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As health services across the Fylde Coast gear up to face the usual pressures brought about by winter the public are being asked to take a look at their own health habits and make a change towards more self-care behaviours.

Only 20 per cent of our health needs can be met by medical interventions, the rest are mostly dependent on other determinants such as environment and our own behaviour. By taking care of ourselves by adopting healthy lifestyles we can reduce our chance of becoming seriously ill and needing medical help dramatically.

Self-Care Week is an annual national awareness week that focuses on embedding support for self-care across communities, families and generations. The campaign is about making improvements in your life to protect your physical health and mental wellbeing.

Follow these small steps to a healthier you:

  • Get active; advice is to exercise for at least twenty minutes a day, it’s ideal if you can incorporate this into your day by ditching the car and walking to work, or walking the dog, taking the stairs or even dancing around the kitchen table to your favourite songs!
  • Eat well. We all know that healthy eating is crucial to our health so we can start by swapping unhealthy snacks for healthy options such as nuts, seeds and fruit. Ask your pharmacist for advice on managing your weight.
  • Make positive changes! Take steps to stop those bad habits that don’t serve you well. This Self Care Week make a plan to stop smoking, reduce your alcohol intake and get active! Your pharmacist can help with lifestyle changes such as weight management and stop smoking services.
  • A good’s night’s sleep is as essential to our health and wellbeing as eating healthily and exercising so, make sure you get the recommended 7-8 hours a night!
  • Stop! These days we lead such busy lives that we sometimes forget to slow down and stop. Find time in your day to just quieten your mind. Mindfulness or yoga might be helpful.

Dr Ben Butler-Reid, a Blackpool GP and clinical director for NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), says ‘’it’s never too early or too late to begin to make small, simple changes that will enhance and protect your health now and, in the future, and often, one small change will make a big difference to your wellbeing.

“For instance, choosing to become more active will not only improve your physical health, it will also boost your mood, particularly if you choose to exercise outdoors in the fresh air.”

Councillor Ben Aitken, Chairman of the Environment, Health and Housing Committee at Fylde Council said: ‘We are delighted that Fylde Council has the opportunity to work alongside our colleagues in health and other partner organisations once again, building on the successes of last year, in support of this fantastic initiative to promote self care to all generations and influence the health outcomes for our local population.’

During Self-Care Week community groups, GP practices and council teams across the Fylde Coast will be holding events to help people be inspired to join a new group or adopt a healthier lifestyle. A list of events taking place is available at www.fyldecoastccgs.nhs.uk/selfcareweek. If there is nothing there that takes your fancy try www.fyidirectory.co.uk for more than 3,000 groups and services that will all help you improve your health and wellbeing.

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