With a national focus on children’s wellbeing and making sure people have access to good health information this month (July), Warwickshire County Council is encouraging residents to find out more about how they and their families can lead healthier and more active lifestyles.
It’s our Year of Wellbeing in Coventry and Warwickshire and people are being encouraged to pledge to do something differently to improve their health and wellbeing throughout 2019.
1st to 7th July is Childhood Obesity Week, which encourages parents to start healthy habits with their children, such as having a balanced diet and active lifestyle, to set them up with some positive behaviours they can follow for life.
A good place to start for healthy eating information is www.warwickshire.gov.uk/healthyeating, which has links to the Soil Association’s Food for Life website and the NHS Change4Life campaign website, where you’ll find advice and ideas about healthy meals and activities for families.
The Fitter Future Warwickshire scheme supports people to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle, providing help with weight management and increasing your physical activity, and supporting families to make positive changes. For instance, through the scheme, Everyone Health provides physical activity support through a 12 week personalised programme, which is delivered by qualified fitness instructors. To find out more and whether you are eligible, visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fitter-futures.
It is also Health Information Week from 1st to 7th July, which is all about helping people find high quality health information.
If you have been invited for an NHS Health Check by your GP practice, make sure you make an appointment as they can very simply check whether you are at risk of certain health conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes, which you can reduce your chances of developing by eating healthily and being active. You can also visit https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/start to find out if you are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Sticking to a healthy, balanced diet is always important, but is particularly important as we get older, when some may people find their appetites and thirst levels may drop. Eating and drinking more means we get the nutrients we need to help prevent illness.
Keeping active also helps our muscles and bones to remain strong as we get older and is great for our mental health. Whatever your physical ability, keep it up and make activity part of your daily routine.
In fact, whatever our age, building physical activity into daily life is crucial for our health and mental wellbeing. Fitting more walking or cycling into your journeys – even one day or one trip a week without the car, or doing part of a journey differently – can make a big difference. For advice about planning your journey without a car, visit the Coventry and Warwickshire Choose How You Move site www.warwickshire.gov.uk/activetravel.
Equally as important as looking after your diet and physical health is looking after your mental health. We’ve just marked Infant Mental Health Awareness Week, which this year has focused on ‘Difficult Beginnings’ and the way that expecting or having a baby can influence your mental health.
It can be an exciting time but when the reality of birth, or the time before or immediately following this, is different from what was hoped for, women can feel disappointment, anger, sadness, anxiety or even fear and flashbacks. These difficult beginnings can impact on relationships and make it difficult for mums to bond with their babies. Dads or partners can also be equally affected by a difficult pregnancy or birth, and this impact is often underestimated.
If you are feeling unhappy or struggling to cope, visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/newparents where you can find lots of information and support to help you live well with your new baby.
Councillor Les Caborn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “Forming healthy habits with your family, such as having a sensible diet and making activity part of your daily routine, can help them to carry on these positive, healthy behaviours for the rest of their lifetimes.
“With summer in full swing and it being our Year of Wellbeing in Coventry and Warwickshire, this month is a great time to discover how you and your children can lead better and more active lives by making even small changes.
“It is also never too early in the development of your family to focus on looking after your own physical and mental health and there are plenty of resources available to help you in those early months, in addition to access to specialist support should you need it.”