It's never too late to look after yourself
Giving up smoking is the single biggest thing you can do to improve your heart health. That's because people who smoke are twice as likely to have a heart attack as those who don't smoke. Your local Stop Smoking Service will help you quit. It's free and easy to use. You can also download this free NHS stop smoking app. In next to no time you'll feel the health and financial benefits of stopping smoking, including:
- reducing the risk of developing illnesses and death caused by cancer, heart and lung disease - 90% of all cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking
- getting rid of the nicotine in your body - after stopping smoking for 48 hours there's none left, which will make a huge difference to your sense of smell and taste
- improved fitness levels making it easier to run or play with your children, family or friends
- saving money - on average most people who quit save around £250 a month, that's a saving of nearly £3,000 a year. Find out how much you could save with the NHS Smokefree cost calculator.
Some tips to help you quit:
- write down all the reasons you want to stop smoking and stick them on the fridge to help you stay motivated
- keep yourself busy
- talk to your friends, family and workmates as support from them is essential - why not quit together to help keep each other motivated?
There are lots of helpful tools you can download on your smartphone to help make some changes to your lifestyle, including apps to:
- check if you're at risk from Type 2 Diabetes
- help to manage the daily routine of logging levels such as blood glucose, carbohydrates and calories with the diabetes tracker
- manage stress
- go smoke-free
MECC Link provides clear signposting to local and national services on a full range of health and wellbeing related topics. If you're a health or social care professional you can find out more about MECC Link, which is part of Making Every Contact Count, on our professional page.
For more ideas and tips on how to keep healthy, visit the NHS Better Health website.
Stress contributes to high blood pressure, which is also a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Spotting the early signs of stress will help prevent it from getting worse and potentially causing serious complications, such as high blood pressure.
If you're struggling with stress there are lots of useful information about how to manage it at NHS Choices.
It’s important to get a good night’s sleep. It can boost your immune system and help you fight off illness. Good sleep is important for our health. When we are asleep our brains are actually recovering from the previous day. We need to sleep to give our brains and bodies rest, and improve our mental and physical health. We tend to need less sleep as we get older.
More advice and tips on how to sleep better at NHS One You.
Good mental health helps you relax more, achieve more and enjoy life more. We all experience life changes that can affect our mental health, but we don't have to face challenging times alone.More practical advice at NHS One You.