Health and wellbeing for 2021 made easy

Cork Primary Care Physiotherapists, for North South Lee, Cork, Fiona O’Shea and Teresa Twohig, share tips for health and wellbeing in an understandable way in a new booklet called ‘Fit to Flourish’
Health and wellbeing for 2021 made easy

Eating a healthy diet can help you feel good, give you more energy and stay at a healthy weight.

DO you want to learn more about health and wellbeing without the clutter and fuss of long meandering and complicated articles?

If the answer is yes, we as Cork Primary Care Physiotherapists have recently launched a booklet that we believe will do this.

Fit to Flourish is a booklet that covers all aspects of health and wellbeing in an easy to understand way. This is achieved by using a mixture of graphics and text that appeals to all age groups.

Fit to Flourish is created by Chartered Physiotherapists who take a holistic approach to health. While for some this is an abstract concept, as Physiotherapists we look at one’s physical activity and other lifestyle factors that impact on one’s health and wellbeing, such as healthy eating, sleep and stress.

In these challenging times, there is no doubt Covid-19 has stretched every member of our society to its limits. This pandemic has had an enormous impact on every small town, village and household in this country. We, as physiotherapists, are extremely concerned about the impact of the pandemic on population health. 

We would describe decreased activity as the silent impact of the pandemic - affecting strength and muscle mass, bone health, weight management and mental health.

For others, the pandemic has resulted in poor lifestyle choices and increased stress levels which can affect our emotional health and wellbeing.

We wanted an easy to read resource to educate everyone about the simple everyday measures they could take to improve their own health and enable them to make change.

Tips in the booklet include:

  • How to encourage physical activity.
  • How difficult (or not) exercise needs to be to reap benefits.
  • Tips for better sleep.
  • Managing fatigue.
  • Top strategies for managing str

ess.

Health and wellbeing is often not about one big change but about a series of small changes. These small changes when accumulated can lead to an overall significant health benefit. Focus on progress, not perfection. Those small one percent wins, over time, can transform your life. The only person that can create the results you produce in your life is yourself, it starts with you!

As we begin to slowly emerge from this challenging time, with a New Year of 2021, we encourage you to take some “time out” for you. 

Think about your current health and lifestyle habits. Is there anything you would like to change or improve? The booklet offers you the opportunity to make a plan of the small changes you will make from here on to improve your health and wellbeing. We have included a small plan sheet just for you to list the changes you plan to make.

Become more active. Picture: Stock
Become more active. Picture: Stock

We would encourage you to:

1) Minimise sedentary behaviour - sedentary behaviour is sitting or lying down for long periods. Examples include watching television, driving and using a computer.

2) Become more physically active. There are significant health benefits to exercise and physical activity; these include improved bone health, muscle strength and improved mood.

Aim for at least 150 minutes moderate intensity exercise per week. Any movement is good movement. Some exercise is good AND more is better.

3) Eat well - eating healthily can help you feel good, give you more energy and stay at a healthy weight.

Routine is important, try your best to plan for three healthy meals a day and snacks if necessary.

Aim to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Remember size matters, be aware of portion size.

4) Manage stress - tips in the booklet encourage you to; take time for yourself, lead a healthy lifestyle, seek support from others and adjust your expectations.

5) Smoking - if you smoke it is never too late to stop. The benefits begin as soon as you stop.

6) Alcohol – are you concerned about your alcohol intake? Maybe you feel that you’re drinking too much or too often. Perhaps it’s a habit you’d like to better control. There is a self- assessment tool available on www.askaboutalcohol.ie.

Remember: Every small change matters

We hope Fit to Flourish will empower and guide people to make good lifestyle choices, so they can enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and prevent long-term disease.

Printed copies of the booklet are available from Primary Care Centre Physiotherapy Departments in Cork or by contacting Fiona O’ Shea on fionam.oshea@hse.ie.

The booklet can be downloaded from www.hse.ie and www.thewellbeingnetwork.ie.

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