Continuing on a health theme from previous posts here I want to take a look at a broader public health issue. Mortality and morbidity rates due to cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancers still dominate the western world. To a point, all three of these can be influenced positively through diet and physical activity. This is nothing new and yet as a population we continue to ignore it at our peril. Here I discuss how we are root of our own problems.
Look in the mirror, don’t miss the point
British media and public bemoan the demise of our National Health Service which finds itself under increasing pressure. We hear of budget cuts, spending inefficiencies and staff shortages. In turn we despair at cases of medical negligence, rising weekend death tolls in hospitals, lack of available appointments and never ending waiting lists for operations. Whilst there is an element of truth to all of the above, are we missing the point?
The health service is struggling to keep up with demand. The biggest demand that we create as a population is via diseases that are preventable. Our increasingly poor, high sugar diets and inactive lifestyles mean that obesity is a major disease risk factor, and a threat to cardiovascular health. Diet and physical activity levels are within our own control. At an individual level we have the ability control our impact upon the public health system. Therefore, relieving pressure on it starts with the person in the mirror.
Improve diet and physical activity levels
None of the info contained in this blog is breaking news. Yet the population at large is struggling to implement the change. The NHS have recently introduced a number of initiatives under the Change For Life campaign, such as a snack scanner app designed to improve awareness of sugar contents of children’s snacks. When it comes to the exercise part of the equation people do not have to intimidated. Simply moving more is a good place to start. Opting for stairs and a walk are easy to implement into any hectic schedule.
When making improvements to diet and exercise avoid the temptation to compare yourself to others. We call this ‘staying in your lane’. The only goal on a daily basis is to be a little better than you were yesterday. This is the outlook that we take with our personal training clients in Ascot and Sunningdale. It’s rather like P.E for adults, recognising that daily exercise and good food is as important as brushing