The New Year is an ideal time to review your lifestyle and make some healthy changes. Why not review your SNAP risk factors?
SNAP risk factors are Smoking, Nutrition, Alcohol and Physical activity. They are the four most preventable causes of disease in Australia and they play an important role in many serious and often chronic conditions.
Kicking the habit is the single most important thing you can do for your health. Quitting lowers your risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer. You will also breathe better, live longer (8 years on average) and have more money!
Keep trying until you succeed. Most successful quitters have had 3-4 failed attempts before finally quitting for good. Help from your GP and the use of patches, gum, lozenges, sprays or tablets will increase your chance of success.
A healthy diet can help prevent heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. It also helps control blood pressure, cholesterol levels and your weight.
Try to eat a wide variety of foods. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, as well as bread, cereals, rice and pasta. Eat a low-fat diet, in particular low in saturated fat. Eat lean meat, fish and poultry and fat-reduced dairy foods.
Excess alcohol can cause high blood pressure, liver disease, impotence and memory problems, as well as strife with your family, workplace and the law.
The safe drinking limit is up to 28 standard drinks (such as a middy of regular beer) per week for men and 14 for women. Men should never drink more than 6 standard drinks in a day and women no more than 4. Try to have 1 or 2 alcohol-free days per week.
Regular exercise helps control weight and improves sleep and stress levels. It can also prevent heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers.
Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity such as brisk walking on most (preferably all) days of the week. This can be made up of shorter sessions of 10 minutes. Try also to be more active during your daily routine.
A healthy lifestyle gives you more active, quality years with your family and friends, a longer life to see your children and grandchildren grow up and the best chance to grow old gracefully and in good health. You can't ask for better reasons than that!
Why not give it a try? Speak to your GP for more assistance and information.
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.