Whether it’s quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, eating nutritiously or being active, we know healthy habits make sense.
Yet many New Year resolutions, and other one-off pledges to get fit, swop chocolate for fruit, or stub out cigarettes for good, quickly fail. And it’s often because we set the bar for making change too high.
And that’s where One You Kent comes in. This free healthy lifestyle service commissioned by Kent County Council (KCC) can help you set realistic targets and stay motivated.
And that’s all you need – because when it comes to our health and wellbeing even small adjustments in our daily routines can make a big difference.
Through one-to-one sessions, online support and group activities, friendly One You advisers like Teela Limbu can help you overcome barriers to achieving the new you.
“It’s about being practical and setting yourself goals you know you can reach,” says One You Kent Weight Loss Adviser Teela. “Start with a small step like switching a packet of crisps for an apple a day. Make a couple of tiny steps and they soon add up to giant strides and noticeable progress in your weight loss journey.”
To find out more, simply visit the One You Kent section on KCC’s website
Here you can read about NHS-recommended apps and other e-advice that can kickstart your healthy changes – and fill out a referral form. There’s also signposts to further support you may need along the way like managing finances, help with housing, or boosting mental health including through Better Health’s Every Mind Matters
Of course, all journeys have to start somewhere, and a good place to begin is to take the Better Health How Are You? quiz. You can find the quiz and other healthy lifestyle apps at One You Kent - Kent County Council
“...as we juggle busy lives, and grapple with the stress and pressures of our fast-changing 24/7 world, many of us need support to stay inspired and make healthy choices”
Kent County Council Director of Public Health, Dr Anjan Ghosh, said: “We all know that drinking too much, smoking, inactivity and poor diets can damage our health and wellbeing, leading to an increased risk of serious conditions such as heart and lung disease and strokes.
“But, as we juggle busy lives, and grapple with the stress and pressures of our fast-changing 24/7 world, many of us need support to stay inspired and make healthy choices.
“That’s why we commission a range of services and work closely with agencies from across the health sector to get people the help and treatment they need.
“With One You Kent no one has to struggle to make healthy lifestyle changes alone.”
Around 3 in 5 adults in Kent, 63% of the adult population in the county, live with an increased risk of developing serious diseases such as common cancers, heart disease, and chronic back pain, because of being overweight.
But shedding excess pounds can reduce these risks, including the chance of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.
Delivered by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) in east Kent, and the district and borough councils in west Kent, the One You Kent healthy weight service offers lots of free tips and support online. You can also get information here about local activities such as healthy walks, plus nutritious recipes, including healthy eating on a budget.
And, by teaming up with NHS’ Better Health campaign, there’s also online self-help tools such as the NHS Weight Loss Plan app The app has been proven to help people lose 13lbs (5.8kg) on average over just 12 weeks!
While many make annual promises to lose weight, thousands of people quit smoking in the UK every year for their own health and their family’s. And as with weight loss, you are more likely (three times more time likely!) to kick the habit with professional support.
One You Kent smoke free services, run by KCHFT across Kent, offer a range of help. And trained advisers are with you every step of the way.
You can get face-to-face, telephone or video guidance, access to free Nicotine Replacement Therapy and your own personal quit plan packed full of tips to suit your life.
This year’s national No Smoking Day may have been and gone, but there’s no need to wait until next year’s annual awareness-raising date to quit. Get started today and fill in a referral form. A supportive adviser will then call you to talk through the options in your area. You can also call the service on 0300 123 1220 or text ‘quit’ to 87023.
And last, but by no means least, cutting back on alcohol… Reducing the amount you drink can help you to sleep better, lose weight and lower your blood pressure – improving your health in both the short and long term.
If you want to reduce your alcohol intake, try out the ‘Know Your Score’ interactive online test to gauge how the alcohol you are consuming could be affecting your health.
Depending on the score, you’ll be offered appropriate advice about where to find help by different experts and health professionals in a short video – and you can go from there.
“...there are lots of reasons to make healthy lifestyle changes”
Mark Cummings, Head of Service KCHFT One You Kent, said: “From lowering blood pressure to reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke, there are lots of reasons to make healthy lifestyle changes. This includes quickly feeling more positive and energetic and, longer term, living a happier, fuller life.
“So if you want to make 2023 the year you lose excess weight, or try quitting smoking again, or get more active, or lower your alcohol intake, get in touch with One Your Kent. We can help you make it happen.”