Tune Up for 2019

The New Year is a time for new starts and looking forward. There’s a long road ahead, with adventures, beauty and enjoyment along the way, as well as some hard work. So, just as you’d give your car a good check-up before a long trip, why not make sure you’re in the best possible shape to set off towards the horizon?

Our bodies are machines, perfectly evolved to take in fuel, use energy, move around and do a thousand vital and not-so-vital actions every day. And as anyone whose machine has gone wrong will know, keeping them functioning as perfectly as possible is always worth the time and effort.

Whether we’re healthy or not, we all do regular maintenance and upkeep on our bodies every day. We eat to provide our bodies with energy and vital building material; we drink to keep it lubricated and regulate our temperature, we sleep to allow it to rest, heal and grow and we move to keep our muscles toned and working.

Of course it’s possible to overdo and underdo all of these things, and quality is every bit as important as quantity, so New Year is a great time to think about each of them in turn.

Start with sleep: Are you getting enough? Do you feel rested and renewed when you wake up? Is the sleep you get of good quality? Eight hours of quality sleep a day is one of the principal keys to health and feeling great, so take a look at your mattress; the conditions you sleep in, go easy on screen-time before you sleep and avoid eating or drinking too much before retiring. Here in Spain, it’s also easy to try napping during the daytime.

Food and drink are, of course, essential, and too much of them will soon result in your machine storing energy in the form of fat. This makes the machine large and unwieldy, and this has serious effects on it’s functioning. Look at what you eat (noting it all down for a few days is a great idea) then take decisions. Remember that it’s not just how much you eat, but what you eat – variation is as important as healthy products.

Movement is something we do at all times. Your heart beats, your lungs move and your body shifts naturally all the time. But now’s the time to really get moving. Exercise not only burns energy that would otherwise turn into fat, but it keeps you strong, supple and working at full efficiency.

You can’t do it all yourself, and all of us will need some professional help at times. The secret is not to leave it too late. If you don’t get your car serviced regularly you’ll find yourself spending more time at the mechanics or broken down by the roadside. With your body that’s a risk you really don’t want to take.

A doctor’s check-up or a professional analysis will show exactly where your body is working well and where it needs some particular care and attention. With a professional diagnosis you’ll have a much better idea of what you should and shouldn’t do to ensure peak performance.

The same advice applies to those problematic body parts that require special attention. Our sight is precious to each of us, so it makes sense to not only have an optician check you up for potential problems, but to provide you with the equipment necessary to make the most of it.

Teeth are also a source of trouble, but regular dental appointments and a daily regime will keep them munching, crunching and smiling indefinitely. It’s money well spent.

And if any other part of your body is causing problems, it’s possible to find experts, from masseurs to personal trainers, from nutritionists to hairdressers and beauty specialists, who’ll help get things working to their best potential.