Welcome to our all-new monthly spotlight on an organisation or resource that can help us all in our quest for better health!
Read on for all the details and/or download your personal copy here!
What is it?
Change4Life is the NHS website devoted to helping people and families live healthier lives in terms of eating, drinking and moving. Its slogan is ‘Eat Well, Move More, Live Longer’. It has sections devoted to food and drinks, alcohol and physical activity. It’s more than just an information site, though - it’s presented in a bright, friendly format and is thoroughly practical! Each section includes tips, ideas and suggestions, inviting the visitor to decide what would be right for them to change. The underlying message seems to be one of ‘nudge’ – that is trying out new things, little by little, choosing just one thing at a time to do differently.
There seems to be something for absolutely everyone, whatever your starting lifestyle. You can go from ‘couch to 5K in nine weeks’ or download a ‘Step-o-Meter’ app to count your daily steps, even if you are already very active.
For families in particular, the messages of the website include making changes together, such as being active at the weekends as a family, but also healthier cooking and packed lunches and picnics.
The site is very engaging and welcoming, with not a judgmental comment in sight. It’s all about encouragement and enthusiasm, and above all, ease, explaining that simple food or drink swaps and a bit more activity everyday can make a huge difference to your health.
To maintain your enthusiasm for changes, there are lots of supporting gadgets and programmes, for example a series of free apps and a version of ‘LazyTown, getting the messages across in an enjoyable way, while young!
We think it’s well worth a look to find out what inspiration you can get personally – and maybe also spread the word to your family and friends.
How can it help me with living with diabetes?
Most of life with diabetes is about healthy living, including all the aspects covered in Change4Life. Having diabetes doesn’t make healthy choices and lifestyle changes any easier for you than for anyone else though – in some ways it can even be harder, because there is so much extra to take into account, like medications, testing and hospital appointments etc. So, anything that helps you add a little extra healthy living without much effort has to be a bonus, yes?
How can it help me with working with diabetes?
You can heartily recommend Change4Life to people you see in your clinics and visits – perhaps especially for families and young people. It may help to reinforce the messages you are giving as well, and it means that people can also independently find information that is just right for them.
You can also, perhaps, use Change4Life as the basis for conversations about healthy living in general and how peoples’ personal diabetes treatment and monitoring fits in with its messages. It could turn out to be something you look at together, say in a consultation and so help people make choices about what changes they wish to make?
Finally, as we regularly say, there might be something on there for yourself and your own health or that of your family. Your own wellbeing is just as important as that of everyone you help!
Our 3 top reasons to give it a try
1. It’s easy and quick to read and ‘dip into’
2. There’s a place to start for everyone, younger, older, fitter, completely unfit and everything in between!
3. There’s a great directory of local activities, just choose your favourite, or one you wish to try, enter your postcode and a list will pop up!
Any down sides?
Nope – it’s all good! Enjoy and be inspired!
That’s it for now! Hope you like our take on Change4Life and watch out for another ‘Self Health Spotlight’ in July!