Healthy lifestyles advice

Adopting healthier lifestyles can benefit everyone. By making a few small changes to the way you live can make big changes to your health.

Stop smoking

There are over 4,000 chemicals in a cigarette and 69 of these are known to cause cancer. As  soon as you quit smoking your body begins to repair itself straight away. The longer you manage to stay stopped the more repair work your body can do.

Every year thousands of people successfully quit smoking. If you want to stop smoking, help is available from the NHS Stop Smoking Service which exists to support people in  Northamptonshire to stop smoking and you could be one of them.

For free help, advice and support to give up smoking contact your local NHS Stop Smoking Service on 0854 601 3116 or find them on Facebook:

Alcohol harm reduction

Drinking more than the recommended daily allowance can increase your risk of developing a drinking related illness and approximately 10 million people in England drink above the recommended guidelines every year.

Women who regularly drink more than 35 units per week (or more than 6 units per day) are at higher risk of developing a drinking-related illness (including breast cancer) and for men this is more than 50 units per week (or more than 8 units per day) are at a high risk of developing a drinking-related illness.

Alcohol affects all parts and systems of the body and can play a role in many medical conditions.

Drinking less reduces the longer term risk of serious diseases such as liver disease and stroke and will improve the condition of your skin, have a positive effect on sleep and will give you more energy and money. Drinking less also means you’ll be less likely to develop high blood
pressure and put on weight.

Women should not regularly* drink more than 2 to 3 units of alcohol a day. That’s no more than a standard 175ml glass of wine (ABV 13%).

Men should not regularly* drink more than 3 to 4 units of alcohol a day. That’s not much more than a pint of strong lager, beer or cider (ABV 5.2%).

* Regularly means drinking this amount most days or every day. ABV is the percentage of alcohol in the drink.

For help, advice and support contact Substance to Solution (S2S) the Northamptonshire Integrated Recovery Service for Drugs and Alcohol Advice, information and treatment and support tailored to the needs of the individual call: 0845 034 4549 (standard charge). Web:

If you have concerns about alcohol, drug use including prescription and over the counter drugs or gambling then please contact Aquarius for further help and support on 0300 456 4292. Web: or

Healthy eating
Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast gives you the energy you need to face the day along with some of the vitamins and minerals needed for good health.

Reduce your fat intake:
• choose lean cuts of meat and trim off any visible fat;
• choose low fat, polyunsaturated spread instead of butter;
• measure oil for cooking with tablespoons rather than pouring it straight from a container;
• grill, bake, poach or steam rather than frying and roasting; and
• choose lower fat versions of dairy foods whenever you can.

Aim to have five pieces of fruit and vegetables every day:
• try fruit sliced over cereal for breakfast;
• snack on fruit mid-morning or mid-afternoon;
• put some extra vegetables, beans or lentils in your casseroles and stews (and less meat);
• stock up on frozen vegetables for easy cooking; or
• remember – a third of your lunch and your dinner plate should be vegetables or salad.

Physical activity
Regular physical activity can help reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis as well as raise your mood and self-esteem. It can also raise the levels of ‘feel good’ hormones and reduces levels of stress. Inactive people have nearly twice the risk of developing heart disease.

Adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.

Simple ways to getting more physically active include:
• walking the dog;
• digging the garden;
• using the stairs rather than taking the lift;
• getting off the bus one stop before your destination; or
• joining a dance group, jogging/walking/games club or the gym.

Useful websites

Healthy weight

Healthy eating

Physical activity
Northamptonshire Sport – Get Active

Activity on referral

Run In England

Walking for health


Public health (general)