Spring Clean your Health

Spring awakens all of us to new growth, new possibilities, new ways of eating smarter and exercising more. People in Northamptonshire can now benefit from top tips from NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to help them spring into action and give their health a seasonal boost.

With the better weather and the lighter nights, consider the benefits of walking. Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers.

Walking in a group is a great way to start walking, make new friends and stay motivated. You can find all the details of groups in your area and all the organised walks that are available at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/walking

Nordic Walking uses walking poles and burns up to 46% more calories than ordinary walking. You can find a local course at www.northamptonshiresport.org/nordic/nordic-walking-courses

Giving up smoking is the single best way to improve your health this Spring, but many smokers find this difficult on their own. However, with expert help the chance of successfully quitting increases fourfold. Free help and advice on quitting smoking is available by calling the Smokefree National Helpline on 0300 123 1044.

Drinking more than the recommended units – 14 a week for both men and women – is linked to many cancers. The immediate effects of reducing your alcohol intake include feeling better in the mornings, being less tired during the day, losing weight and your skin may start to look better.

Cut down on junk food, like burgers, crisps and chocolate, and replace them with healthier fare like fruit and yoghurt. Drinking more water, especially with meals, also helps to improve our general health.

Taking up a sport or joining a gym offer great opportunities to get fit, but there are also loads of fun and easy ways you can get more active for free. Being physically active is easier than you think, especially if you make activity part of your daily routine. It's a good idea to involve a friend, neighbour, work colleague, relative or 'activity buddy' in your activity routine. You can support each other and you will have company while you're doing your activity too.

Dr Matthew Davies, Medical Director at NHS Nene CCG, said:

“Spring cleaning our homes at this time of year can often be very satisfying but there are even greater benefits if we give our health a thorough makeover. 

“Spring is the time for new beginnings of every sort because when the seasons shift, so can we. The daffodils are in bloom – and so we should be. This is the time to spring clean your health, the time to get active and sprout new fitness habits. So, spring into action and start benefiting from a healthier lifestyle today.”