Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Healthy living

Tips for keeping healthy this summer...

Be SunSmart

When you are enjoying the outdoors in the sunshine – whether at country parks, by the coast or away on holiday – make sure you enjoy the sun safely: protect your skin from sunburn and keep yourself, and your children hydrated.

When the sun is strong or UV levels are high:

  • Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
  • Wear a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses
  • Use a sunscreen with at least SPF15. Use it generously and reapply regularly.

By taking a few precautions, you can prevent yourself from burning and reduce the risks of skin cancer. The best way is to use a combination of shade, clothing and sunscreen and drink plenty of water!

Drink plenty of water

It’s easy in warmer weather to become dehydrated. Your body will lose more fluid than you take in. In the UK it is recommended that adults should drink 1-2 litres (6-8 glasses of water) a day to replace lost fluids and prevent dehydration. A good rule is to drink enough fluid so that you’re not thirsty for long periods and to steadily increase your fluid intake when exercising and during hot weather.

You should drink extra fluid if you have any symptoms of dehydration, such as feeling thirsty and lightheaded, or passing dark-coloured urine. Babies may be dehydrated if: they have a sunken soft spot (fontanelle) on their head, have few or no tears when they cry, have fewer wet nappies, or are drowsy.

Free health checks

   

Health check invitation letters are being sent out, and if you receive one of these, we would encourage you to contact your GP surgery for a free appointment. One Hampshire resident who already knows the value of the check, as it identified a condition they didn’t know they had, said: “Early stage diabetes was picked up at the check, so I will be changing my diet and have already seen a Dietician for more advice. I am glad I had the check and my diabetes was found so early because this has given me a chance to make a difference to my health now.”

Your NHS Health Check aims to help you lower your chance of developing common but often preventable diseases, helping you to keep healthy for as long as possible. If you are aged between 40 and 74 and have not been diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and certain types of dementia, you will be invited (once every five years) to a Health Check.

At your NHS Health Check you’ll be asked a few simple questions and offered a series of routine, straightforward tests that will help work out your risk of developing one of these diseases. The check usually takes about 20 minutes.

The test results will help your health practitioner talk to you about what can do to be healthy and continue to enjoy your life.

This may include suggestions on small changes to your diet and how much exercise to take. You may also be offered other treatments such as tablets to control blood pressure, along with links to free stop smoking services.

Find out more about Hampshire’s Health Checks.

Change 4 life

   

Get the kids moving this summer with Change4Life!

Summer is a great time for us all to get active. This year, Change4Life will help our kids do at least one extra burst of activity every day in safe and convenient places.

Finding activities to keep the kids busy and get going can seem a bit daunting during the school holidays. By joining up with the new campaign, Change4Life will provide fun suggestions that are easy to do, don’t require lots of equipment, keep your family occupied and get them moving in ten minute bursts.

Why ten minutes? Ten minute bursts of physical activity fit in with everyday life. It recognises that during the holidays it can be really hectic for busy parents and carers juggling caring for children whilst still working.

It can be easy to let the kids spend time on the sofa over the summer, even though we know how important it is for them to be active. Your child may have already brought home from school information about how Change4Life can inspire all the family to be more active, and you may have already become involved. But if not, visit Change4Life to sign up and start joining in the fun!