The Department of Health described self-care in 2005 as “the actions people take for themselves, their children and their families to stay fit and maintain good physical and mental health; meet social and psychological needs; prevent illness or accidents; care for minor ailments and long-term conditions; and maintain health and wellbeing after an acute illness or discharge from hospital.”
In other words - looking after yourself and your family. It's important that mental health is mentioned in this definition. Many people when asked to discuss health would mention exercise and good food choices but forget how important our mental wellbeing is to being healthy.
Every day this week I will be posting a short blog with 3 tips for exercise, healthy food choices and mental wellbeing. These will be ideas that are easy to incorporate into your daily life.
Exercise: Instead of taking the lift or escalator take the stairs. Walking up stairs uses multiple muscle groups and increases your heart rate. Don't forget that the 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise you should aim to do per week can be broken down into 10minute chunks.
Food: Eat less salt. You should not be eating more than 6g of salt a day (if you are over 11, younger children should consume less) and salt is found in most processed foods. Try to stop cooking with salt, instead add it later if you think it actually needs it. Whilst the body does need some salt an excessive intake of salt is an important factor in the development of high blood pressure.
Mental Health: Find time for you each day, even if it's just 10 minutes, and do something you enjoy. Read a magazine, drink a cup of tea by yourself, go outside and get some fresh air.
For more details of NHS Self Care Week 2011 and information to help make healthy lifestyle choices please visit NHS Choices.
For more information on Personal Training please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. This will open a new browser window.