The human body has often been likened to a car. And, like your car, your body also needs the proper care and maintenance.
Look after the engine
A car’s engine needs regular maintenance to keep it in running order and working at high RPMs will increase wear. Similarly, your brain also needs a break! Aim to get around 8 hours of sleep each night and give yourself time to relax because this can make a huge difference to your mental health and wellbeing.
If you’re feeling stressed or under pressure try to give yourself some time out – have a relaxing bath, go for a walk or watch your favourite film.
If you’re feeling stressed or unhappy it’s also a good idea to talk to a friend, family member, colleague or Ben! You can call our free and confidential support line or speak to an advisor through our webchat facility.
Use the right fuel
We know all about the damaging effects that the wrong fuel can have on our cars and the same goes for our bodies.
The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) recommends that you base your meals on starchy foods such as bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. Choosing wholegrain foods will provide you with more fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Make sure you eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. This isn’t as hard as it may seem – frozen, tinned and juiced veg and fruit all count! Why not try throwing a handful of peas into your next spag bol or stick some fresh lettuce into your sandwiches?
Oily fish are one of the only natural food sources of Vitamin D, which is important for healthy bones. The BNF recommends eating two portions of fish each week, one of which should be oily fish. Oily fish include salmon, fresh tuna, sardines, mackerel and trout. If you’re worried about the environmental impact of eating fish, www.goodfishguide.org has lots of advice.
Finally, cut down on your sugar, salt and fat intake. Processed foods can contain a lot of salt, so try to check food labels to make sure you don’t have too much – adults shouldn’t eat more than 6g each day.
Keep yourself running smoothly
Just as a car left on a driveway starts to seize up, so does your body if you spend long periods of time stationary. You can keep your joints ‘well-oiled’ by staying hydrated and take regular exercise.
If you work at a desk, try to stand up every hour and move around for 5-10 minutes. This can be an excuse for nipping to the kitchen to grab some more water or going to speak to a colleague rather than using email.
Did you know that race cars require tune-ups and oil changes every three to six months? And, just as a car needs a check-up, so does your body.
You can schedule a visit to your doctor twice a year to have a thorough executive check-up. Don’t wait for these scheduled check-ups though if you’re feeling unwell, visit your GP as and when you need to.
Whether you have a modern dragster or a vintage model, these tips can help your body keep ticking over as you increase your mileage.