If you’re feeling under the weather, or you have a health concern that you want to find an answer to, it may be tempting to turn to Google. In fact, around 1 in 20 Google searches now consist of people looking for solutions to their health problems. It’s become so commonplace that internet searches for health problems have been nicknamed ‘Doctor Google’.
When it comes to getting the answers and reassurance that you need, a quick Google search is not the answer. It can leave you with more questions than answers, and rarely addresses all of your concerns.
Where can you go if you’re feeling unwell, don’t want to trouble the doctor but would like some trusted guidance?
Our friendly team of pharmacists at Whitworth can be your first port of call when you’re feeling unwell. They can identify if you might need further treatment, recommend medication or signpost you to the correct service.
As well as offering support and guidance when you’re unwell, the Whitworth team can offer preventative advice to help you lead a healthy life.
Prevention is better than cure, and even if you lead a busy life there are a number of different things you can do to cut down the risk of falling ill.
Self-care is more than just a buzz word. Today, it is more important than ever to prioritise how you are feeling and keep your mind and body in good shape.
Here are some tips to do just that.
Move for at least 30 minutes a day
Many of us lead sedentary working lives, perhaps interspersed with brief and intense bouts of fitness. While a couple of visits to the gym each week aren’t going to do you any harm, it can be healthier to build consistent movement into your daily routine. That might mean walking or cycling to work, taking the stairs rather than the lift, or heading out for a thirty-minute walk or jog every day.
If you have a park or other green space near your workplace, get away from your desk during your lunch break and head outside. Not only will the exercise do you good, it’s also helpful to spend time away from your desk, particularly if you get out into nature.
Develop a good sleep routine
The importance of sleep to good health cannot be overstated. There are many health problems, particularly those associated with our mental wellbeing, that can be linked in some part to a lack of sleep. You should aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep. This can be easier said than done, but to give yourself the best chance of success turn off electronic devices at least a couple of hours before bed and try to keep regular bedtimes.
In time, your body gets used to sleeping at a particular hour. During sleep your brain rids itself of toxins, consolidates memories and builds new neural connections.
Find the exercise that works for you
Different personalities are better suited to different kinds of exercise. Many people start a particular exercise routine, such as running, only to find that they don’t enjoy it no matter how much they try. As a result, there’s often a temptation to give up on exercise altogether. Finding a form of exercise that works for you is vital if you’re going to keep it up.
If you’re sociable, then opt for a fitness class of some kind. If you prefer to exercise alone, then swimming or running can be great choices. Exercise doesn’t have to be overly vigorous to be effective. A consistent, gentle fitness routine as part of your daily life is much more likely to keep you healthy than irregular intensive workouts.
Do what makes you happy
More than ever we understand the link between mental and physical wellbeing. Taking care of your physical health also means ensuring that your psychological health is in good shape. Happier people are also more likely to take care of their health. They eat better diets, exercise more and any health concerns that develop they investigate more quickly. So, it makes sense to try and nurture a happier outlook.
Finding what makes you happy is easier said than done, so keep a journal of your happy moments. Alternatively, take an empty kilner jar and fill it with notes about moments that made you happy or for which you’re grateful. Perhaps you like to read a book or to take care of something in the garden. It could be getting involved with your local community or visiting an elderly relative. It might be a country walk, or meditation. The list is endless. Here are some ideas to inspire you:
Take up Yoga
Change your routine – maybe take a different route to work?
Go out for dinner with friends and family
Start your day with something you like – treat yourself to a healthy breakfast
Introduce some new plants to your house and garden
Maybe do a bit of voluntary work
Have a digital detox and go for a walk in the country
Finding time for enjoyable activities can be difficult so make a timetable. Those moments when you’re idly scrolling on your phone or switching TV channels might be better spent doing something more enjoyable.
Take a proactive approach to your health
Regular health checks are your first line of defence against any health challenges you may face. They can be preventive and scheduled for once or twice a year as we get older. A number of different health issues can be screened, advice given and the early warning signs of more serious problems spotted. During those checks you can also receive advice about lifestyle changes that may help you stay healthier for longer.
As well as regular health checks a proactive approach to your health also means seeking advice as soon as a health concern arises. Many serious conditions have a much better prognosis if they are caught early. If you are suffering from a minor ailment or other health problem, visit your local branch of Whitworth for trusted expert advice. We can advise you on self-care, the best over-the-counter medicines that are available, offer health checks and signpost you to the right medical care where necessary.
Whitworth is here to help
Take care of your health and avoid developing future health problems by following these simple tips. If you have any questions or need support, don’t hesitate to visit your local branch of Whitworth today for more lifestyle tips.