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Help yourself to stay healthy

User AvatarPosted by Alex McNally at 15/11/2017 12:50:24

This week is Self Care Week (13-19 November) and NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging people to “embrace self-care for life” and take control of their health by eating healthily, taking exercise and keeping warm.

Many long-term conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, lung cancer and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are avoidable.

However, latest data show no improvements in Kent to the number of people dying as the result of smoking, while the number who are overweight and at risk of diabetes is still increasing. It is important to embrace self-care, making healthy life choices now to protect our health for the future. 

Dr Navin Kumta, Clinical Chair for the CCG, said: “Small changes can add up to a huge difference to your health.
“It’s never too late to start. Taking greater responsibility for your health puts you in the driving seat and gives you more control over your life. With winter looming there are some immediate steps everyone should take.

“We know the flu virus circulating this winter is likely to cause more severe illness than we have seen in recent years.

“I would urge everyone in Kent eligible for NHS flu vaccination – including pregnant women, carers and young children – to be immunised this autumn. Take action now to reduce your risk by having the vaccine before the flu season starts.

“People who are not eligible for a free vaccine may also wish to protect themselves and their families – you can be vaccinated for little cost at most local pharmacies.”

Self-care isn’t just about how you stay well, but also what you do when you are ill.

Health Help Now, our award-winning website and app has tailored advice for different age groups, and shows the nearest NHS services and whether they are open or closed. It is available at http://www.healthhelpnow.nhs.uk and on Google Play and the App Store.

Top tips for looking after yourself

  • make sure you keep your medicine cabinet well stocked, especially with cold and flu remedies, and painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol
  • at the first sign of a winter illness, even if it’s just a cough or cold, get advice from your local pharmacist before it gets more serious. Act quickly. Antibiotics don’t work against viral infections such as colds and will not be prescribed by your doctor  
  • try not to spread illness. Use tissues for coughs and sneezes and dispose of them in a bin. 
  • for colds and flu the best advice is to stay at home, drink plenty of fluids and, when necessary, take over-the-counter drugs. Two or three days rest will shake off most winter illnesses 
  • stay at home for 48 hours after any diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms end to avoid giving it to anyone else.  
  • keep active, if going to the gym isn’t for you, try walking part of the way to work or taking the stairs
  • one of the best things you can do for your health is to stop smoking.  Ask your local pharmacist about stop smoking services
  • make sure you get at least seven hours sleep a night, a good night’s sleep is essential to good physical and mental health
  • eat healthily – try swapping sugary snacks for healthy nuts and fruit. You can get more advice from NHS Choices https://www.nhs.uk/livewell/Pages/Livewellhub.aspx
  • remember to relax – try mindfulness or yoga, learn a new skill or volunteer your time.


For more information on how to make small changes that make a big difference, visit https://www.kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/health/one-you-kent