Ten ways to boost your health

When it comes to good health, there is no great secret to be hidden. Here are 10 things you can do today to improve your health.

1. Check your weight

Almost three in 10 women and four in 10 men are overweight. Obesity causes thousands of premature deaths each year and, on average, reduces life expectancy to nine years. Use the BMI Calculator to find out if you are at a healthy weight or if you are at risk of serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. If you have to lose weight, you will find everything you need to know in the weight loss, health and fitness sections.

2. Drink less

Most people are not aware that drinking constantly can lead to a large number of long-term health problems, including cancer, strokes, and heart attacks. For example, men who consistently drink more than 3-4 units a day have a three times more risk of stroke.

3. Eat less salt and fat

Excess salt and fat in our diets is one of the main causes of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Too much salt in your food can increase blood pressure and make you three times more likely to have heart disease or stroke. Two-thirds of people eat a lot of saturated fats in their diets, which puts them at increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Get tips on cutting fat and eating salt to lower your cholesterol and say no to salt.

4. Exercise regularly

The benefits of exercise are not limited to weight loss. Even if you are thin, you will still get the health benefits from exercise. Even a small amount of regular exercise can reduce the risk of major chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes by up to 50%. Regular exercise can reduce the risk of premature death by 20-30%. You will find lots of fun and practical ideas to help you get moving in our health and fitness section.

5. Eat more fruits and vegetables

For a healthy, balanced diet, try to eat five portions of fruits and vegetables daily. Research shows that eating at least 400g of fruits and vegetables daily can reduce the risk of serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Whether you cook for a family, eat ready meals, or are on a tight budget, our tips and recipes can help you get your 5 servings daily.

6. Keep tension in check

Psychological problems, including stress, are the underlying cause of one of five visits to the doctor. If ignored, stress can lead to further health problems such as high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression. Learn how to handle stress better with our top 10 stress relief methods, advice on good time management and relaxation advice.

7. Improve your sleep

Almost everyone has trouble sleeping at some point in their life. A third of people are thought to have thinner episodes. Most healthy adults sleep for an average of 7 to 9 hours each night. If you are not getting enough sleep, it can affect relationships, your performance at work, and it can delay recovery from illness. Good sleep starts with good bedtime rituals and some simple lifestyle changes .

8. Quit smoking

The health benefits of quitting smoking are immediately apparent. After 20 minutes, blood pressure and pulse return to normal. After 24 hours, your lungs will begin to clean. After three days you can breathe more easily, and increase your energy. Keep that up and it will add years to your life. Research shows that people who quit smoking before the age of 30 add 10 years to their lives. For help with smoking cessation, including what your doctor can do and nicotine replacement therapies, visit a smoking cessation center.

9. Take a sexual health test 

Many people don’t notice any symptoms when they develop a sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. But if left untreated, chlamydia can affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant. You cannot tell by looking at someone that they have an infection, so it is important to get a medical examination if you have ever had unprotected sex. Getting tested for and treating an STI is easier than you think, as most infections can be treated.

10. Check that block

Cancer is diagnosed in one in three people at some time in their lives. Cancer usually affects older adults, but it can occur at any age. Early detection of most types of cancer means that treatment is likely to be successful. Sometimes noticing a slight change, such as a lump, changes to a mole, or unexplained weight loss, can make a big difference to your health.