated, and many people suffer mental instability (and other serious mental conditions) in silence. The effects have been devastating, ranging from suicides to mass shootings.
Mental illness is expected to get worse come 2021, thanks partly to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic forced people into quarantine and self-isolation, effectively cutting off their social support systems. This increased cases of mental illnesses, as people are social creatures and require social interaction for good mental health – to this end, prolonged isolation is proven to make people go crazy.
Social isolation measures will be less strict in 2021, especially since there are vaccines for the COVID-19 virus. As such, take the opportunity to create friends and improve your current relationships. Additionally, leverage these relationships to speak your mind and share your feelings with loved ones to ease your mental and emotional stress.
6. Observe COVID-19 Health Guidelines
The world has a vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic, finally. However, it will be several months before everyone gets a shot. To this end, more and more people are still dying from the disease, so make sure not to add to the statistics by protecting yourself from the virus.
Authorities have recommended a range of practices to protect yourself from the pandemic. For example, it is highly advisable to practice social and physical distancing, which entails staying at least six feet from other people and limiting your outdoor activities to the essential ones only. Additionally, it is advisable to wash your hands as often as possible. It is also advisable to disinfect surfaces and generally maintain higher hygiene standards.
Most importantly, it is advisable to take the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine will not only protect you from the disease but also make it easier for you to move around and make the most of 2021.
7. Stay Safe
Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and practicing the other tips will be useless if you are injured or dead. Remember: there are more ways to die than the COVID-19 virus. As such, take generally good care of yourself and avoid situations that would put you in harm’s way.
You Determine Your Future
There are high expectations for 2021, after the setbacks and challenges of 2020. However, no one knows the future without a doubt. As such, prepare yourself as best as you can to make the most of the New Year. Remember: your present actions shape the future, and you can make your future better and brighter by practicing these tips.