Public Health Warwickshire have compiled a list of key health lifestyle messages, or ‘tips’, intended for the general population to try to move towards a healthier lifestyle.
1. Stop Smoking: Stopping smoking is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health. You are up to four times more likely to quit if you get help from the NHS Stop Smoking Service: To find your local service call 0800 085 2917 or text LIFE to 80800.
2. Keep a healthy weight: Maintain, or aim for, a healthy weight (BMI 20-25). BMI can be calculated by dividing weight (kg) by height (m) squared (kg/m2).
3. Be physically active: Adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (21/2 hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – One way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.
4. If you drink, keep within sensible limits: If you drink alcohol, have no more than 2-3 units a day (women) or 3-4 units a day (men). Have at least 2 alcohol free days per week. The track your drinking website can be used to calculate units and record alcohol consumption.
5. Eat a healthy diet: Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Cut down on fat, salt and added sugar.
6. Use NHS Screening services: Take up opportunities for screening when you are invited to participate in NHS screening programmes.
7. Look after your sexual health: This means enjoying the sexual activity you want, without causing yourself or anyone else any suffering, or physical or mental harm. Sexual health is not just about avoiding unwanted pregnancy or Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs) – But using a condom will help with both.
8. Manage your stress levels: Talking things through, relaxation and physical activity can help.
9. Take up opportunities for flu immunisation: If you are over 65, or if you are under 65 and in an at-risk group, have your annual flu immunisation.
10. Protect yourself from sunburn: Enjoy the sun safely. Protect yourself by using shade, clothing (including a hat, t-shirt and UV protective sunglasses) and a high SPF (sun protection factor) sunscreen, and by avoiding the sun during the middle of the day. Avoid artificial ultraviolet radiation too – Don’t use sunbeds or sunlamps.
11. Maintain your dental health: Brush teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste. Attend routine check-ups at your dentist at recommended intervals.
12. Have a good work/life balance: Developing interests outside of work can help reduce stress and improve productivity.
Source: Public Health Warwickshire
Download Warwickshire’s Top 12: Health Tips poster.