Improving your health is no big secret. Here are 7 things you can do today.
1. Check your weight
Nearly three in 10 women and four in 10 men in England are overweight. Obesity reduces life expectancy by nine years. Find out if you’re a healthy weight using BMI charts.
If you need to bring your weight down, try to increase your exercise.
2. Drink less
Most people are unaware that regularly drinking too much alcohol than is advised by the NHS can lead to a wide range of long-term health problems, including cancers, strokes, and heart attacks. For example, men who regularly drink more than three to four units a day are three times more likely to have a stroke.
3. Eat less salt and fat
Excessive salt and fat in our diets is a major cause of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Too much salt in your food can cause high blood pressure and make you three times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke. Two thirds of Britons have too much saturated fat in their diets, putting them at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Cut down on your salt levels.
4. Exercise regularly
The benefits of exercise aren’t limited to losing weight. Even if you’re slim, you’ll still get health benefits from exercising. A small amount of regular activity can lower the risk of developing major chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, by up to 50%. Regular exercise can cut the risk of premature death by 20-30%.
5. Eat more fruit and veg
For a healthy and balance diet, try to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Research shows that eating at least 400g of fruit and vegetables a day can lower your risk of serious health problems.
6. Keep stress in check
Psychological problems, including stress, are the underlying reason for one in five visits to a GP. If left unchecked, stress can lead to further health problems such as high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.
7. Improve your sleep
Nearly everyone has problems sleeping at some point in their life. It’s thought that a third of people in the UK have bouts of insomnia. Aim for an average of seven to nine hours a night. Good sleep starts with a good bedtime ritual and some simple lifestyle changes.
Cheryl, Haywards Heath