Hello there! My name's Andy Knox, I'm a GP and a Director of Population Health in the NHS and I'm going to give you six quick tips about how to stay healthy and well this winter.
A - Ask for help. If you're struggling with your mental health, ask for help. If you're struggling with your physical health, especially if you've developed one of these new symptoms: you're losing weight without meaning to, you're bleeding from somewhere that you don't normally bleed from, you've developed a lump or bump somewhere in your body that you don't normally have one, you've got a mole that's gone darker and started bleeding, you've got headaches that are waking you from your sleep, you've got chest pain or new breathlessness, then ask for help. Ring us, as your GP we're always there for you, and we can think of the best way to help you out.
B - Blood pressure. We want everyone's blood pressure nice and low this winter to protect us from having heart attacks and strokes. The magic number 135 over 85, we want it less than that. Or if you've previously had a heart attack or a stroke or you've got diabetes, less than 130 over 80. So, if you're monitoring your blood pressure or you're concerned about it, give your practice pharmacist or practice nurse a ring. Let's get your blood pressure nice and low.
C - Covid, I know it's tough but we've got to keep our game switched on. Wear your face mask. Keep socially distance - more than two meters. Make sure you're washing your hands nice and regularly. Follow the rules in your particular tier in the country. And if you've got symptoms get yourself tested. And if you're positive please stay isolated for the full 14 days and protect the rest of your community.
D - Diet. We've got a bit of a sugar addiction in this nation. We need to curb it. Especially going into this winter to reduce our risks. So, we're going to recommend: low sugar, low carbohydrate, help us get into a more healthy weight, low salt, low alcohol. Instead try and eat a rainbow diet of vegetables every day and have more protein and vitamin B in your diet.
E - Exercise. We're not all going to look like Joe Wicks or Davina McCall but we can all make healthy choices around exercise. If you can get out for a 20-minute walk every day, or do some hiit training in front of the tv, or even just some chair-based exercises. Whatever you're able to do make a healthy choice around exercise every day.
F - Have a flu jab. If you're entitled to one on the NHS, please get it done. Let's keep COVID low and flu low and all stay healthy and well this winter.