AFTER the past few years, it is more important than ever that you put your health first.
The nation has had to combat Covid, nurses’ strikes, Strep A outbreaks, the worst flu season for a long time and record-high waiting lists and ambulance response times.
Making sure you are fighting fit — physically and mentally — can help ward off illnesses and diseases and reduce pressure on the NHS.
As prevention is better than cure, we are launching our Health Kick series to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle in 2023.
First up, we wanted to know what really matters to you.
What are the health concerns that keep you up at night and what do you need more help with?
We asked 860 readers to take part in our Sun Health survey so we can bring the right advice to make your lives easier.
We ran the results past Dr Rachel Ward, of the Woodlands Medical Centre Didcot, Oxfordshire.
She said: “The poll reflects the concerns and problems I see as a GP every day.
“We know obesity is a huge health issue as it significantly increases your risk of many serious diseases, including diabetes, cancer, strokes and heart attacks.
“It’s unsurprising 61 per cent are overweight or obese — and this fits national figures. It’s interesting that only 48 per cent therefore plan to lose weight in 2023.
“A worrying 37.9 per cent think their children are overweight or obese.
“Teaching your child good eating habits is one of the best lessons you can give them. One of the best ways of improving your health is to exercise regularly.
“A 20-minute walk outside, quickly enough to increase your heart rate, is a great starting point.
“Seventy-five per cent are having sex less than once per week. Almost half of those blame it on being tired or lack of time.
“Increasing your sexual activity is great for getting your heart rate going and boosting endorphins and mood. It will also improve your energy levels.
“It is unsurprising, but sad, that almost half of responders reported mental health issues. There has been a massive increase in this through the pandemic and now, as we face the cost-of-living crisis.
“And more than half of parents were concerned about their children’s mental health. I encourage them to seek help for their children as there are many organisations out there to offer support to you and your family that you can be directed to.”
Over the next four weeks, Sun Health will use the survey results to help you make positive changes.
Let’s start by looking at the state of Sun readers’ health . . .
- Throughout January, our Health Kick series will be diving into the worlds of nutrition, fitness, mental health, family health and sleep.