As the festive party season draws to an end, many people will be targeted January 1st as the date to kick-start a healthier lifestyle. Community pharmacists across the country are there to provide you with expert advice and support to live a healthier lifestyle – be it losing weight, getting fit or quitting smoking.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
The health benefits of achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight are well known and include preventing weight-related risks such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and elevated blood glucose levels. Your pharmacist can provide you with advice on how to tackle weight loss, and how to lose weight safely if you have underlying health conditions.
If smoking is your vice, the message for those thinking of quitting is that the health benefits start almost immediately: after just eight hours, you can expect oxygen levels in your blood to return to normal and the chance of serious illness, including a heart attack, will start to fall. By New Year’s Day 2024, your risk of heart attack will have fallen to that of a non-smoker. Nicotine Replacement Therapy has proven to be a very effective support to people who are trying to quit smoking and research has shown that it is far more effective than willpower alone.
Getting fit can be fun and doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Your pharmacist may know some of the clubs and societies in the community that you can join. Getting fit means a healthier heart but, if it’s been a while since you’ve exercised properly, don’t just jump straight into an intensive fitness regime without talking to a health professional first. Ask your pharmacist about blood pressure testing.
According to pharmacist Ann Marie Horan, “Pharmacists are available to assist people approach their goals using their extensive experience to provide practical advice. Whatever your goal it is important that the approach is in sync with a person’s lifestyle and is not so regimented that it sets a person up for failure from the very start.”