A healthy, balanced diet is an essential element for overall good health, and can reduce your risk of developing a number of Scotland’s leading chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. If you are overweight, losing weight, and keeping it within a healthy range, can work wonders for your health.
Obesity is a major health concern, and through it’s effects costs thousands of people a year their lives in Scotland.
If you are concerned about your diet, or would like to lose weight, the healthy eating diet sheet linked below could help:
While there is some evidence that alcohol in moderation can have certain beneficial effect for your health, drinking over the recommended limits can be harmful, and heavy or binge drinking can increase your risk of developing liver problems, stomach disorders, mental health problems, sexual difficulties, high blood pressure, obesity, some cancers, as well as a host of other problems.
The recommended limits are no more 14 units a week (for both men and women), best spread out over 3 or more days, but with at least a couple of alcohol free days a week.
For more information on responsible drinking, the current recommendations and how to go about changing your drinking habits, you can read the pdf leaflet linked below:
Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to join a gym. Even walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes a day can improve your health and fitness, as well as doing wonders for your mental wellbeing.
Studies show that walking can:
- Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce high cholesterol and improve blood lipid profile
- Reduce body fat
- Enhance mental well being
- Increase bone density, hence helping to prevent osteoporosis
- Reduce the risk of cancer of the colon
- Reduce the risk of non insulin dependant diabetes
- Help to control body weight
- Help osteoarthritis
- Help flexibility and co-ordination hence reducing the risk of falls
(Sources: Davison & Grant 1993, US Dept of Health 1996, British Heart Foundation 2000)
NHS Lothian and Edinburgh Leisure have also launched a new family based healthy lifestyle programme called Get Going that offers help and support for children to get active, eat well and work towards a healthy weight. For more information on the programme you can check out their website, and if you wish to join, you can do that yourself with their Registration Form.
For more information on maintaining a healthy lifetyle, including lots of ideas on how to incorporate lifestyle changes into your normal routine, visit: www.takelifeon.co.uk