Wellness A Post-covid-19 Trend
INTEREST IN HEALTHCARE HAVING A PREVENTIVE APPROACH OVER A WELFARIST STANDPOINT HAS NEVER BEFORE BEEN SO STRONG AND GENERALIZED ALL AROUND THE GLOBE
BY: M.D. MARIA DEL CARMEN BATLLE ALMODÓVAR, NATIONAL CENTER FOR MEDICAL GENETICS PHOTOS: EXCELENCIAS ARCHIVES
TOURISM AND HEALTH
The COVID-19 pandemic has facilitated the acceleration of a process that had already been underway for several years, such as personal interest in healthcare from a more preventive and less welfarist point of view. The preservation of mental health -so affected in these months of confrontation with SARS-COV-2THE concern for having a strong immune system that can cope with the disease, as well as the treatment of the after-effects of the disease, are issues of overall concern in today's world. When health systems are depressed and people cannot access them in the normal way -as has unfortunately been the case over the past almost two yearsdirect mortality from the pandemic and indirect mortality from preventable diseases skyrocket globally, and it has become evident that healthier people, with fewer comorbidities and better lifestyles, have stepped onto this health emergency in a more favorable condition. The prevention of noncommunicable diseases through the modification of daily life habits is a particularly topical issue. These include early detection of diseases, encouraging physical activity and promoting healthy eating. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), chronic noncommunicable diseases account for 63 percent of annual deaths worldwide, and several of them have even reached epidemic status. Simple routines such as establishing schedules for work and rest, doing physical exercise -if possible outdoors- on a regular basis, and eating healthy meals at fixed times, can make a difference. Equal attention should be paid to mental health, which as part of the comprehensive health of the individual, has also been studied for a long time everywhere, and for good reasons. A healthy body helps prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and helps maintain the independence of the individual in the face of the natural aging process. Mental health is as important as physical health for a proper balance of overall health. Nutrition is also a fundamental underpinning for health and human development. It is an indispensable ally in reducing the risk of noncommunicable diseases -such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease- and prolonging lifespan. In the context of the pandemic, it has been very important to identify the most suitable foods for strengthening the immune system in the population. Several studies have identified groups of foods that strengthen the immune system against viral respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. These include: redorange vegetables and fruits, poultry, spinach, blueberries, green tea and wheat germ. It is also important to note that nuts, such as almonds, peanuts and walnuts, provide Omega 3, proteins, zinc and calcium, indispensable for the functional harmony of our body. This preventive approach made both by the individual and by the health systems and governments themselves, is becoming increasingly important. When we talk about preventive medicine, this concept is not limited to one blood test a year. It is all public health plans integrated to seek to improve and promote the health status of an entire country. Every action taken in favor of a healthier future is a form of preventive medicine. Vaccination programs, general check-ups and educational instructions are fundamental pillars, since they allow the population to know the possible risks they face and, thus, avoid them by means of their own resources. In this sense, such sectors as the tourism industry have seen these concerns of people reflected -in their specific case of this sector, with sustained increases. In 2017, as much as 43% of trips were focused on health and wellness, and that was long before the outbreak of SARS-COV-2. It is logical to think they will remain on the rise in the future, with a tourist profile that exceeds 55 years of age on average, according to data from Braintrust's Tourism Barometer. The thermal water centers in destinations such as Ourense, Galicia (Spain), for example, already foresee a major reactivation for the next months, especially associated with studies that lay bare their therapeutic properties in the treatment of POST-COVID sequels.