• Andrew

4 Healthy Ways to Celebrate World Health Day

What good is a healthy mind and body if there's no healthy planet to enjoy your time? April 22nd was #EarthDay. Here are four healthy things you can do this week to acknowledge Earth Day and either help or harness the beauty of our environment.

1. Have a Meatless Meal Day: The excessive consumption of animal products has been linked with many health problems. Concurrently, the inadequate intake of vegetables and fiber also has a significant impact on disease risk. Now we're not passing judgment on whether everyone should be vegan... but the industrial production of meats and animal products has huge impacts on our environment. Designating a meat-free day could have many benefits for your health and the environment. If you normally eat meat every day, and you decided to introduce a meat-free day to your routine, you would essentially be cutting your meat intake by roughly 14%. Now there's a nice win-win (#fistbump).

2. Exercise in Nature: Does your exercise help you rejuvenate? Or, have your feelings of guilt and obligation to rush about and make time for a mindless trudge on a moving belt with your eyes locked on a screen become something you are beginning to question the value of? Several studies have shown that spending time in natural surroundings can have a positive impact on mood and stress, while others have specifically suggested that exercising in natural surroundings makes the exercise more enjoyable. It's the perfect time of year to enjoy some healthy movement outdoors!

3. Do Some Gardening: There are suggestions that gardening can help with many things, including stress relief and reduced risk of depression, self-esteem and reduced risk of Alzheimer's. Of course, physical activity is also a very welcome benefit. So why not get out in your garden and grow some plants? Partake in a healthy activity while also planting some trees, or flowers for bees, or vegetables for a double dose of healthy!

4. Change-up Your Commute: Do you drive to work? Is it necessary? Could you consider walking, cycling, or using public transport? If you usually drive, then walking, or using public transport (which might allow you to stand or move more during your commute) are all ways you can sneak a little extra movement in to your day, while removing your vehicle from the road (particularly if you commute by yourself) can also benefit the environment. If driving is necessary, could you consider carpooling? This would again help with reducing the number of vehicles on the road while potentially giving you the benefit of social connection.

There are four simple ways in which you can do something healthy this week that can not only benefit your physical and, or mental health, but also contributes to a healthier planet. I'm sure there are many other simple ideas that are just as beneficial as these, and probably a whole lot more that are even more beneficial - so why not add your ideas in the form of a comment below - and then pass it on!

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