The simple health resolutions that make a difference

Lloyd and Karen Clewer, the founders of Farm4Life, at Haslar Hospital, Gosport, where they store goods ready to send to Africa  (Picture by Habibur Rahman)

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Come the middle of January, those resolutions can seem like hard work, but taking small, sensible steps – which you can actually stick to – could improve your health beyond measure.

Here are some steps to success:
CUT SALT INTAKE

Salt is a major factor in high blood pressure, which is linked with a number of serious conditions, like stroke and heart disease.

The trouble is, as Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH, actiononsalt.org.uk) points out, we’re often unaware of how much salt we’re consuming.

Some salt is required and the general RDA is 6g a day for adults, but processed foods can be especially high in ‘hidden salts’.
DON’T IGNORE NIGGLING WORRIES

We’ve all been there – that strange pain or lump, , those dizzy spells that have been playing on your mind.

But rather than just making an appointment with your GP, you Google the symptoms and worry yourself silly thinking it’s something serious, or ignore it in the hope it’ll go away.

Chances are the anxiety’s doing more damage than the ‘problem’ you’re worrying about. And if it is something that needs treating, getting it done sooner rather than later is always a good idea. .
KNOW YOUR FAMILY HISTORY

When it comes to certain conditions, doctors will always ask whether there’s a family history of it.

These illnesses can all occur without a family history too, and a family history doesn’t always mean you’re definitely going to be affected, but being aware of what problems tend to occur in your bloodline means you can take extra care to prevent them.
EAT FOR WELLNESS

We’re bombarded with information about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods, yet eating well can still be overwhelming. The best thing to do is to opt for the ‘everything in moderation’ rule.

The Simplyhealth Advisory Research Panel’s Dr Emma Derbyshire says many Brits are lacking in vitamin D and iron, and not eating enough oily fish.

‘Vitamin D’s vital for bone health, mental health and it’s been linked with lowering the risk of certain cancers and diabetes,’ she says.

‘Fortified cereals, dairy products and mushrooms are a great source.’