A lot of factors play a role in staying healthy. In turn, good health can decrease your risk of developing certain conditions. These include heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and injuries. Learn what you can do to maintain your own and your family’s health.
Being overweight can affect the way you feel and your long-term health. Find out if you're a healthy weight with the NHS BMI calculator.
For more information and tips on how to lose weight healthily, you can visit the NHS website here.
Here are some tips on how to lose weight healthily:
1. Eat healthily
What you eat is closely linked to your health. Balanced nutrition has many benefits. By making healthier food choices, you can prevent or treat some conditions. These include heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. A healthy diet can help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol as well.
2. Get regular exercise
Getting and staying active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and colon cancer. It can help treat depression, osteoporosis and high blood pressure. It can also be a great mood booster and stress buster.
Try and fit in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. One way to achieve this target is by doing 30 minutes of activity 5 days a week. Fit it in where you can such as getting off the bus one stop early or walking to the shops rather than driving.
3. Eat more fibre
Eat plenty of fibre to help lower your risk of heart disease – aim for at least 30g a day.
Fibre comes from a variety of sources such as wholemeal bread, oats or other cereals, potatoes with their skins on, and plenty of fruit and veg.
4. Cut down on saturated fat
Eating too many foods high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood. This increases your risk of heart disease.
Choose leaner cuts of meat and lower-fat dairy products like 1% fat milk over full-fat (or whole) milk.
5. Get your 5 A Day
Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day. They're a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals.
There are lots of tasty ways to get your 5 A Day, like adding chopped fruit to cereal or including vegetables in your sauces and soups.
6. Cut down on salt
To maintain healthy blood pressure, avoid adding salt to meals and try adding less to your cooking.
Watch out for high salt levels in ready-made foods. Most of the salt we eat is already in the foods we buy.
Check the food labels – a food is high in salt if it has more than 1.5g salt (or 0.6g sodium) per 100g.
Adults should eat less than 6g of salt a day in total – that's about 1 teaspoon.
7. Use a smaller plate
Using smaller plates can help you eat smaller portions. By using smaller plates and bowls, you may be able to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it's full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.
8. Do not ban foods
Do not ban any foods from your weight loss plan, especially the ones you like. Banning foods will only make you crave them more. There's no reason you cannot enjoy the occasional treat as long as you stay within your daily calorie allowance.
9. Plan your meals
Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance. You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list.
Whole-body health tips
Eat fish at least twice a week, including a portion of oily fish. Fish such as pilchards, sardines and salmon are a source of omega-3 fats, which may help protect against heart disease.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not have more than 2 portions of oily fish a week.
Protect your skin
Sun exposure is linked to skin cancer. It’s best to limit your time spent in the sun. Be sure to wear protective clothing and hats when you are outside. Use sunscreen all year round on exposed skin, such as your face and hands. It protects your skin and helps prevent skin cancer. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. It should be at least an SPF 15.
Chemist Direct, our sister company has a wide range of skincare products that help you protect your skin from the sun. Visit our website for the full range.
Give up smoking
If you're a smoker - quit. It's the single best thing you can do for your health.
When you stop, you give your lungs the chance to repair and you will be able to breathe easier. There are lots of other benefits too – and they start almost immediately.
You're more likely to stop smoking for good if you use NHS stop smoking services. Visit the Smokefree website or ask your GP for help with quitting.
You can double your chances of stopping smoking with products from our Chemist Direct Stop Smoking category, including nicotine gum, lozenges, tablets, inhalators, sprays, and patches.
Limit how much alcohol you drink
There are many benefits to cutting down or cutting out alcohol. Taking a break from alcohol is one of the best things you can do for your health. Whether you’re thinking about drinking less in an average week or feeling like you don’t want to drink alcohol at all anymore, there are so many good reasons that can help to make the choice that is right for you.
Don’t forget that alcohol contains calories. Regularly drinking more than the NHS recommends can have a noticeable impact on your waistline.
Try to keep to the recommended daily alcohol limits to reduce the risk of serious problems with your health, including risks to your heart health.
It’s important to keep your mind and body healthy all year round. If you find it difficult to get all the nutrients you need in your diet then our sister company, Chemist Direct do offer a variety of vitamin supplements that could support you.
Other things to consider
In addition to the tips listed above, you might be entitled to a free NHS Health Check carried out by your GP. It’s designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia. To be eligible you must be aged 40 to 74 without any pre-existing health conditions.
Remember to keep a list of your current medicines somewhere to help aid any future medication reviews. Medication reviews are carried out with you by your GP, pharmacist or advanced nurse practitioner. The objective is to reach an agreement with you about your medicines, optimise the impact of the medicines you’re taking, reduce the number of problems you might be having with them and reduce waste.
One way Pharmacy2U can help you to stay healthy is through our easy online ordering and free NHS repeat prescriptions delivery service. Our handy reminders tell you when you’re running out of medication so you can re-order in time. Hopefully, that’s one less thing to worry about this year!