This June, Warwickshire County Council is encouraging people to take steps to improve their overall health.
Living a healthy and balanced lifestyle can impact your quality of life in many ways – from lifting your overall mood to adding to your life expectancy. And there are many small ways that you can make an impact on your life on a daily basis.
Eating a balanced diet is a key foundation for living healthily. Most of us do not eat enough fruit and vegetables, which are brilliant sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber. You should aim to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg every day.
As the temperature gets warmer, it’s also important to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially if you are spending time outdoors in the sun. The best drink for staying hydrated is water, but lower-fat milk and sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, also count towards the recommended six to eight glasses of fluid a day.
You can find out more about eating healthily, including how much of each food group to include in your diet, via our Healthy Eating webpages.
With the longer days and (hopefully) better weather, this is a great time of year to get outdoors and be more physically active. Regular exercise is linked with a greater sense of wellbeing and lowers rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Doing as little as 10 minutes of activity can improve your mood, and the physical activity doesn’t need to be intense to make a difference. In fact, walking more is a great way to get started if you’re not currently exercising regularly. Learn more about keeping active.
While staying active and eating well is important, there is no way to completely prevent the risk of developing conditions such as cancer or diabetes. Taking up offers from your GP for health checks or screenings can be invaluable in supporting your long-term good health.
13th to 19th June is Diabetes Awareness Week. You can make an appointment with your GP practice to check if you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You can also use an online tool from Diabetes UK to calculate your risk. A healthy active lifestyle is the first place to start if you are looking to lower your risk, and there is support out there to help you make the changes you need to.
13th to 19th June is also Men’s Health Week, and this year’s theme is “it’s time for your MOT”. This is a call for men to take notice of what is going on in their body and mind. If there is a health issue that has been worrying you for some time, take this opportunity to get it checked out at your GP or via NHS 111.
Meanwhile, 20th to 26th June is Cervical Screening Awareness Week. All women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 will be invited by letter for regular screenings. Cervical screening is one of the best ways to prevent cervical cancer, by checking for cervical cell changes and a virus called high-risk HPV.
Cllr Margaret Bell, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health said:
“Our health is one of the most important and irreplaceable things that we have, and if we all just make a couple of small changes to our lifestyles this month, we could see a big impact. Summer is a great time to start walking outside regularly and incorporate more fresh fruit and vegetables into our diet.
“We are fortunate to have a lot of quick and effective screening processes through the NHS, and I would encourage everyone who has been invited for one to take them up on it. Prevention is much better than a cure, and with many of these conditions, the earlier they are discovered, the better the outcome. ”
You can learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle on our health and wellbeing pages.