Plan to be well this Spring - SDHB

Keep active every day

While it can be hard to fit exercise in to our busy schedules, little changes can go a long way. Those who work all day could look to cycle or walk part or all of the way to walk, or perhaps park the car a bit further from work to walk in. Using the stairs instead of the lift and going for a brisk walk at lunchtime can also contribute to your recommended daily amount of exercise.

Eat healthily
Make half your plate vegetables – fresh, canned or frozen. Add some lean protein and try to reduce sugar and salt in your diet.

Switch to water
We need water, not sugary drinks, for hydration. Switching your sugary drinks to water is a great first step towards a healthier you! Water is naturally the best way to rehydrate - it has no calories; it’s non-acidic; it’s 100% natural; and it’s fresh, free and readily available on tap.

Cut down on alcohol
If you do drink alcohol, cutting down the amount you drink has many benefits, such as helping with weight loss, lowering blood pressure and reducing your risk of liver and kidney disease.

Quit smoking
While it can be difficult to achieve, stopping smoking has real benefits to your health. As well as reducing your risk of getting cancer, heart or lung disease, it reduces the exposure of those around you to second hand smoke. For free advice on stopping smoking contact the Southern Stop Smoking Service - free phone 0800 925 242.

Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep is linked to several chronic diseases and conditions including heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and depression so it’s important to get enough sleep. Remove electronic devices from your bedroom, and keep it quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature. It’s helpful to avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime and be active during the day to help you fall asleep at night.

On the farm
Remember to always wash your hands after being on the farm and remove muddy clothes/boots before entering your home. In spring time lambs and calves carry high numbers of disease causing bacteria and protozoa such as Campylobacter and Cryptosporidium which can cause a nasty bout of diarrhea and vomiting.

Feeling unwell?
If you’re unwell look after yourself, stay at home, wash your hands, rest, drink fluids and give your body a fighting chance to recover. You can seek advice from your community pharmacy, or call Healthline for advice on 0800 611 116. If you’re getting worse, see your GP or After Hours doctor. Don’t wait until your symptoms are an emergency.