Wellbeing

Healthy living

Chair squats
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Excess weight can play a big part in how you feel, how much energy you have and can affect your overall health. 71,000 people in the Ipswich area were considered obese in 2018. Lack of exercise, choosing unhealthy food and changes in how and where we live have resulted in a community with overweight and obesity issues.

The first steps may seem hard, but now is a good time to start a healthier lifestyle. You can start by making small changes like swapping soft drink for water and taking the stairs rather than the lifts.

How can I have a healthier lifestyle?

Changes in the types of jobs people have, has seen an increase in people sitting for long times in front of computers at their desks. Even though we tend to live closer to work, people are choosing to drive to work rather than look for combined active transport options such as walk or ride a bicycle and then take public transport.

Have you thought about if you could walk part of the way to work and then take public transport the rest of the way to increase how much you move your body? Lots of small changes like this will add up and help improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Time on computers, phones and other electronic devices is increasing which means that people are spending less time being active. Why not take yourself and/or your family to the local park in the afternoons. Lots of local parks now have exercise equipment which can help you get started in being a bit healthier.

How can I get more exercise into my day?

People who exercise regularly tend have a sense of wellbeing, more energy, better sleep, improved memory, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives. Exercise enhances wellbeing through the release of endorphins (natural chemicals released in your body when you are in pain, exercising or laughing), weight loss, stronger muscles and bones as well as helps reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes.

Anything that gets you moving can make a difference to your wellbeing. You don’t need a gym membership to start exercising. There are some simple things you can do at home to start exercising. Try jumping or skipping around the house. You can use a chair to help you do squats and grab some cans out of the cupboard to use as weights. The more you do the easier it will become and the better you will start feeling. Start slowly and then build up the amount of exercise you do each day. This will help you feel more comfortable to exercise while building up your strength. In no time at all you will be surprised how much more you can do each time you exercise.

Building strength in your body will help you feel better both emotionally and physically. You may be surprised at how quickly your energy levels will increase so you can start doing more in your life. For help getting started visit
www.ihfoundation.org.au/

For more information on exercises you can do at home or at your local park visit
www.healthier.qld.gov.au/move/

How can I eat healthier?

Making healthy eating choices may seem hard but finding out what foods to eat and in what quantity can help. Start by looking at what you like eating and see if you can swap these foods for healthier options. This could be as simple as swapping white breads, bagels and muffins for wholegrain varieties or swap the frying pan for the grill when cooking meat.

Eating a variety of foods is good for your wellbeing and when you know how much of each to eat it makes planning your meals easier.

For more information about eating healthy visit:
www.healthier.qld.gov.au/food
www.eatforhealth.gov.au/eating-well

How can I get a handle on smoking?

Is it time to give it up? 30,000 people in the Ipswich area smoke. It can be hard to give up smoking but getting prepared first can help you give up successfully. Here are some things to think about before you try quitting:

  • learn your triggers – what makes you want to have a smoke?
  • have something else to do instead of smoking – try some breathing exercises
  • choose which quit methods to use
  • write down reasons for quitting, then keep them in view
  • find a ‘Quit Buddy’, encourage and support each other
  • tell everyone you’re quitting and that you’ll need their support
  • throw out cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays from your house, car and workplace
  • set step-by-step goals and rewards for not smoking.

For more information about getting a handle on your smoking visit:
quithq.initiatives.qld.gov.au

How can I learn more about drug use?

Drug use can lead to serious health issues including harm to organs and systems in your body, such as your throat, stomach, lungs, liver, pancreas, heart, brain, nervous system as well as mood swings and erratic behaviour. Even casual drug use can cause harm and quickly bring about more serious health, emotional and social problems. 

West Moreton Health’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Service (AODS) provides a free, professional and confidential service for adults and young people who have concerns about their own or another's alcohol or other drug use. The service supports individuals and/or families to make informed decisions and aims to reduce the risk of harm associated with alcohol and other drug use.

For more information and resources on drug use visit:
www.ddwmphn.com.au/alcohol-other-drugs-aod

How can I lower my alcohol intake?

Drinking alcohol can have negative impacts on your wellbeing. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down the messages travelling between the brain and the body.  

The Heart Foundation recommends that healthy men and women drink no more than two standard alcoholic drinks a day. If you have high blood pressure, heart failure, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, liver disease or diabetes, or if you are obese, you may need to drink less than the above-recommended limits.

Tips to lower your alcohol intake:
•    Alternate your alcoholic drinks with low kilojoule drinks, such as tap water or plain mineral water.
•    Dilute your alcoholic drinks with tap water or plain mineral water when you can.
•    Use only half-measures of spirits.
•    Choose a low alcohol or light beer.
•    Choose a low alcohol wine.
•    When you are thirsty, drink cold water instead of alcohol. Keep a jug of water on the table with your meals.

You can reduce the health risks associated with alcohol consumption by following the Alcohol Guidelines.

West Moreton Health’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Service (AODS) provides a free, professional and confidential service for adults and young people who have concerns about their own or another's alcohol or other drug use. The service supports individuals and/or families to make informed decisions and aims to reduce the risk of harm associated with alcohol and other drug use.

For more information and resources on alcohol use visit:
www.ddwmphn.com.au/alcohol-other-drugs-aod

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