Hi. It’s April 7th, better known as World Health Day. Since 1950, April 7th has been reserved as a day to bring general health to light, bringing awareness to specific health themes each year. 2020 is also designated the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife by the World Health Organization, which makes this World Health Day a day to celebrate the dedication and contributions made by nurses and midwives around the world. So before we get started, take a minute to recognize a nurse or midwife in your life and give them your gratitude.
Historically, World Health Day was created by WHO to mark the anniversary of the organization’s founding, as well as bring attention to both specific and global health issues each year. 2020 is no different, as WHO recognizes the hard work of healthcare workers that more often than not go the extra mile for patients. While we take a moment to pay these workers respect and gratitude, we also want to share our best insights on how you can improve your own general health, along with the health of your eyes.
Stop smoking. This might be the biggest wide-spread piece of advice any healthcare worker can give you. Decades of PSAs aren’t just blowing smoke: smoking can be destructive to your lungs and be the root of a myriad of other health issues. On top of that, smoking has been linked to several different eye diseases, like macular degeneration and cataracts. While overall smoking is in decline, smokers make up 17.6% of the Nevada population as of 2017. That means roughly 17.6% of people in the state are at risk of a smoking-related disease, and countless others are exposed to secondhand smoke-related diseases.
Eat healthily. Your body needs a balanced diet to thrive. You have your basics in a food pyramid, with ample vegetables and fruits, protein, grains and dairies, but your eyes especially benefit from certain nutrients. We’ve covered this before, but in short: foods high in lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, along with Zinc and Copper, are all great for your eyes. And the best part is: you don’t need to go out of your way to get these nutrients. They’re found in foods like kale, asparagus, carrots, citrus fruits, almonds, avocados, seafood, and even chicken!
Exercise. Getting up and getting your blood pumping helps your body function the way it’s intended to. The US Department of Health & Human Services recommends getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. We know this can be a challenge right now as a lot of us are staying home, so in the meantime, check out these resources for getting a sweat on around the house.
Wear your lenses (and care for them, too). Okay, this is more specific to your eye health (can you really blame us?). As our last article pointed out, there’s a lot you can do to prevent eye strain at home. Among those things, we recommend keeping your glasses or contacts on even if you’re just staying home. Use your eyewear as directed by your optometrist. Be sure to take care of your eyewear, too. Clean your glasses with a microfiber cloth and use lens cleaning spray to get them super crystal clear! For our contact users out there, remember the basic rules of contact lens care: don’t sleep with them in, clean them every day, and in the event of one-time-use or daily throwaway contacts, do not reuse them!
Keep a routine. This can also be hard during a forced staycation. Humans do well when they have things to do. Keep yourself mentally healthy by sticking to a regular schedule, even when you’ve got nothing to do. Set a morning alarm, clean and get ready for the day, and keep your mind active throughout the day. When the day is done, give your eyes a break and give yourself ample time to sleep the recommended eight hours per night. As if it wasn’t obvious, sleeping is great for your body. Your body will get the recharge it needs physically and mentally. And your eyes will appreciate the rest, too.
Being healthy is more than just eating right and getting exercise (even while they’re mentioned above). Being healthy means keeping tabs on yourself and what you do. You might not think about your eyes when you’re on the treadmill or preparing a salad, but consider this: protecting your eyes is an important part of your overall health.
Right now, many of us are concerned about our health. Along with staying home, there are actions you can take to stay safe from the current crisis. Above all:
KEEP WASHING YOUR HANDS AND STAY HEALTHY.