Looking after yourself

Preventing Illness

Most people are keen to prevent themselves from becoming ill if at all possible. It is difficult to avoid some illnesses. The common cold is so contagious that you can catch it from just sitting next to someone on a bus. However modern research has proven that we can protect ourselves against illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer by taking care with what we eat and how we live our lives.

The main things we do to badly affect our health are smoking, becoming over-weight and not taking enough exercise. Drinking too much alcohol can also be harmful.

Food and Diet

There is a lot of concern from health professionals about the amount of weight people in the UK are carrying. Obesity is now considered to cause as much premature death and preventable illness in this country as smoking. Alarmingly, the average child in the UK is getting fatter every year and as a nation we do not recognise how dangerous this can be. If your child is overweight, get help NOW. Change their diet, take up more exercise and come for help at the practice. A useful website is Change 4 Life produced by the NHS.

Increasing the quantity of fruit and vegetables we eat can protect against both cancer and heart disease. It is advised now to aim for five portions of fruit or veg each day. Some chronic illness such as diabetes and heart disease can be partly prevented by making sure that you don't put on too much weight. You can calculate if you are overweight by clicking on the following link: BMI Calculator. If you would like information on how you could reach your ideal weight for health then please pick up a weight management leaflet from reception.

Exercise

Exercise is crucial for good health. It can prevent us from becoming overweight and also protect us from heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and thinning bones (osteoporosis). There are some studies which show that it relieves stress and depression as well. Often it is difficult to build exercise into our lives especially if being overweight has been causing you to feel shy about exercising in public.

Even if not overweight exercise is important to keep us healthy. One way of looking at the amount of exercise we take is by using a pedometer to measure the number of steps we take each day. Aiming for 10,000 steps each day will go a long way in protecting our health and is recommended by the British Heart Foundation.

Smoking

Smoking is the leading cause of death in the UK. Once hooked it is often really difficult to stop because nicotine is so addictive. If you smoke, managing to kick the habit is the single most important thing you can do to prevent illness in the future. Here at Concord Medical Centre we have excellent help available with advice on nicotine-replacement or tablet treatments to help you stop smoking. We have one-to -one or group "smoking cessation" appointments available to book at reception. For more information you can also visit the NHS smokefree website.