Looking after yourself

There are lots of simple steps which you can take to safeguard your health and wellbeing, such as eating well, taking regular exercise and stopping smoking. These pages will bring you advice about looking after yourself, along with links to other websites packed full of useful information to help you lead a healthier lifestyle.

About Me - a way to help health professionals give you the best care

The Suffolk Disability and Health Action Group, in partnership  with the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, has produced "ABOUT ME". It is to help anyone with a disability and/or health condition provide healthcare professionals with information about themselves in an easy-to-understand way that reduces the need to keep repeating it. You can use this for hospital and GP appointments, with carers, dentists, opticians and many others as well as when you go away on holiday. Download the document below.

EAT WELL - a good start

Healthy eating and taking part in physical activity are great ways of living a healthier life. They reduce the risk of developing heart disease, some cancers, diabetes and high blood pressure, and can help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
Making sure you eat a balanced diet is very important. This should include plenty of fruit and vegetables, some starchy foods, such as wholegrain rice and pasta, protein-rich foods such as meat, fish and lentils, some milk and dairy foods and not too much fat, salt or sugar.
You should try and eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. You can boost your intake by adding a sliced banana to your cereal at breakfast, snacking on an apple or satsuma or adding a salad to your lunch. Canned or frozen fruit and vegetables also count and can be cheaper than fresh varieties.
Try to limit the foods you eat which contain saturated fat, such as cheese, butter, cakes and biscuits, as they can raise your blood cholesterol level and increase your risk of heart disease. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, can help lower cholesterol and give us the essential fatty acids we need to stay healthy. You can find good fats in oily fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocados.
You should also try and cut down on foods with added sugar, such as fizzy drinks, pastries, cakes, chocolate and biscuits. Although fats and sugar are both sources of energy, eating too much of them can lead to weight gain and increase our risk of type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke.
You can find lots more information about eating well, including healthy recipes, meal planners and self-assessment tools on the NHS Choices website.

Onelife Suffolk provides health and wellbeing advice in Suffolk - see their website here to find out more about support with weight management and stop smoking, as well as other issues.

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