Keeping healthy is something we all need to think about and take personal responsibility for.
Many of us can expect to live into our mid-80s, and many people believe a gradual decline in physical and mental health is an inevitable part of ageing. Yet so much of how we age is down to lifestyle.
The good news is making small changes to our lifestyles now can improve our health right away and double our chances of staying healthy as we get older. It is never too late to start.
There are benefits for everyone if we stay fit and healthy for longer. Healthy people generally have a better quality of life, are independent for longer, take an active part in their local community and have less need for health and social care support as they grow older.
- Recent research has found 41% of adults aged 40 to 60 in England walk less than 10 minutes continuously each month at a brisk pace.
- Getting 10 minutes of brisk walking into your day is a simple way to improve your health.
- The Active 10 app can help you fit more walking into your day.
Here are Public Health England's top tips for making a change:
- Eat better: What you eat and how much, is so important for your health and your waistline.
- Move more: Moving is good for your body and mind.
- Quit smoking: Stopping is one of the best thing you can do for your health
- Drink less: Cutting back on alcohol is good for your health
- Check your health: Checking your body's most important systems are all running smoothly
- Stress less: Relaxing helps you feel good and function well
- Sleep better: It is important to get a good night's sleep
Our busy lives do not always make it easy to be healthy. That is why, by the time we reach our 40s and 50s, many of us will have dramatically increased our chances of becoming ill in later life. Whether we are eating the wrong things, drinking more than we should, continuing to smoke or just not being active enough, all of these things can add up to an unhealthy you.
Take a few minutes to complete the free 'One You' health quiz to see how you score and find out where you can take a little action to make a big difference to your health. Public Health England’s ‘One You’ website provides tools, support and encouragement to help you make simple changes towards a longer and happier life.
The good news is making small changes to our lifestyles now can improve our health right away and double our chances of staying healthy as we get older. It is never too late to start the fight back to a healthier you.
The How Are You quiz is one of a number of ways to check your health. The online Heart Age tool calculates your ‘heart age’ based on age and lifestyle, and people aged 40-74 are also eligible for a free NHS Health Check.
You can get health and wellbeing information from the NHS website. The site provides a wealth of information on many subjects, including NHS services in England, medical conditions/treatments and healthy living.
You can also search for your local GP, dentist, pharmacy and other health services.
The Change4Life website also gives practical advice on eating well, moving more and living longer.
One You Kent
If you would like information on health matters, such as stopping smoking, maintaining a healthy weight or getting a health check, please take a look at the One You Kent website. The Kent Health and Wellbeing website is a directory of information about a range of services to enhance health and wellbeing covering:
Kent Care and Support
Please see Kent County Council's Care and Support pages to find out where to get help if you, or someone you care for, needs support due to illness, disability, old age or low income.
Kent Community Navigators
If you, or someone you care for, are over 50 years old and want to stay independent in your own home, community navigators can offer a range of support including managing your money and benefits, maintaining and adapting your home to your needs and planning the support you need. Care navigators are based with local voluntary organisations around Kent - please see the website for details.
Please see Kent County Council's Health pages for information on local services for Kent residents with specific health needs, such as dementia, mental and sexual health, and also the county council’s responsibility for public health.
Health Help Now
Feeling Unwell? Not sure where to go to get the help you need?
Health Help Now will help you find the right treatment. Health Help Now lists common symptoms and offers suggestions for treatment, based on your location and the time of day, with the one that works best for most people listed first. It also lists local services and shows when they are open or closed, their location and directions, plus details of useful websites and helplines for a variety of problems.
Why not download it to your device now so you have it to hand when you need it?
To find the downloadable apps, just search Health Help Now at the Apple Store and the Android Google Play Store.
If you don’t have internet access, or if you need medical help fast but it isn’t a 999 emergency, dial 111.
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