Often as humans, we try to make things complicated. If it is too simple we think there must be some hidden secret. But when it comes to health, most of the best advice really is straight forward and simple.
1. Understand your weight and how it affects your health. It is estimated that around 30% of women and as many as 40% of men in England are heavier than their healthy weight. There are almost ten thousand deaths that are premature each year, and some evidence suggests that obesity cuts off up to a decade from your life expectancy.
2. Salt and fatty foods should be reduced. Many of today’s chronic illnesses are due in part, to too much fat and salt in our daily diet. Diseases such as diabetes, heart trouble, and stroke are often associated with diets that have these excesses in them.
3. Alcohol should be consumed only modestly or not at all. It is unknown to most that the consumption of excess alcohol is a leading factor in many ongoing health issues such as heart attacks and cancer, according to the NHS.
Men are 3 times more likely to suffer a stroke if they consume 3 or 4 units of alcohol each day. Those that are interested in more details can visit our section on alcohol consumption.
4. It is important to exercise. Regardless of your weight, it is important to get physical activity. For those that are overweight, it can help reduce it to healthy levels. But even those with no weight issues will benefit from regular exercise. People of all ages and levels of conditioning will benefit. Even lite exercise done on a regular basis will reduce the risk of several common health problems. You can lessen your chance of stroke and heart attacks by as much as 50%.
5. Control stress. In recent years close to half a million people living in the UK said their stress levels at work were so high they believed it was making them physically sick. 20% of visits to the doctor are related to stress-related psychological problems that are severe enough to warrant medical care.
This can lead to serious health related issues such as clinical depression, anxiety and of course high blood pressure. Check the other sections of our site for more advice on stress management.
6. Eat more healthy foods like vegetables and fruit. You should be consuming several portions of vegetables and fruit each and every day. Getting the fiber and nutrition that comes from 5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day helps to keep your weight at healthy levels and reduces the chances of developing diabetes or having a stroke.
We have some tasty recipes that will make it easy to eat the necessary portions each day. Look for more on our site.
7. Get more sleep and improve the quality of it. It is natural to sometimes have issues with sleep. Almost everyone runs into this problem sooner or later. Some estimates suggest that in the UK alone, as many as 33% of adults regularly suffer from lack of sleep or the sleep they get is low quality.
When you are not rested well enough, it can cause you problems at work and in personal relationships. These problems can in turn increase levels of stress. To get a good night, it starts with making habits of going to bed at the same time every night. Your body can learn and anticipate your schedule if you make it regularly.
8. If you smoke, consider quitting. Even if you have been smoking for years, your health can have immediate benefits by quitting. In less than a half an hour, your breathing will improve. Soon after, your blood pressure will get better. Some say that your lungs will begin to start clearing within a day or two of quitting.
After several days of quitting you will start to breath better and you will begin to feel more energized. If you want to quit, but find it difficult, then you may want to ask your doctor about the many medical treatments available today.
9. Make sure you do not have an STI. Certain types of sexually transmitted infections can go undetected for a long time before discovering you have something. Infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia reduce a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant. These infections cannot be detected just by looking at someone. So if you have engaged in sex without protection, you should be tested.
These days it is easy to be tested and the earlier you find you have an STI, the better the chance of clearing it up before any major issues.
10. Women should regularly check for lumps. A full one-third of people in England develops cancer during their lifetime. While cancer is more common in the elderly, it occurs with consistent frequency in those who are not yet old.
The earlier you find cancer the better chance you have of recovering from it and the less that will be required for recovery. It does not pay to delay a checkup. Paying attention to your body and overall health can help in detecting problems early. Try to notice any lumps or if a mole changes colors or if your energy suddenly reduces and you do not know why.