10 ways to take control of your health this year

Today we will be looking at how you can take control of your health and what you can implement into your everyday life to make improvements.


If you feel like you haven’t really been taking care of yourself in years past, it might be tempting to set big goals to improve your health and happiness. Sometimes the simplest goals are the easiest to keep and can end up making big changes in your life long term.


1. Eat More Fruit and Veg

Eating more fruit and vegetables could be life-changing. Most adults need to eat 5-6 servings of veggies and 2 servings of fruit every day, but if you’re nowhere near that amount, start by adding one extra serving each day and work up from there. Eat a piece of fruit or veg as your snack or find a way to incorporate fruits into your breakfast.


Check out these simple & delicious recipes with at least 3 portions of fruit & veg to get you to that lucky number 7… bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/7-day-recipes


2. Energize your Life

Physical activity shouldn’t be a punishment for the food and drink you ate or times you chose to relax. Let’s make it fun! Incorporate your physical activity into your week in an easy and fun way. Not sure where to start? Do more of the physical activities that make you feel good and that you enjoy doing, and see moving your body as a positive rather than a negative.


Check out these suggestions… bupa.co.uk/health-information/exercise-fitness/types-of-exercise


3. Better Sleep, Better Life

Sleep should be a priority; not only will feel rested but getting enough sleep is linked to numerous health benefits including lower stress levels, a lower risk of heart disease and a better functioning immune system. It’s recommended that adults should aim to get about 8¾ hours of sleep every night.


When the world is full of constant communications, long workdays and busy schedules, sleep can sometimes fall by the wayside, read about the benefits to better sleep in more depth… nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/


4. All Aboard for Healthy Smiles

We aren’t going to judge but ask yourself do you brush twice a day, every day? Do you? Brushing your teeth can help prevent conditions like tooth decay and gum disease, as well as making sure you have fresh breath. It only takes two minutes twice a day, which makes brushing your teeth one of the easiest activities on this list.


Keeping those pearly whites pearly is important when it comes to your health, if you aren’t convinced, read these: smilepad.co.uk/2014/06/20/reasons-to-brush/


5. Stop Smoking

Do you still consider yourself a ‘social smoker’? Having one or two cigarettes when you hang out with friends or after a long day might not seem like a big deal, but every cigarette you smoke is impacting your health. Stopping smoking is one of the best things you'll ever do for your health. When you stop, you give your lungs the chance to repair and you'll be able to breathe easier. There are lots of other benefits too - and they start almost immediately.


What better month for it other than Stoptoper!. If you need help or support check out the following advice from the NHS - nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking


6. Be Smart, Protect Your Skin

Sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer. Sunburn does not just happen on holiday. You can burn in the UK, even when it's cloudy. There's no safe or healthy way to get a tan. A tan does not protect your skin from the sun's harmful effects. Aim to strike a balance between protecting yourself from the sun and getting enough vitamin D from sunlight.


For some Sun safety tips and advice on which sunscreen you should be using, read here: nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/sunscreen-and-sun-safety/


7. Know what screening tests you need to do and do them

Screening is a way of identifying apparently healthy people who may have an increased risk of a particular condition. There are screening programs and routine health checks needed, depending on their age and gender. Here is a list of various screening types offered by the NHS in England:

  • Diabetic Eye Screening

  • Cervical Screening

  • Breast Screening

  • Bowel Cancer Screening

  • AAA Screening

  • Sexual Health Screening

For more information please visit your local health service provider.


8. Learn to Relax

Try not to let stress rob you of your physical and mental health. Relaxation is key, even if you only manage to squeeze in 10 minutes of relaxation time daily, it can make a difference! You can feel calmer and more controlled by incorporating these techniques; listening to music, meditation, taking a walk, getting a massage or practising progressive muscle relaxation.


Here are some of our favourite meditation apps; check them out next time you are looking for a little relaxation:


9. Use Technology to test your Fitness

Gadgets like pedometers, activity monitors or even the Wii Fit can make health and fitness more fun. Technology is not only here to help make our lives more fun but to help benefit our lives too - tracking your health is key when tackling and taking control of your health and what better way to do this than utilising your everyday technology - your phone. By tracking your health, you'll improve your cardiovascular health, immunity, and maintain your ideal body weight. Make sure you sign up for the release of our health tracking app ‘myBVI’, register your interest here.


We highly recommend the ‘7 Minute Workout’ app for fun and engaging exercises, you can even create your very own workouts and save them in the app.


10. Make your health meaningful

Why do you want to be healthy? It’s not just, well, for your health. You probably want to be healthy so you can pursue your passion, your purpose in life. Remembering why you want to be healthy can help you make healthy choices even when you don’t feel like it. Write it down on a post-it and leave them around the house if you have to, always be aware of your health goal and why you are doing it. Encourage and remind yourself daily!


Pick one or two of the points below and focus on sticking to them over a year. Question for you: What are you going to try first? Join the conversation over on our socials.