Current research findings from the World health Organisation (W.H.O.) suggest that about 70% of deaths worldwide are from non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Pre-mature deaths are rampant among people from ages 30 to 69 years. It is even more striking to know that over 85% of pre-mature deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. This often leads to decreased productivity and economic losses through accumulated healthcare costs. Therefore, the W.H.O. considers NCDs as one of the ten global health threats that needs to be addressed. As the year comes to an end, let us ponder on some five tips to help us become more productive and holistically healthy in the year 2021.

1. Eat Healthily

Daily food intakes should contain adequate proportions of macronutrients and micronutrients altogether. Macronutrients, which include carbohydrates, proteins, and fat, are essential for growth, body-building and repair of worn-out tissues. Micronutrients, which include calcium, potassium and iron are needed for bone health, muscle strength and cardio-protective effects.  It is very important for people to learn to suppress their cravings for unhealthy foods, and instead, begin to focus on foods that help to improve health and wellbeing.

2. Make yourself physically active

For the working population, especially those who work in offices and spend prolonged hours sitting behind their work desks, physical inactivity is very common. Unfortunately, prolonged sedentary times are risk factors for conditions such as obesity and other associated lifestyle disease. A Few minutes (10-15 minutes) of brisk walking daily will go a long way in helping to maintain a fit and healthy body. This will help you to get your energy balance right.

3. Consume fruits and vegetables daily.

It is recommended that people consume at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily. Fruits and vegetables are rich in phytochemicals and compounds that have antioxidant properties and protective effects for the body. Vegetables are helpful for providing satiety and they also contain dietary fibre that aid in food digestion.

4. Remain well hydrated

In general, people are mostly advised to consume about 1.5L of water daily, and this 1.5L, translates to the large mineral water bottle size or 3 sachets of water. Keeping the body hydrated helps every system in the body, including organs such as the heart, brain and muscles to function effectively. Drinking fluids help in facilitating the transport of nutrients to the body cells and help to reduce the likelihood of constipation. It is also necessary to look out for signs of dehydration. These include minimal or no urination, dry lips, and extreme thirst.

5.    Get ample sleep to rejuvenate

Lack of sleep makes people less productive and also affects their moods, and this usually triggers negative emotional reactions to daily hurdles, especially at the workplace. Also, chronic lack of sleep, makes it difficult for the brain to recall detailed information and ultimately, can affect productivity.  Therefore, in order to remain effective and productive, the body needs to rest properly at night. This will help in improving intellectual function and alertness. Ample sleep also helps to boost a positive mood and a well relaxed state of mind.

Pearl Kitcher

Diet and Health Professional


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