11 ways to improve your health in Bahrain

Have more sleep, do cardio, get more sun and more ways to be better Discuss this article

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Drink less
It’s not just the food you consume – even that post-work drink to help you unwind can have a big impact on your waistline, not to mention your overall health. There are 200 calories in the average glass of grape and 187 in the average pint of hops. Regular drinking not only has a negative effect on your weight and skin – in particular the area around your eyes – but it can also have a negative impact on fertility for both men and women. Some excellent facts and advice on reducing your drinking can be found at www.drinkaware.co.uk.

Eat well, whatever your mood
Despite an abundance of junk food outlets, it’s not hard to have a healthy diet in Bahrain. In fact, the region’s love of convenience makes it even easier. Take a look at these options…

Organic Foods & Café
This supermarket and cafe sells and serves a whole range of healthy produce and meals such as hypoallergenic dishes, gluten-free breads and entirely plant-based options for the island’s vegan community. Take home your healthy goodies or eat in-store, either way your body will thank you. Seef Mall, Seef (1333 3286).

Carlton Nutrition Centre
This company helps their clients achieve drastic weight loss by devising customised diet and fitness plans courtesy of multinational, qualified professionals. They have a range of options such as the full programme which encompasses a consultation, follow up, 30-day menu, nutrition therapy and other specialised choices. Or, you could try their ‘Lunchbox’ which delivers healthy meals to your door for 14 to 20 days. www.carlton-nutrition-center.com (1725 5044).

Health Watchers
This diet consultation company creates personalised plans for clients with a range of issues and goals from weight loss to gain, pregnancy, anemia, celiac disease, and so on. You then have the option to follow your advice and get meals delivered straight to your door. www.healthwatchersbahrain.com (1781 1449).

Have a health screening every year
Most clinics and hospitals in the country offer check-up packages which includes a whole battery of tests to make sure you’re ship shape for another year. Every man over 30 should definitely invest in one of these annually. Some health insurance providers will cover this, so check with yours, but packages tend to start from around BD100. King Hamad Hospital (1744 4444), for example, offers a range of packages including Men Wellness and Well Woman, with options starting from BD75 for a basic checkup.

Get more sleep
Not only will you be less grouchy, getting the right amount of sleep could also help you lose weight, as insufficient sleep affects ghrelin and leptin – your hunger and fullness hormones. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when people were sleep-deprived, they ate more late-night nibbles and were more likely to choose high-carbohydrate snacks. Most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep.

Spinal health
It’s estimated that around 630 million people worldwide suffer from some kind of back pain, which at best can leave you feeling unable to get the exercise your body needs. Misalignment can also be the hidden cause of migraines and chronic fatigue. Bahrain’s German Orthopaedic Hospital (1723 9988) has specialist clinics dealing with spinal injuries, as well as hip, knee and shoulder conditions, and sport injuries, on top of general orthopaedic services.

Do cardio
If you’re already going to the gym regularly, great. But men in particular should make sure they’re not just focusing on pumping iron and defining their biceps. Cardiovascular workouts are essential for keeping your heart – the most important muscle in your body – fighting fit. Brisk walking (for beginners), jogging, playing a sport that involves running up and down a pitch or court, cross-trainers, circuits and bootcamps are all great ways to get a dose of cardio in.

Dental health
Several studies have shown a connection between periodontal disease and heart disease, suggesting that poor dental hygiene and high volumes of bacteria in the mouth can infect coronary arteries. At the very least, brushing and flossing your teeth daily and making sure you have a dental check-up every six months can prevent infections or rotting. It can also save you a hefty dental bill later on. Book a consultation as soon as possible with the renowned Seef Dental in either Seef District (1758 7991) or Amwaj Islands (1758 7992).

The power of meditation Mental health is every bit as important as physical health and there are many studies that show mindful meditation can ease psychological stresses such as depression and anxiety. While this can be done alone, if you’ve never tried it before you may want to do a guided session to help you understand how it all works. Try the Bahrain Meditation Centre for Self Development (1771 2545), a non-profit organisation that has helped Bahrain residents explore these inner powers, for free, for years. www.bahrainmeditationcentre.com

Monthly self-examinations Breast cancer awareness is not just for October, as registered charity Think Pink Bahrain (www.thinkpinkbahrain.com) works tirelessly year-round to help decrease this preventable disease’s relevance in the country. So let’s never forget the important message here: Women should be performing breast self-examinations from the age of 20. For step-by-step directions visit www.breastcancer.org. If you notice anything unusual, contact your doctor immediately. Don’t be shy.

Get some sun
Despite living in a country that offers year-round sunshine, a large number of the population suffer from Vitamin D deficiency, which experts put down to residents avoiding the outdoors during hotter months and wearing clothing that allows no part of their skin to be exposed to direct sunlight. This can lead to fatigue, muscle ache and brittle bones. Fortunately, the solution is reasonably simple – doctors recommend going outside in the sun for around 20 minutes twice
a week between 11am and 3pm, wearing sunscreen
on your face only.

Regular exercise Male or female, young or old, regular exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Experts recommend at least 30 minutes, three times a week. Whether you’re into sports, the gym, swimming, running or exercise classes, there’s absolutely loads of choice in Bahrain. Just flip to the next feature to find out more of the interesting options available on the island right now.

By Time Out Bahrain staff
Time Out Bahrain,

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