A new year, a new and improved Hallam Medical!

We kick started the year with a visit from local Practice Nurse Kelly

As part of our healthier, greener, cleaner Hallam Medical initiative, we kick-started the year learning how small changes to our lifestyles today, can make a massive difference to our health and well-being in the long-term.

We invited Sheffield-based Practice Nurse, Kelly to refresh our memories and enlighten us with new snippets of information and advice on how small adjustments can improve our overall health. Below are just some of the interesting facts and tips that Kelly passed on to us (from the observations of a non-clinical member of the team).

As a nation and as a business we are more aware than before, that creating a positive, safe and healthy environment for employees is beneficial for both the Team and Hallam Medical.

What is health?

Although many of us were aware of most aspects of our physical health and what changes we may need to make to improve this, many of us had to be reminded of the importance of our mental health and social health on our overall well-being

So what can affect our health?

Smoking, diet, activity, stress and alcohol were all highlighted as key factors affecting our health.

What about smoking?

The effects of smoking on our health is ‘old news’, with current media coverage homing in on the growing obesity problem. We were surprised to hear that smoking-related illnesses are still the number one health problem in the UK.

Research shows that every year around 78,000 people in the UK die from smoking, with many people living with debilitating smoking-related illnesses.

Diet?

Our next topic was diet, should we diet and if so what does a good diet look like? With January being the time of year for refocusing on health and fitness this sparked a huge discussion amongst the Team.

Kelly spoke about the importance of a balanced diet and the impact of today’s increased portion sizes, changes in trends and tastes, the impact of clever marketing from the Food Industry. Often without realising it many of us are overeating. The calorie difference between coffees served 20 years ago and today was huge. 20 years ago a coffee with milk and one sugar totalled 45 calories whereas a typical 2019 ‘high street coffee shop’ mocha latte, with hazelnut syrup, contains 350 calories – before you have eaten a thing!

Recent research shows that more than two-thirds of men and almost six in ten women are overweight or obese. There’s lots of support out there and techniques to help with weight loss, such as keeping a food diary, measuring your body, gym classes, apps and social support https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/.

Physical activity?

We all know keeping active is an important part of staying healthy. The government recommend 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, which is only 30 minutes over 5 days.

Even everyday activities burn calories.

Did you know you can burn 100 calories by walking quickly for 15 minutes? Most of us felt this was doable during our lunch breaks, 150 calories are burnt by pushing a trolley around the supermarket for just 37 minutes.

Stress and Mental Health?

Stress and poor Mental Health can affect your body. It can affect the way we think, how we act and our feelings. It can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and even diabetes. Kelly gave some really useful tips to overcome stress:

Exercise, even a ten-minute walk can be enough to make a difference.

Be mindful, taking a few minutes of quiet time can make a huge difference, in a world where we are constantly comparing our lives to the lives of others, being thankful for what we have is a great way to increase our happiness.

Alcohol?

After the season of goodwill and in particular Christmas parties, we were all keen to hear about the effects of alcohol, or perhaps not. Kelly reminded us that the recommended weekly allowance for both men and women is 14 units a week.

She also highlighted the amount of time it takes for your liver to be able to break down one unit of alcohol – one unit in one hour. Bearing in mind one 175ml glass of wine can contain 2.2 units of alcohol it could take a lot longer than you realise for your body to remove a ‘good night out’

Something to bear in mind on your next night out, and definitely something to consider when you get up the next morning ready to drive.

So, plenty for us to be thinking about. It’s clear that by making a few small changes it really can make a serious difference to our wellbeing over time.