Over the last two years, our lives and thoughts have been inundated with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in South Africa especially, we cannot forget another dreadful pandemic that has been raging for decades – HIV /AIDS.
As with COVID-19, the HIV/AIDS pandemic hit us out of nowhere, completely changing our understanding of the world and shattering lives globally. The world stood by in shock as fear, misinformation and panic spread.
Despite wanting to quit, many people who smoke find it difficult to stick with it in the long term. Almost half who try to quit without support will not manage to stop for longer than a week, and fewer than 5% are able to keep it up for one year. Several products and services have become available to assist smokers in finally kicking the habit. The ‘quit smoking’ movement has become a growing industry.
If you, and maybe your children, need some motivation to get excited about eating your veggies, have some fun growing from kitchen scraps. Yes, you read it correctly, from vegetable cut-off scraps.
If there were any positives to come out of the past 2 years living through a pandemic, it was that the annual flu season seemed to be non-existent. While for some, flu means a few days off work, a headache and a tight chest, for vulnerable groups it can be deadly. Every year influenza kills about 10,000 people of five years and older in South Africa, and annually causes millions of cases of severe illness globally resulting hundreds of thousands of deaths.
Got a few minutes to spare?
It isn’t breaking news that exercise is good for you, in fact physical inactivity is one of the leasing causes of chronic disease worldwide. That said, it is estimated that less than half of all South African adults meet the minimum criteria of health-promoting activity.
A recent study has found that adding in just a few minutes of activity into your day, every day, can lower your risk of disease.
We live in a switched-on world in which it’s almost unthinkable to be without social media for so much as a day. According to Statista, a company specialising in market and consumer data, around 30 million South Africans were on social networking sites in 2019. What’s more, this number is set to grow to close to 50 million by 2026!
There’s no two ways about it: being bullied isn’t just tough in the moment, it continues to take a toll in other areas of your life.
Bullying leaves a trail of destruction in its wake. It shatters your self-esteem and increases your risk of anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance and self-harm. It can even result in physical health problems like high blood pressure, stomach pain and poor appetite.
It’s something that has puzzled researchers from the start of the pandemic – why do some people experience severe illness, and others do not? These differences extend beyond known risk factors – like age, and existing disease.
To answer this question, researchers began studying the genetics of people exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and were able to identify links between developing the disease and variations in specific parts of their DNA.
Here in South Africa, there seems to be two active responses on social media to the shock of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. One is a sense of outrage and sadness at the disruption and tragic loss of life. The other seems to be an almost flippant expression of gratitude for being far away ‘down south’ from the conflict zone.
Let’s be clear – there is no quick fix to immediately ‘boost’ your immunity – no ‘wonder supplement’ or ‘power food’ will suddenly strengthen your immune system. However, living a healthy lifestyle does go a long way to keep your immune system strong. This has been found in a recent study showing that exercise may strengthen the antibody response to vaccination – both the COVID-19 vaccines and the annual flu vaccines.