Healthy Peterborough

About Healthy Peterborough

About Healthy Peterborough

Healthy Peterborough will help residents prevent and tackle common health problems and live healthier for longer 

On this website you will find medically proven information and advice on how to kick poor health into touch, by making simple lifestyle changes. Each month the campaign will focus on a different health issue, starting in March with heart health.

Councillor Diane Lamb, cabinet member for public health said: "Improving the lives of all our residents and tackling the health issues that they face is one of the council's biggest priorities. This is why we are proposing to maintain the amount of money we spend on public health, despite a ten per cent cut in the grant the government gives us to provide these services.

"But we can't help people unless they're willing to help themselves. We know that people are busy and may not feel they have the time to eat healthily or exercise, but it's the small changes that matter. It could be as simple as upping your fruit and vegetable intake or walking to the shops instead of driving. Even the smallest changes could have a big impact on your health and ultimately your life expectancy."

Residents can find also follow health tips on the Healthy Peterborough Facebook page and Twitter @HealthyPboro. 

Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Peterborough City Council, said: "We understand that it can be confusing for people to know what a healthy diet looks like or the best way to exercise, as there is so much conflicting information out there.

"We want to give local people trustworthy and medically proven advice on how to stay healthier for longer. By making simple changes, such as eating less fat or doing 30 minutes of brisk walking five times a week, people can make a big difference to  their own health and increase their overall life expectancy."

Other health issues to be covered as part of Healthy Peterborough in the coming months include smoking, mental illness, alcohol intake and stroke awareness.

The Healthy Peterborough campaign is led by Peterborough City Council, and supported by Peterborough City Hospital, Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Pharmaceutical Committee and Public Health England.

Services in Peterborough

111

If you’re in need of medical help or advice urgently but it’s not a life-threatening situation, it’s time to call 111.

Calling 111 will connect you to a team of fully trained call advisers, who are supported by experienced nurses and paramedics.  The person who answers your call can give you healthcare advice you need or direct you to the most appropriate and available local service, and in cases where an ambulance may still be required, they can alert 999 and dispatch an ambulance for you.

You can also call 111 if you are unsure how to go about treating a particular condition or illness, or you cannot wait for an appointment with your GP.

The 111 service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Your calls are answered by local staff based in Peterborough.

More than 25% of calls made to 999 are ‘neither serious nor immediately life threatening’. NHS 111 is the service that these callers should be using – it will save lives by freeing up emergency staff and will also mean you receive the correct treatment as quickly as possible. Contacting the 111 team is key to treating your condition appropriately.

 

 

 

Minor Illness and Injury Unit

Minor injury units and walk-in centres are urgent care centres. They offer convenient access to treatment for a range of minor illnesses and injuries.

Conditions that can be treated at Urgent Care Centres include:

  • x-rays on weekdays (see link below for details)
  • wounds – cuts and bruises (Tetanus immunisation can also be given)
  • bites – human, insect and animal
  • minor burns and scalds
  • muscle and joint injuries – strains, sprains, limb fractures
  • sports injuries
  • emergency contraception
  • eye problems e.g. removal of foreign bodies, conjunctivitis
  • earache (patients aged two years and over)
  • cystitis (not children or male patients)
  • minor head injuries (with no loss of consciousness).
          

Minor Illness and Injury Unit (MIIU):

The Peterborough MIIU can treat minor injuries and illnesses from strains and sprains, to broken bones, minor burns and bites. It is often unnecessary to make a trip to A&E when you can easily be treated here, with your local pharmacist or GP. The MIIU also aims to start patient treatment within 45 minutes.

Peterborough MIIU

City Care Centre, Thorpe Road, Peterborough, PE3 6DB 
Tel: 01733 847100
Further details, including up to date opening hours, are here 

Peterborough City Hospital

The North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust is currently the newest acute hospital trust in England. Formed on 1 April 2017, the trust runs three busy hospitals – Peterborough City HospitalHinchingbrooke Hospital and Stamford and Rutland Hospital. Together they serve approximately 700,000 residents living in Cambridgeshire, South Lincolnshire and the neighbouring counties.

Our hospital sites offer a wide variety of acute services to a growing population. All three sites deliver inpatient and outpatient services.  

Peterborough City Hospital

Edith Cavell Campus, Bretton Gate, Bretton, Peterborough, PE3 9GZ

Tel: 01733 678000

www.peterboroughandstamford.nhs.uk

view location on Google Maps

GPs

If you have an illness or injury that won’t go away, phone your GP practice to make an appointment with your local GP or ask for advice. You can also see your practice nurse for a range of services including vaccinations or blood tests. You can make an appointment with your practice for medical advice, examinations and prescriptions.

If you need to see a GP urgently when your practice is closed, you can:

  • Call your normal surgery number and you will either be redirected automatically or there will be a recorded message to tell you what number you need to call
  • Call NHS 111

More and more GP practices now have online systems which mean you can book appointments, request prescriptions and contact the practice online. Remember to ask your local practice if they run such a service, if you think it would be beneficial to you.

You may have heard of the Prime Minister’s GP Access Fund, a scheme which is being run by GPs in the Peterborough area. Its aim is to increase access to GPs in a number of ways, including: extra evening appointments, weekend appointments, and online systems for patients. So your practice may have made recent changes to how it operates, or be about to – each practice is different and will be able to advise you on what services are provided.

You can walk into your local GP practice at any time during opening hours to register as a patient or ask questions. A wealth of information is available there, by way of leaflets, posters and electronic, on-screen bulletins.

Unsure of your local GP practice and want to talk to someone? Call Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group’s Patient Experience Team, on 0800 279 2535 or 01223 725588, for help and advice.

Click on images below to search for your nearest GP, or click here to find out more about the services your local GP practice can provide.

     

Dentists and Dental Health

As experts on dental and oral health problems dentists can treat – and help you to prevent – tooth decay, gum disease and injuries.

Dental hygienists will also help you to look after your teeth, and dental therapists, can carry out a range of treatments but also help those who might have a fear of going to the dentist.

Anyone who visits a dental hygienist or therapist must first be seen by a dentist, but these additional staff members help spread the dental workload by specialising in certain areas.

Hygienists will carry out procedures such as scaling and polishing, applying sealants, and sometimes teeth whitening.

Therapists can do fillings, pulp treatment, and extractions of baby teeth amongst other tasks.

Dental technicians are also on hand to make false teeth, crowns, bridges and braces for patients.

Finally, orthodontists will usually work on straightening or moving teeth using braces.

The answers to common questions about NHS dentists can be found here.

Click on images below to search for your nearest NHS dentist.

   

 

 

Pharmacies

Pharmacists play a key role in providing quality healthcare. They are experts in medicines and will use their clinical expertise, together with their practical knowledge to advise you on common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains, as well as healthy eating and stopping smoking. 

Pharmacists can also help you decide whether you need to see a health professional. They can help you consider the alternatives next time you are thinking of making a doctor's appointment.

Find a local pharmacy.

 

What services do pharmacies offer?

All pharmacies will provide the following services:

  • dispensing
  • repeat dispensing
  • disposal of unwanted or out-of-date medicines
  • advice on treatment of minor conditions and healthy living

Other services that may be available from your local pharmacy:

 

The GP Hub


The GP Hub is a new GP led evening and weekend service where local GPs and Practice Nurses offer a range of services for patients registered with a GP practice in Greater Peterborough.

Appointments are available to registered patients between 18:30 and 20:30 Monday to Friday and from 09:00 til 17:00 at weekends and Bank Holidays.

If you can’t make it to your GP surgery during normal opening hours, ask your GP surgery reception for an appointment at the GP Hub.

The GP Hub provides services from:

Boroughbury Medical Centre
Craig Street
Peterborough
PE1 2EJ

There is ample secured parking at Boroughbury Medical Centre. You will need to ask for a code from the receptionist to exit the car park on your way out.

Any patient registered at a GP surgery in Greater Peterborough can access the GP Hub. Please see list below:

  • Ailsworth Medical Centre
  • Boroughbury Medical Centre
  • Botolph Bridge Community Health Centre
  • Bretton Medical Practice
  • Central Medical Centre
  • Church Walk Surgery
  • Dogsthorpe Medical Centre
  • Eye Surgery
  • Hampton Health
  • Hodgson Medical Centre
  • Jenner Health Centre
  • King’s Cliffe Surgery
  • Minster Medical Practice
  • Nene Valley Medical Practice
  • New Queen Street Surgery
  • Old Fletton Surgery
  • Orton Bushfield Medical Practice
  • Oundle Medical Practice
  • Park Medical Centre
  • Parnwell Medical Centre
  • Paston Health Centre
  • Stanground Surgery
  • The Grange Medical Centre
  • The Huntly Grove Practice
  • Thistlemoor Medical Centre
  • Thomas Walker Surgery
  • Thorney Medical Practice
  • Thorpe Road Surgery
  • Wansford Surgery
  • Welland Medical Practice
  • Werrington Health Centre
  • Westgate Surgery
  • Westwood Clinic
  • Yaxley Group Practice

Let's Get Healthy

Our free healthy lifestyles club running in schools and community settings - currently Gladstone Park Community Centre.

The club is six weeks for children aged 4-6 (beginning Tues 16th, 4pm-5:15pm) , and ten weeks for children aged 7-12 (beginning Weds17th, 4pm-5:15pm). They are interactive and fun sessions, with parents attending the entire session for the younger group, and only the last 20 minutes of the sessions for the older group.

Workshops include learning about sugary drinks and food swapping for healthier snacks, making smoothies, and blindfold fruit & veg taste testing, and also activities and games such as parachute games and shuttle races.

 View our leaflet by clicking here!

 

LET’S GET HEALTHY

(Children’s Healthy Lifestyle Club)

Date

Location

Time

Tuesday 16th May

6 week programme for 4- 6 years

Gladstone Park Community Centre

4.00pm- 5.30pm

Wednesday 17th May

10 week programme for 7- 12 years

 

Gladstone Park Community Centre

4.00pm- 5.30pm

Email healthy.peterborough@nhs.net. or call direct on 01733 894540. If you have a long-term condition, we may need consent from your GP.

 

 

 

Let's Get Moving

An eight week exercise-only programme for adults who want to increase their physical activity - can be mixed gender or ladies-only. Find out more by view our leaflet here!

Date/ Group/ Instructor

Location

Time

Monday 11th September

Ladies only

TruGym

1:30pm- 2:30pm

Monday 11th September

Mixed Sessions

TruGym

2:45pm- 3:45pm

Monday 11th September

Ladies only

Millfield Community Centre

11:00am- 12:00pm

Wednesday 13th September

Ladies only

Gladstone Park Community Centre

11:00am- 12:00pm

Wednesday 13th September

Mixed Sessions

Gladstone Park Communtiy Centre

12:30pm- 1:30pm

 

To apply: 

Email healthy.peterborough@nhs.net. or call direct on 01733 894540. If you have a long-term condition, we may need consent from your GP.

ShapeUp4Life

A ten week structured programme concerning nutrition and exercise, for adults looking for weight management. Find more details below or view our leaflet by clicking here!

 

SHAPE UP FOR LIFE

(Adult weight management programme)

Date

Location

Time

 

To be arranged

Gladstone Park Community Centre

6.00pm- 7.30pm

 

To be arranged

Millfield Community Centre, New England Complex, Lincoln Road, PE1 2PE

11.00am- 12.30pm

 

To be arranged

Millfield Community Centre, New England Complex, Lincoln Road, PE1 2PE

10.30am- 12.00pm

 

To be arranged

Gladstone Park Community Centre

12.00pm- 1.30pm

 

To be arranged

Gladstone Park Community Centre

2.00pm- 3.30pm

 

 

To apply: 

Email healthy.peterborough@nhsnet. or call direct on 01733 894540. If you have a long-term condition, we may need consent from your GP.

MyHealth app

Need to find local health services quickly?

New ‘MyHealth’ app for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

A new app to help Cambridgeshire and Peterborough residents find local NHS services available to them has been launched.

Quick and easy to use, the ‘MyHealth Cambridgeshire & Peterborough’ app will direct you to your nearest appropriate NHS service. This includes local GPs, pharmacies, minor injury units, and dentists, based on your location or postcode.

Free to download and available in five other languages, including Polish, Latvian, and Lithuanian, MyHealth provides up to date information on current services including directions, opening hours, and contact details.

The app is available to download for iOS via Apple Store and Android via Google Play by searching for 'MyHealth C&P CCG'.

 

Events Calendar

Events Calendar

Stop Smoking

Stoptober returns!

 

Did you know that if you stop smoking for 28 days you're five times more likely to stop for good?

Stoptober is the biggest stop smoking event of the year. Stoptober is a pledge to not smoke during 28 days of October. It has driven over 1 million quit attempts to date and is the biggest mass quit attempt in the country.

Why not join all the people who have succeeded in becoming smokefree and join in this year's challenge.

The Healthy Peterborough Lifestyle Service provides a free and confidential stop smoking service with fully qualified advisors giving practical help and support for your quitting journey. They can advise you of all the treatments out there that can give you the extra support you need to kick the habit for good. Come along to one of the roadshows listed below for face to face advice.

  • Friday 15 September, 12noon to 3pm, Ghousia Mosque 
  • Wednesday 20 September, 10am to 2pm, Regional College
  • Thursday 21 September, City Hospital (Mother & Child Unit)
  • Friday 22 September, Lincoln Road
  • Saturday 23 September, outside the Town Hall, Bridge Street
  • Tuesday 26 September, Werrington Shopping Centre
  • Wednesday 27 September, Serpentine Green Shopping Centre
  • Thursday 28 September, 1pm to 5pm, Marriott Hotel
  • Friday 29 September, 12noon to 3pm, Faizan-e-Madina Mosque
  • Saturday 30 September, outside the Town Hall, Bridge Street
  • Sunday 1 October, outside the Town Hall, Bridge Street
  • Tuesday 3 October, outside Asda, Rivergate
  • Tuesday 17 October, 10am to 1pm, Voyager Academy 

Alternatively contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 5655.

Everyone’s quitting journey is different, but with Stoptober, you won’t be on your own. Join the thousands quitting smoking with Stoptober and get all the support you need to help you on your quit jouney.

There a lots of ways to quit and Stoptober can help you choose what works for you. You can quit using medication (including nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gum) or e-cigarettes. Stoptober offers a range of free support to help you including an app, daily emails, Facebook Messenger and lots of encouragement from the Stoptober online community on Facebook. In addition, you can get expert face-to-face advice from local stop smoking services.

Those who use stop smoking aids and who get face-to-face support from their local stop smoking service are up to four times more likely to quit successfully.

Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your health and the health of those around you. If you can make it to 28 days smokefree, you’re 5 times more likely to stay quit for good. 

Visit our Stop Smoking pages for more advice.

Where to find a smoking clinic near you?

We have a wide range of specialist smokefree clinics across Peterborough giving you the opportunity to access one near to your home or workplace.

Sessions are weekly for up to 12 weeks and you will receive 1:1 support and advice on the most suitable medications available which will give you the best chance to quit permanently.

See below for clinics located within a GP practice and Pharmacy which you can contact directly:

If your GP practice is not on the list, we have smokefree clinics located at a number of community settings which are open to all.

Gladstone Park Community Centre                                        
Wednesday and Thursday morning                                         

Iqbal Centre, Cromwell Road
Thursday morning

Peterborough City Hospital
Tuesday and Friday morning

There is also a clinic dedicated to women who are pregnant:

Peterborough Maternity Unit, Peterborough City Hospital
Wednesday morning

To access these clinics please phone our Freephone number on 0800 376 56 55 and we will happily make you an appointment which is convenient to you.

 

 

Want to quit smoking?

Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice? 

Shaun's quitting journey

Shaun, aged 58, started his first quit attempt with our 1-1 service in December 2016 having smoked for 40 years. He had started smoking as 12-year-old boy.

Shaun had been advised by his GP that he should stop smoking as he developed very poor circulation in his foot and lower leg caused by a painful condition known as intermittent claudication. 

This is where the blood vessel (artery) to the foot becomes hardened and narrowed so that blood cannot flow through properly. The pain comes on after walking a short distance and now is so bad Shaun walks with a stick and is not able to work. 

Shaun understood that smoking constricts the blood vessels and agreed with the doctor that he should stop smoking although he really did not want to. He was offered daytime or evening/weekend appointments, but decided daytime appointments at his local GP surgery would be best for him.

At the Smoking Cessation Clinic at his local GP surgery, Shaun told his Wellness Coach that he had tried patches and an inhalator before and had not managed to quit.  He asked if he could try Champix tablets and after a discussion about his health and the medication he was on it was agreed by his GP that Shaun could start Champix on an NHS prescription for an initial two week course.

At this point Shaun was smoking about 20 cigarettes a day and his Carbon Monoxide reading was 20 parts per million which indicated he was a seriously addicted smoker with almost 4% of poisonous carbon monoxide in his bloodstream. 

The Champix course allows you to still smoke in the first couple of weeks of treatment but Shaun planned his quit date to be on day seven, which although was a bit early, was a significant date for him. It was New Year’s Eve. A good time for a resolution. 

At the next visit he said he had had a bit of nausea in the mornings so was advised to ensure he had some food before taking his tablet. This he found, really helped. He was still having a lot of cravings and the advisor discussed distraction techniques with him. For example, if thoughts of smoking entered his head it was suggested he does something else like having a drink of water or going outside for a breath of air. This should help take his mind off smoking. 

By the end of the second week, Shaun’s CO reading was down to two parts per million (down from 20) which is in the range of a non-smoker. This was a real achievement, to go from being an addicted smoker of 40 years to a non-smoker in two weeks.

Shaun continued to attend clinic every two weeks and did not smoke again, but continued to have very strong cravings. This is quite unusual for those taking Champix. He was pleased to be able to say though, that even when offered cigarettes by friends he could say: "No thank you, I don’t smoke now." 

Shaun found his quit attempt very difficult as he was suffering a lot pain. The fact he did not really want to stop smoking added to the stress. Many people would have not chosen this time to quit, however Shaun was determined to do it for the sake of his health. The doctor had warned him he may lose his leg or have a heart attack or stroke if he continued to smoke. 

By week eight, the stress in his life reduced somewhat and the cravings became fewer and easier to manage. 

At week 10 we agreed to start to reduce the dose of Champix gradually, without the cravings increasing. 

Now nine months later Shaun is still smoke free and regards himself as a non-smoker. He still has some cravings, but they are now mild and much easier to dismiss from his mind.

Shaun said that most of his cravings were brought on with stress or boredom and through his life his natural reaction was to have a cigarette at those times. Smoking to him was a way of life.

He said that he found the Smoking Cessation Service helpful as there was someone there to listen to him each week. When he was struggling not to smoke again he felt encouraged to persevere. He said he was made to feel good that he had achieved another day without smoking and felt the combination of the medication and the support really helped him. 

Shaun was pleased the Smoking Cessation sessions felt informal even though in a clinic situation and this helped relieve some of his stress. He said it feels excellent to be able to claim he is a non-smoker.

Shaun is hoping his circulation will improve enough to avoid having his leg amputated and is certain he will not smoke again. 

He believes that smoking may have caused the painful condition in his leg and foot. He is trying to walk a little further each day to try to improve his circulation, reduce his pain and improve his quality of life. 

Changing behaviour for anyone is difficult. Quitting smoking is much easier when you want to stop and can chose the best time for you to do it. Shaun succeeded despite very difficult circumstances due to his determination and the support of the Peterborough Smoking Cessation Service. 

 

Want to quit smoking?

Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice? 

Support & Useful Links - Smoking

Your FREE local stop smoking service

Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with the help of your local stop smoking service?

Services staffed by trained stop smoking advisers are available all over the city, including GP Practices and local pharmacies. Peterborough City Hospital and in some community settings. You can join a local group which meets once a week or have one-to-one support if you prefer. You usually go for a few weeks and work towards a quit date.

Find your nearest NHS Stop Smoking Service by calling the Healthy Peterborough Lifestyle Service on 0800 376 56 55 to speak to a trained advisor or email healthy.peterborough@nhs.net.


New specialist Smokefree Clinic for pregnant women and family members
 
WHEN:    Every Wednesday from 9-1pm
WHERE:  Peterborough City Hospital, Ante-natal Department
 
Ring Freephone 0800 376 5655 to book your appointment.  Remember you are 4 times more likely to give up with 1:1 support and medication and Nicotine Replacement Theraphy (NRT) is free during pregnancy
 

Talk to your GP

Many people don't realise that their GP can help them quit smoking. Your doctor can support you by referring you to a 'specialist stop smoking' clinic where you will be prescribed, nicotine replacement therapy such as patches and gum, or stop smoking medication such as Champix. You will also be offered one to one behavioral support to help deal with your cravings.

Visit your local pharmacy

Stop smoking services are also on offer at many pharmacies as part of local NHS Stop Smoking Services. As well as getting nicotine replacement therapy, such as nicotine gum or patches, or other stop-smoking medication, you'll meet with your specialist smoking advisor to discuss your progress. To find out about participating pharmacies please contact the Healthy Peterborough Lifestyle Service on 0800 376 56 55.

Peterborough pharmacies providing the Stop Smoking Service:

Rowlands Pharmacy - Craig St

Boots Pharmacy - Bretton Centre

Boots Pharmacy - Eye

Boots Pharmacy - Hampton

Boots Pharmacy - Queensgate

Botolph Pharmacy

City Pharmacy

Co-op Pharmacy - Paston

Graham Young Chemist

Lloyds Pharmacy - Bushfield

MI Pharmacy Werrington

Netherton Pharmacy

Newborough Pharmacy

Sainsburys Pharmacy - Bretton

Sainsburys Pharmacy - Oxney Road

West town Chemist

 


Useful links

Millions of people have used Smokefree support to help them stop smoking. The following links provide information about the harms of smoking, the benefits of quitting and the support to help you, from app and tools to Quit Kits to face-to-face guidance.

      

 

                              

10 self-help tips to stop smoking

If you want to stop smoking, you can make small changes to your lifestyle that may help you resist the temptation to light up.

1. Think positive

You might have tried to quit smoking before and not managed it, but don't let that put you off. Look back at the things your experience has taught you and think about how you're really going to do it this time.

2. Make a plan to quit smoking

Make a promise, set a date and stick to it. Sticking to the 'not a drag' rule can really help. Whenever you find yourself in difficulty say to yourself, "I will not have even a single drag" and stick with this until the cravings pass.

Think ahead to times where it might be difficult - a party for instance - and plan your actions and escape routes in advance.

3. Consider your diet

Is your after-dinner cigarette your favourite? A US study revealed that some foods, including meat, make cigarettes more satisfying. Others, including cheese, fruit and vegetables, make cigarettes taste terrible. So swap your usual steak or burger for a veggie pizza instead.  

4. Change your drink

The same study looked at drinks. Fizzy drinks, alcohol, cola, tea and coffee all make cigarettes taste better. So when you're out, drink more water and juice. Some people find simply changing their drink (for example, switching from wine to a vodka and tomato juice) affects their need to reach for a cigarette.

5. Identify when you crave cigarettes

A craving can last five minutes. Before you give up, make a list of five-minute strategies. For example, you could leave the party for a minute, dance, or go to the bar. And think about this: the combination of smoking and drinking raises your risk of mouth cancer by 38 times. 

6. Get moving

A review of scientific studies has proved exercise – even a five-minute walk or stretch – cuts cravings and may help your brain produce anti-craving chemicals.

7. Make non-smoking friends

When you're at a party, stick with the non-smokers. "When you look at the smokers, don't envy them," says Louise, 52, an ex-smoker. "Think of what they're doing as a bit strange – lighting a small white tube and breathing in smoke."

8. Keep your hands and mouth busy

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can double your chances of success.

As well as patches, there are tablets, lozenges, gum and a nasal spray. And if you like holding a cigarette, there are handheld products like the inhalator. There are also e-cigarettes.

When you're out, try putting your drink in the hand that usually holds a cigarette, or drink from a straw to keep your mouth busy. 

9. Make a list of reasons to quit

Keep reminding yourself why you made the decision to give up. Make a list of the reasons and read it when you need support. Ex-smoker Chris, 28, says: "I used to take a picture of my baby daughter with me when I went out. If I was tempted, I'd look at that."

10. Quit together

If friends or family members want to give up too, suggest to them that you give up together.

 

Want to quit smoking?

Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice? 

 

 

Smokefree app

The NHS Smokefree app can help you stop smoking by providing daily support and motivation. If you stay smokefree for the 4-week programme you’re up to five times more likely to stay quit for good.

Join the thousands who have already quit with our support. There's lots of other free support on offer – from emails, SMS and texts – so you can choose the support that's right for you.

Available from the Apple app store and Android Google Play store

5 benefits of quitting

1. Quit smoking to live longer

Half of all long-term smokers die early from smoking-related diseases, including heart disease, lung cancer and chronic bronchitis.

Men who quit smoking by the age of 30 add 10 years to their life. People who kick the habit at 60 add three years to their life.

In other words, it's never too late to benefit from stopping. Being smoke-free not only adds years to your life, but also greatly improves your chances of a disease-free, mobile, happier old age.

2. Stopping smoking lets you breathe more easily

People breathe more easily and cough less when they give up smoking because their lung capacity improves by up to 10% within nine months.  

In your 20s and 30s, the effect of smoking on your lung capacity may not be noticeable until you go for a run, but lung capacity naturally diminishes with age.

In later years, having maximum lung capacity can mean the difference between having an active, healthy old age and wheezing when you go for a walk or climb the stairs.

3. Stop smoking gives you more energy

Within 2 to 12 weeks of stopping smoking your blood circulation improves. This makes all physical activity, including walking and running, much easier.

You will also give a boost to your immune system, making it easier to fight off colds and flu. The increase in oxygen in the body can also reduce tiredness and the likelihood of headaches.

4. Ditch the cigarettes and feel less stressed

The withdrawal from nicotine between cigarettes can heighten feelings of stress. As the stress of withdrawal feels the same as other stresses, it's easy to confuse normal stress with nicotine withdrawal.  So, it can seem like smoking is reducing other stresses whereas this is not the case.

In fact, scientific studies show people's stress levels are lower after they stop smoking.

If you're finding that you are prone to stress, then replacing smoking with a healthier, better way of dealing with stress can give you some real benefits. 

5. A smoke-free homes protects your loved ones

By stopping smoking, you'll be protecting the health of your non-smoking friends and family, too.

Breathing in secondhand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. In children it doubles the risk of getting chest illnesses, including pneumonia, ear infections, wheezing and asthma.

They also have three times the risk of getting lung cancer in later life compared with children who live with non-smokers.

 

Support and Useful Links

 

What are the health risks of smoking?

Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK.

Every year around 100,000 people in the UK die from smoking, with many more living with debilitating smoking-related illnesses.

Smoking increases your risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions. Some may be fatal and others can cause irreversible long-term damage to your health.

You can become ill:

  • if you smoke yourself
  • through other people's smoke (passive smoking)

Smoking health risks

Smoking causes about 90% of lung cancers. It also causes cancer in many other parts of the body, including the:

  • mouth
  • lips
  • throat
  • voice box (larynx)
  • oesophagus (the tube between your mouth and stomach)
  • bladder
  • kidney
  • liver
  • stomach
  • pancreas

Smoking damages your heart and your blood circulation, increasing your risk of developing conditions such as:

Smoking also damages your lungs, leading to conditions such as:

Smoking can also worsen or prolong the symptoms of respiratory conditions such as asthma, or respiratory tract infections such as the common cold.

In men, smoking can cause impotence because it limits the blood supply to the penis. It can also reduce the fertility of both men and women.

 

Want to quit smoking?

Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice? 

  

Smoking and Cancer

Stopping smoking is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of cancer. Smoking accounts for more than 1 in 4 UK cancer deaths and more than 4 in 5 cases of lung cancer. Lung cancer survival is one of the lowest of all cancers, and is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK. Smoking causes at least 14 types of cancer as well as heart disease and various lung diseases. The good news is that many of these deaths are preventable, by giving up smoking. Speak to your GP or pharmacist, or visit the Healthy Peterborough smoking pages for information on local support to give you the best possible chance of quitting.

Many of the chemicals found in cigarettes have been shown to cause DNA damage with further chemicals interfering with the body’s ability to repair this damage. Research has shown that for every 15 cigarettes smoked there is a DNA change which could cause a cell to become cancerous. This is why it’s better to give up smoking sooner rather than later.

There are real benefits to stopping:

  • You will save money - the average smoker has 13 cigarettes a day, which works out as 364 cigarettes a month. That's £1,696 a year that you could be saving by not smoking! Try the NHS cost calculator to work out how much you could save if you give up smoking. 
  • Your breathing and general fitness will improve.
  • The appearance of your skin and teeth will improve.
  • Your fertility levels will improve, along with your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Find out how quickly your body responds when you give up smoking.

There’s no such thing as a safe way to use tobacco. Filters and low-tar cigarettes make little difference – your lung cancer risk is not lower compared to smokers of average cigarettes. This may be because smokers tend to change the way they smoke in order to satisfy their nicotine craving, for example by taking bigger puffs or smoking more cigarettes.

The serious damaging effects of smoking cannot be cancelled out by leading an otherwise healthy lifestyle, like keeping fit and eating healthily. The best way for smokers to reduce their risk of cancer, and improve their overall health, is to stop smoking completely. How you chose to quit is up to you but prescription medication and support from a specialist at your local stop smoking service gives you the best possible chance of stopping successfully.

 

Want to quit smoking?

Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice? 

Using e-cigarettes to stop smoking

Over recent years, e-cigarettes have become a very popular stop smoking aid in the UK. Evidence is still developing on how effective they are, but many people have found them helpful for quitting.

An electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) is a device that allows you to inhale nicotine without most of the harmful effects of smoking.

E-cigarettes work by heating and creating a vapour from a solution that typically contains nicotine; a thick, colourless liquid called propylene glycol and/or glycerine; and flavourings. As there is no burning involved, there is no smoke.

Will e-cigarettes help me stop smoking?

Research shows that e-cigarettes can help you give up smoking. If you want to use an e-cigarette to help you quit, you’ll give yourself the best chance if you speak to our local stop smoking service. In the year up to April 2015, two out of three people who used e-cigarettes in combination with the local stop smoking service quit smoking successfully.

E-cigarettes on prescription

Currently, there are no e-cigarettes on the market that are licensed as medicines, which means they are not available on prescription from the NHS. Once medicinally licensed e-cigarette products come onto the market, GPs and stop smoking services will be able to prescribe them alongside other stop smoking medicines.

Read about other stop smoking treatments.

Are e-cigarettes safe?

E-cigarettes do not produce tar and carbon monoxide – two of the main toxins in conventional cigarette smoke. The vapour from e-cigarettes has been found to contain some potentially harmful chemicals also found in cigarette smoke, but at much lower levels.

E-cigarettes are still fairly new and we won’t have a full picture on their safety until they have been in use for many years. However, according to current evidence on e-cigarettes, they carry a fraction of the risk of cigarettes.

New rules for e-cigarettes and their refill containers came into effect in the UK in 2016. These rules ensure that there are minimum standards for the safety and quality of all e-cigarettes and refill containers.

There are two types of safety concerns associated with e-cigarettes:

  • a fault with the e-cigarette device that could make it unsafe to use
  • side effects to your health caused by using your e-cigarette

 

 

Want to quit smoking?

Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice? 

 

 

Stop smoking treatments

If you want to stop smoking, several different treatments are available from shops, pharmacies and on prescription to help you beat your addiction and reduce withdrawal symptoms.

The main options are: 

  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
  • Varenicline (Champix)
  • Bupropion (Zyban)
  • E-cigarettes

The best treatment for you will depend on your personal preference, your age, whether you're pregnant or breastfeeding and any medical conditions you have. Speak to your GP or an NHS stop smoking adviser for advice.

Research has shown that all these methods can be effective. Importantly, evidence shows that they are most effective if used alongside support from your local stop smoking service.

The treatments available are outlined below. You can also read a summary of the pros and cons of stop smoking treatments, allowing you to compare your options.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)

The main reason that people smoke is because they are addicted to nicotine. NRT is a medication that provides you with a low level of nicotine, without the tar, carbon monoxide and other poisonous chemicals present in tobacco smoke. It can help reduce unpleasant withdrawal effects, such as bad moods and cravings, which may occur when you stop smoking.

Where to get it and how to use it:

NRT can be bought from pharmacies and some shops. It's also available on prescription from a doctor or NHS stop smoking service.

It's available as:

  • skin patches
  • chewing gum
  • inhalators (which look like plastic cigarettes)
  • tablets, oral strips and lozenges
  • nasal and mouth spray

Patches release nicotine slowly. Some are worn all the time and some should be taken off at night. Inhalators, gum and sprays act more quickly and may be better for alleviating cravings. There's no evidence that any single type of NRT is more effective than another. But there is good evidence to show that using a combination of NRT is more effective than using a single product.

Often the best way to use NRT is to combine a patch with a faster acting form such as gum, inhalator or nasal spray.  Treatment with NRT usually lasts 8-12 weeks, before you gradually reduce the dose and eventually stop.

Who can use it

Most people are able to use NRT, including:

  • adults and children over 12 years of age – although children under 18 shouldn't use the lozenges without getting medical advice first
  • pregnant women – your doctor may suggest NRT if they think it would help you quit
  • breastfeeding women – your doctor can advise you how to do this safely

Always read the packet or leaflet before using NRT to check whether it's suitable for you.  Sometimes it may be advisable to get medical advice first, for example if you have kidney or liver problems, or you've recently had a heart attack or stroke.

Possible side effects

Side effects of NRT can include:

  • skin irritation when using patches
  • irritation of nose, throat or eyes when using a nasal spray
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia), sometimes with vivid dreams
  • an upset stomach
  • dizziness
  • headaches

Any side effects are usually mild. But if they're particularly troublesome, contact your GP as the dose or type of NRT may need to be changed.

 

Varenicline (Champix)

Varenicline (brand name Champix) is a medication that works in two ways. It reduces cravings for nicotine like NRT, but it also blocks the rewarding and reinforcing effects of smoking. Evidence suggests it's the most effective medication for helping people stop smoking.

Where to get it and how to use it

Varenicline is only available on prescription, so you'll usually need to see your GP or contact an NHS stop smoking service to get it. It's taken as one to two tablets a day. You should start taking it a week or two before you try to quit. A course of treatment usually lasts around 12 weeks, but it can be continued for longer if necessary.

Who can use it

Varenicline is safe for most people to take, although there are some situations when it's not recommended. For example, it's not suitable for:

  • children under 18 years of age
  • women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • people with severe kidney problems

Possible side effects

Side effects of varenicline can include:

  • feeling and being sick
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia), sometimes with vivid dreams
  • dry mouth
  • constipation or diarrhoea
  • headaches
  • drowsiness
  • dizziness

Speak to your GP if you experience any troublesome side effects.

 

Bupropion (Zyban)

Bupropion (brand name Zyban) is a medication originally used to treat depression, but it has since been found to help people quit smoking. It's not clear exactly how it works, but it's thought to have an effect on the parts of the brain involved in addictive behaviour.

Where to get it and how to use it

Bupropion is only available on prescription, so you'll usually need to see your GP or contact an NHS stop smoking service to get it. It's taken as one to two tablets a day. You should start taking it a week or two before you try to quit. A course of treatment usually lasts around seven to nine weeks.

Who can use it

Bupropion is safe for most people to take, although there are some situations when it's not recommended. For example, it's not suitable for:

  • children under 18 years of age
  • women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • people with epilepsy, bipolar disorder or eating disorders

Possible side effects 

Side effects of bupropion can include:

  • dry mouth 
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • headaches
  • feeling and being sick
  • constipation
  • difficulty concentrating
  • dizziness

Speak to your GP if you experience any troublesome side effects.

E-cigarettes

An e-cigarette is an electronic device that delivers nicotine in a vapour. This allows you to inhale nicotine without most of the harmful effects of smoking, as the vapour contains no tar or carbon monoxide.

Research has found that e-cigarettes can help you give up smoking, so you may want to try them rather than the medications listed above. As with other approaches, they're most effective if used with support from an NHS stop smoking service.

There are no e-cigarettes currently available on prescription. But once medicinally licensed e-cigarette products become available, GPs and stop smoking services will be able to prescribe them.

For now, if you want to use an e-cigarette to help you quit, you'll have to buy one. Costs of e-cigarettes can vary, but generally they're much cheaper than cigarettes.

Read more about e-cigarettes.

 

Stopping smoking improves fertility

Non-smokers find it easier to get pregnant. Quitting smoking improves the lining of the womb and can make men's sperm more potent.

Becoming a non-smoker increases the possibility of conceiving through IVF, and reduces the likelihood of having a miscarriage.

Most importantly, it improves the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby.

Read more about how to protect your fertility.

 

 

Want to quit smoking?

Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice? 

Quitting smoking leads to better sex

Stopping smoking improves the body's blood flow so improves sensitivity.

Men who stop smoking may get better erections. Women may find their orgasms improve and they become aroused more easily.

It's also been found that non-smokers are three times more appealing to prospective partners than smokers.

Find out more tips for having good sex

 

Want to quit smoking?

Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice? 

 

Ditch the cigarettes and feel less stressed

The withdrawal from nicotine between cigarettes can heighten feelings of stress. As the stress of withdrawal feels the same as other stresses, it's easy to confuse normal stress with nicotine withdrawal.  So, it can seem like smoking is reducing other stresses whereas this is not the case.

In fact, scientific studies show people's stress levels are lower after they stop smoking.

If you're finding that you are prone to stress, then replacing smoking with a healthier, better way of dealing with stress can give you some real benefits.

Read our top 10 stress busters to find out more.

 

Want to quit smoking?

Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice? 

 

Stop smoking in pregnancy

Protecting your baby from tobacco smoke is one of the best things you can do to give your child a healthy start in life. It's never too late to stop smoking. Every cigarette you smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, so smoking when you are pregnant harms your unborn baby. Cigarettes can restrict the essential oxygen supply to your baby, so their heart has to beat harder every time you smoke. 

Benefits of stopping smoking in pregnancy

Stopping smoking will benefit both you and your baby immediately. Harmful gases like carbon monoxide and other damaging chemicals will clear from your body. When you stop smoking:

  • you will have fewer complications in pregnancy
  • you are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby
  • you will reduce the risk of stillbirth
  • you will cope better with the birth
  • your baby is less likely to be born too early and have to face the additional breathing, feeding and health problems that often go with being premature
  • your baby is less likely to be born underweight: babies of women who smoke are, on average, 200g (about 8oz) lighter than other babies, which can cause problems during and after labour, for example they are more likely to have a problem keeping warm and are more prone to infection
  • you will reduce the risk of cot death, also called sudden infant death (find out about reducing the risk of cot death)

Stopping smoking will also benefit your baby later in life. Children whose parents smoke are more likely to suffer from asthma and other more serious illnesses that may need hospital treatment.

 

New specialist Smokefree Clinic for pregnant women and family members
 
 
WHEN:    Every Wednesday from 9-1pm
WHERE:  Peterborough City Hospital, Ante-natal Department
 
Ring Freephone 0800 376 5655 to book your appointment
 
Remember you are 4 times more likely to give up with 1:1 support and medication and Nicotine Replacement Theraphy (NRT) is free during pregnancy
 
 

Want to quit smoking?

Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice? 

 

Passive smoking: protect your family and friends

Secondhand smoke is dangerous, especially for children. The best way to protect loved ones is to quit smoking. At the very least, make sure you have a smokefree home and car.

When you smoke a cigarette (or roll-up, pipe or cigar), most of the smoke doesn't go into your lungs, it goes into the air around you where anyone nearby can breathe it in. Most secondhand smoke is invisible and odourless, so no matter how careful you think you're being, people around you still breathe in the harmful poisons.

How to protect against secondhand smoke

The only surefire way to protect your friends and family from secondhand smoke is to keep the environment around them smoke free.

The best way to do that is to quit smoking completely. If you're not ready to quit, make every effort to keep your cigarette smoke away from other people and never smoke indoors or in the car.

  • Always smoke outside
  • Ask your visitors to smoke outside
  • Don't smoke in the car or allow anyone else to

Children and passive smoking

Passive smoking is especially harmful for children as they have less well-developed airways, lungs and immune systems.

It's estimated that more than one in five children in the UK live in a household where at least one person smokes and, as a result, they're more likely to develop:

To protect children, there is a new ban on smoking in cars and other vehicles carrying children. From October 1 2015 it is against the law to smoke in a private vehicle if there’s a young person under-18 present.

 

Want to quit smoking?

Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice? 

 

 

Paan, bidi and shisha

Tobacco that you don’t smoke (including paan, betel quid and chewing tobacco) is not a 'safe' way to use tobacco. It causes cancer and can be as addictive as smoking. Find out the risks and how you can quit.

Chewing tobacco and cancer risk

Betel quid, paan or gutkha is a mixture of ingredients, including betel nut (also called areca nut), herbs, spices and often tobacco, wrapped in a betel leaf. Chewing smokeless tobacco, such as paan or gutkha, is popular with many people from south Asian communities, but all forms of tobacco can harm your health. Research has shown that using smokeless tobacco raises the risk of mouth cancer and oesophageal cancer. Studies have also found that betel itself can raise the risk of cancer, so chewing betel quid without tobacco is still harmful.

Cigarettes, bidi and shisha

Smoking increases your risk of cancerheart disease and respiratory problems. This is true whether you smoke cigarettes, bidi (thin cigarettes of tobacco wrapped in brown tendu leaf) or shisha (also known as a water pipe or hookah). A World Health Organization study has suggested that during one session on a water pipe (around 20 to 80 minutes) a person can inhale the same amount of smoke as a cigarette smoker consuming 100 or more cigarettes.

 

Want to quit smoking?

Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice? 

 

How quickly you will notice the benefits when you quit smoking

Stopping smoking can make a drastic improvement to your lifestyle and health in ways you might not expect. Once you stop smoking, some of the benefits are immediate and some are longer-term.

After 20 minutes

Pulse rate returns to normal.

After 8 hours

Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by more than half and oxygen levels return to normal.

After 48 hours

Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body. Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris.

After 48 hours

There is no nicotine in the body. Ability to taste and smell is improved.

After 72 hours

Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase.

After 2-12 weeks

Your circulation improves.

After 3-9 months

Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function increases by up to 10%.

After 1 year

Risk of heart disease is about half compared with a person who is still smoking.

After 10 years

Risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker.

After 15 years

Risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.

Also....

  • You will save money - the average smoker has 13 cigarettes a day, which works out as 364 cigarettes a month. That's £141 a month and £1,696 a year that you could be saving by not smoking. Use our cost calculator to work out how much you could save
  • Your sense of taste will return and you will enjoy the taste of food more.
  • Your breathing and general fitness will improve.
  • The appearance of your skin and teeth will improve.
  • You'll be more confident in social situations because you won't smell of stale smoke any more.
  • Your fertility levels will improve, along with your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby.

 

Want to quit smoking?

Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice? 

  

Key times to quit smoking

Research shows that most smokers get motivated to quit very suddenly, spurred into action by a specific event, milestone or resolution.

Stop smoking in October

Why quit? Did you know that if you stop smoking for 28 days you're five times more likely to stop for good? Stoptober is the biggest stop smoking event of the year. Why not join all the people who have succeeded in becoming smokefree and join in this year's challenge.

New Year's stop smoking resolution

Why quit? Around seven million of us will make a New Year's resolution to improve an aspect of our health and stopping smoking is one of the most common ones. 

Stop smoking if you are pregnant

Why quit? If you are thinking about having a baby - or you're already pregnant - you have two big reasons to stop smoking. Both you and your baby will be healthier and you will be less likely to have problems during the birth.

Stop smoking on No Smoking Day

Why quit? Every year around a million smokers, especially women, use No Smoking Day to try to quit. The British Heart Foundation charity estimates that more than 1.5 million smokers have quit for good since its launch in 1983, that's more than 45,000 every year.

Quit when you want to get fit

Why quit? Maybe you've decided to start an exercise programme or take up a new sport, and you've noticed how smoking-related symptoms, like shortness of breath, affect you when you exercise.

Smoking can dramatically reduce your endurance meaning that your will take longer to recover after exercise. But as soon as you quit, you'll find that you feel fitter, less breathless and better able to play sports.

Quit when you become a grandparent

Why quit? You probably want to spend as much time with your new grandchild as possible, and if you smoke you could be harming the baby's health. Consider how your son or daughter may feel about you smoking around their baby.

Children who breathe in secondhand smoke are at more risk of serious conditions including allergies, asthma, chest infections and breathing problems.

Going into hospital 

Why quit? Because hospitals are in the business of making people well, many of them don't allow smoking on their grounds at all.

Seeing a stay in hospital as an opportunity to stop smoking for good is a far more positive step than going there feeling angry that you won't be able to smoke.

If you're having an operation, there's the added incentive that if you stop smoking before you go into hospital you'll recover more quickly and there will be less chance of complications.

 

Want to quit smoking?

Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice? 

 

Stop Smoking Testimonials

'Its now been just over 3 months since I smoked my last cigarette. I'm amazed by how easy I found it with the help and support of Elaine both in person and at the end of the phone, especially as I really enjoyed smoking.

Within this time I've also moved home and it’s been great having the money available to spend on decorating now that I don't have to pay for cigarettes. Its surprised me just by how much I used to spend without realising!

I love the fact that my clothes and hair no longer smell of smoke and I feel quite happy to stand in a lift at work with my colleagues now and not being on the receiving end of a disapproving stare because of the lift being consumed with the horrible stench of smoke. My health has improved dramatically and the annoying cough I has vanished.

I know some people may find this a cliché but if I can quit smoking anyone can........people just need to give it a try and see how they get on and like me surprised by the results but it’s worth a go!'

 

 

Physical Activity

FREE 3 day gym pass

Try out a great Healthy Peterborough and Vivacity gym offer of a FREE 3 day gym pass at:

  • Regional Fitness & Swimming Centre
  • Bushfield Leisure Centre
  • Werrington Leisure Centre
  • Hampton Leisure Centre
  • Jack Hunt Pool and Gym

To take up the offer, visit any of the above gyms between 1 August 2017 to 30 September 2017 and quote ' Healthy Peterborough'.

As well as access to their high-tech gym areas, try out their fantastic fitness class programme and unlimited swimming.

For further details call 01733 864 000 or email membership@vivacity-peterborough.com

Let's get Moving

An eight week exercise-only programme for adults who want to increase their physical activity - can be mixed gender or ladies-only. Find out more by view our leaflet here!

 LGM 1 LGM 2

 

Date/ Group/ Instructor

Location

Time

Monday 11th September

Ladies only

TruGym

1:45pm- 2:45pm

Monday 11th September

Mixed Sessions

TruGym

3pm- 4pm

Monday 11th September

Ladies only

Millfield Community Centre

11:00am- 12:00pm

Wednesday 13th September

Ladies only

Gladstone Park Community Centre

11:00am- 12:00pm

Wednesday 13th September

Mixed Sessions

Gladstone Park Communtiy Centre

12:30pm- 1:30pm


To apply:
 

Email healthy.peterborough@nhsnet. or call direct on 01733 894540 to book on the dates above or to enquire about future dates. If you have a long-term condition, we may need consent from your GP.

Support & Useful Links - Physical Activity

If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented. It’s free, easy to take and has an immediate effect.

People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers. Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

However for some people becoming more active requires support.  Below are local physical activity programmes as well as links to national websites that can give advice. 

FREE Let's Get Moving classes 
An eight week exercise-only programme for adults who want to increase their physical activity - can be mixed gender or ladies-only. Find out more by view our leaflet here

 

Let's get Healthy
Our free healthy lifestyles club running in schools and community settings for 4-12 year olds. Find out more

 

 

 

Vivacity
Vivacity offers a range of sporting activities to encourage people from all backgrounds and ages to become more active and participate in sport and fitness activities. Some activities are free and some are provided at subsidised prices, due to their specialist nature.

Children's activities
Disability Sports
Exercise for people with long term health conditions
Nordic Walking and Walking for Health

 

PGER new logo 2017

Perkins Great Eastern Run
Be part of one of the biggest and best half marathons in the region. If your fitness levels aren't up for the half marathon, sign up for the 5k fun run.  Free training sessions are also available.


     Change4Life
As well as healthy eating, Change4Life also have lots of advice on moving more and offer the 10 minute shake-up, primarily aimed at children.
   

OneYou
Here you are find useful advice and apps to help - Active 10 and Couch to 5k

 

 

Our Parks Peterborough
Our Parks is a brand new initiative bringing FREE, group exercise classes, led by experienced, fully qualified and insured instructors, to Central Park, Peterborough.

 

 

Walk Peterborough
Walk Peterborough's website is designed specifically to record different routes around the city and surrounding areas. In addition, through mobile optimisation and GPS data, you can now conveniently map and follow your route on the go.

 


Inspire Peterborough

Inspire Peterborough for those interested in disability and inclusive sport. 
 

Disability Peterborough
DIAL Peterborough is your local centre for free confidential and impartial information and advice, for physically disabled people, their carers and families. The purpose of DIAL Peterborough is to provide a range of services that assist people with physical disabilities to achieve their potential and have maximum choice and control over their lives. 
   
   

 

 

 

Active 10 app

Evidence shows ten minutes of walking at a brisk intensity each day can help prevent cancer, heart disease and poor mental health.  

Public Health England's are encouraging people to do brisk 10 minute walks with Active 10 app.  Building 10 minutes continuous brisk walking into their day as a simple way to improve their health. 

The app is particularly aimed at those who have an inactive or low activity lifestyle and may find incorporating activity into their day challenging. The ‘Active 10’ app has been developed to show how much brisk walking a person is doing each day and how to incorporate more of it into their lifestyles.

We know that inactivity can lead to a whole host of health implications. But simply incorporating regular 10 minute brisk walks into everyone’s day can make a world of difference to both health, as well as general wellbeing. Plus, it is free! What could be better!

The free app combines walking intensity and time, rather than just distance or steps and is the first of its kind. It helps people gradually introduce more activiy into their daily routine, with goal setting advice and motivational tips. It has already helped 50,000 adults get more active. 

Middle aged health at risk as over 740,000 adults in East of England do not manage a brisk ten minute walk each month. Physical inactivity amongst adults contributes to one in six deaths in the UK 3 and is costing the NHS over £0.9 billion per year.

The Active10 app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play
 

 

How much should you be doing?

1. Children under 5 years old

Children under five should not be inactive for long periods, except when they're asleep. Watching TV, travelling by car, bus or train, or being strapped into a buggy for long periods are not good for a child's health and development. There's growing evidence that such behaviour can increase their risk of poor health. 

Being physically active every day is important for the healthy growth and development of babies, toddlers and preschoolers. For this age group, activity of any intensity should be encouraged, including light activity and more energetic physical activity.

2. Children and young people aged 5 to 18

To stay healthy or to improve health, young people need to do three types of physical activity each week: aerobic exercise and exercises to strengthen bones and muscles, such as:

  • at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day – this should range from moderate activity, such as cycling and playground activities, to vigorous activity, such as running and tennis
  • on three days a week, these activities should involve exercises for strong muscles, such as push-ups, and exercises for strong bones, such as jumping and running

Many vigorous activities can help you build strong muscles and bones, including anything involving running and jumping, such as gymnastics, martial arts and football.

Children and young people should reduce the time they spend sitting watching TV, playing computer games and travelling by car when they could walk or cycle instead.

3. Adults aged 19 - 64

To stay healthy, adults aged 19-64 should try to be active daily and should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

Moderate activity will raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to tell if you're working at a moderate level is if you can still talk, but you can't sing the words to a song.

4. Older adults aged 65 and over

To stay healthy or to improve health, older adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and strength exercises.

Older adults aged 65 or older, who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility, should try to be active daily and should do:

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or walking every week, and
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

 

Support and Useful Links

 

How fit are you?


The risk of many of the leading causes of ill health, such as coronary heart disease, cancer and type two diabetes, could be reduced if we were to play more sport and increase our overall levels of physical activity. 

Fitting some physical activity into your day is easier than you think.  Being active is really good for your body, mind and health – and there are lots of easy ways you can get moving!

By meeting recommended levels of physical activity for adults, your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes is reduced by up to 50%. 

Experts recommend that adults should do 150 minutes a week of physical activity that makes you breathe faster such as cycling or fast walking. This can be done in 30 minute sessions at different times.

Examples of activities that require moderate effort for most people include:

  • walking fast

  • water aerobics

  • riding a bike on level ground or with few hills

  • doubles tennis

  • pushing a lawn mower

  • hiking

  • skateboarding

  • rollerblading

  • volleyball

  • basketball 

Moderate activity will raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to tell if you're working at a moderate level is if you can still talk, but you can't sing the words to a song.

We should also carry out strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

Are you doing enough? Find out by taking the One You quiz.

Vivacity leisure centres in the City Centre, Orton, Werrington, Netherton and Hampton offer exercise for health classes, as well gym and swimming options. 

Sit less and move more

Modern day life means it’s never felt easier to get to the end of the day and realise you’ve been sat down for most of it. 

People are less active nowadays, partly because technology has made our lives easier. We drive cars or take public transport. Machines wash our clothes. We entertain ourselves in front of a TV or computer screen. Fewer people are doing manual work, and most of us have jobs that involve little physical effort. Work, house chores, shopping and other necessary activities are far less demanding than for previous generations.

We move around less and burn off less energy than people used to. Research suggests that many adults spend more than seven hours a day sitting down, at work, on transport or in their leisure time. People aged over 65 spend 10 hours or more each day sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary age group.
 
Inactivity is described by the Department of Health as a “silent killer”. Evidence is emerging that sedentary behaviour, such as sitting or lying down for long periods, is bad for your health. Not only should you try to raise your activity levels, but you should also reduce the amount of time you and your family spend sitting down.
 
Finding ways to be more active can start with reducing the amount of time we spend sitting down – get up, stretch your legs and do more steps each day.

Take the stairs whenever you can and go on a brisk walk to the shops instead of driving.  

If you work at a computer most days, try getting up to talk to a colleague instead of an email, or make a cup of tea for your team. 

Spending hours watching television is not good for our bodies so why not swap the living room for the garden? Gardening is a great way of getting outdoors and being active – you could even have fun growing your own veggies too!

Surprise the dog by taking it for a walk twice a day or a much longer walk than usual – you’ll both benefit!  

Try going for a brisk walk in the park or a bike ride, or even dancing to the radio.   If you’re looking for some great places to take a walk, why not try local nature and wildlife reserves such as Cuckoo’s Hollow in Werrington, Thorpe Wood Woodlands or the Stanground Wash. 

Maybe clean the car by hand yourself using a bucket and sponge, rather than taking it to the car wash. Good for you and your wallet and you could even get the kids to help!

For young adults there are a number of skate parks and BMX tracks open to the public at all times, some are nationally recognised facilities attracting riders from all over the country.

For most of us, daily chores such as shopping or housework don't count towards your activity target. This is because your body doesn't work hard enough to get your heart rate up.

Click on the links below for ideas on building more activity into your life:

Check out Amazon's One You Health Hub where you can find products to help you live a healthier lifestyle, whether that'sgetting you more active, tracking your health or getting a better night's sleep.

Build strength

Building your strength helps keep your muscles, bones and joints strong. This will help you feel stronger, more flexible and full of energy.

Muscle strength is necessary for all daily movement, to build and maintain strong bones, to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure and to help maintain a healthy weight. 

To achieve health benefits from strength exercises, you should do them to the point where you struggle to complete another repetition. 

There are many ways you can strengthen your muscles, whether it's at home or in the gym such as carrying groceries, stepping and jumping such as dancing, heavy gardening such as digging or shovelling and exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups or lifting weights. 

Watersports and outdoor activities provide great strength-building exercises for people of all ages, and you can try lots of thee type of activities at Ferry Meadows Country Park.  Ferry Meadows also has lakes, meadows, woodlands and a riverside that make it a popular destination for many visitors throughout the year for relaxing walks as well as cycle routes.

The Strength and Flex exercise 5-week plan consists of a series of equipment-free exercises designed to improve your strength and flexibility. Strength and Flex will help you achieve your recommended two weekly sessions of strength exercises.

Get moving now

It is estimated in the UK that one out of every six early deaths results from not being physically active. 

 

Physical inactivity costs the NHS £900 million per year and if other costs such as social care are taken into account, this rises to £7.4 billion per year.

It's easy to move more and doing something is better than nothing. Start small and build up gradually – just 10 minutes at a time can be really good for you.  Make a start today. It's never too late.

By building activity into your day it keeps your heart healthy, reduces your risk of serious illness and strengthens muscles and bones. It can also be a great way of reducing your stress levels and lifting your mood if you’re feeling down. Our busy lives often means our own health is at the bottom of our list of priorities, but remember that it’s important to take time to look after yourself as not only will you feel the benefits but so will your family.  Get your heart beating faster and your lungs working harder for at least 10 minutes at a time.

Take the free online One You health quiz, to get personalised recommendations on how to start the fight back to a healthier you. Check out your score and see what tools and offers One You suggests to help you change.  Being active is all about having fun. If we don’t enjoy it, we won’t keep it up, and we all deserve to spend some time doing something we enjoy.

10 minute workouts
Short on time? Hate the gym? Too tired to exercise after work? These 10-minute workouts are just what you need. These equipment-free fitness routines are great to do at home and short enough for you to easily fit them into your daily schedule. There are six workouts, one for every day of the week if you include a rest day, each working on a different area of your fitness. 

10,000 steps challenge
Walking more, whether it's for work or leisure, is an easy way of being more active without trying too hard. Setting yourself a target of walking 10,000 steps a day can be a fun way of increasing the amount of physical activity you do. Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and give you a healthier heart.

12-week fitness plan
Want to improve your health? Need to lose weight? This activity plan for beginners, combining running and strength and flexibility workouts, will get you into the habit of regular exercise in 12 weeks.  The plan is structured but flexible enough to allow you to fit the exercise sessions around your other weekly commitments.

Fitness Studio exercise classes
Take your pick from among 20 instructor-led videos in our aerobics, strength and resistance, pilates and yoga categories. No gym fees, no intimidating group classes, no timetables: exercise from the comfort of your own home whenever you want.

Gym-free workouts
Put the fun back into fitness with these equipment-free workouts for all levels.  These illustrated guides are designed to help make your workouts effective and easy to follow. 

Couch to 5k
The NHS Couch to 5K plan is designed to get you off the couch and gradually work you up to running 5K or for half an hour, in just nine weeks.

5 minute wake-up workout
Start your day feeling on top of the world with this five-minute bedroom workout combining strength and flexibility exercises.

Perkins Great Eastern Run 5k or half marathon
If you’re really keen, Peterborough hosts the Perkins Great Eastern Run in October each year and it is one of the fastest growing half marathons in the country. It also has a 5k fun run. 

Protect your mind

Being active is really good for your mind as well as your body. Getting some physical activity each day can help prevent you getting depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.

Moving more can also help you get a good night's sleep, which helps your brain to rest and recharge. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, being active every day can help to ease the symptoms. Physical activity can also help with stress by helping to clear your thoughts so you can deal with any problems more calmly. 

How exercise helps your mental wellbeing 

Scientists think that physical activity helps maintain and improve wellbeing in a number of ways. Physical activity can help people with mild depression. Evidence shows that it can also help protect people against anxiety. Physical activity is thought to cause chemical changes in the brain, which can help to positively change our mood. Some scientists think that being active can improve wellbeing because it brings about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge.

How you can get more active

If you want to get active, think about physical activity in the broadest sense. It can help to read the physical activity guidelines for adults. Adults aged 19 and over should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity – such as fast walking or cycling – a week.

Find activities that you enjoy, then make them a part of your life. There's lots of information and advice on NHS Choices to help you get active:

Feel happier and enjoy life more with these five evidence-based steps for improving your mental wellbeing.

Benefits of physical activity

It’s free, easy to take, has an immediate effect and you don’t need a GP to get some. Its name? Exercise.

Physical activity can help keep you fit and well and reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.

Click on the links below to find out if you're doing enough for your age:

Exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but for too long we’ve neglected to take our recommended dose. Our health is now suffering as a consequence.

This is no snake oil. Whatever your age, there's strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and even happier life.

People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.

Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

“If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented,” says Dr Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant.

Health benefits

Given the overwhelming evidence, it seems obvious that we should all be physically active. It's essential if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.

It's medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:

  • up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke

  • up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes

  • up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer

  • up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer

  • a 30% lower risk of early death

  • up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis

  • up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture

  • a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)

  • up to a 30% lower risk of depression

  • up to a 30% lower risk of dementia

Being active means getting your heart rate up, feeling warmer (perhaps even breaking into a light sweat) and making your lungs work harder.  There are dozens of local community centres around the Greater Peterborough area and surrounding villages, offering lots of opportunities to get moving, try something new and meet local people, so why not find out what yours has to offer?

Walking

Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.  

It's underrated as a form of exercise, but walking is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels who want to be more active.

Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers.

Image result for benefits of walking

You can walk 1,000 steps in around 10 minutes. Pedometers are a fun way to keep track of your walking. Use a pedometer to work out your average daily steps and then start adding extra steps. Find out how you can benefit from walking 10,000 steps on five or more days a week.

Here are some local walking schemes:

Walking for health

Vivacity have joined forces with Walking for Health and are currently running local walks in the Peterborough area.

Walking can improve general health and happiness, joining a local walking group often encourages people to explore the outdoors, get to know their local area and meet like-minded new people. It’s really easy to get started with walking as you don’t need any special equipment, it’s completely FREE, plus it counts towards your recommended amount of physical activity.

Walking for Health enables individuals of all ages to get moving more. This form of exercise is low impact so great for people that live with any long term condition and an excellent way to socialise with like-minded individuals.

There are a number of different locations across the Peterborough area where the groups meet on a regular basis including Ferry Meadows, Werrington, Orton Mere and Dogsthorpe to name a few. There are some beautiful routes so great for taking in some of the local scenery.

Most of the walks can be adapted so you can either take a short walk, or a longer stroll depending on your own preference or ability. Everyone is welcome!

Elaine Pringle, who is one of the Walk Leaders commented: “All of the walks are on solid paths and are not just through housing estates. The walks accommodate people of differing capabilities and speeds. You do not feel that you are in a race and everyone is friendly and welcoming. The walk leaders are all volunteers but take the time to make sure all of the walkers are OK throughout the walks. Some of the walks are followed by a cuppa and a good old natter in a local café!”

The Walking for Health scheme has helped Elaine personally following chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for lung cancer 2 years ago. “Some of the medication I was on led to weight gain and it was suggested that I walked on a regular basis to tackle this. I was made aware of the Walking for Health scheme and joined a twice weekly 3 mile walk at my local country park. When I first joined I didn’t know anyone else but everyone was very friendly and welcoming. As the walks were at the same time and place each week I found it easier to attend. I would most definitely recommend this scheme to others. It's a great way to get some exercise and you meet some lovely people too!”

Prices: Free to all.
For more information call 01733 864 738 or email walks@vivacity-peterborough.com
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/walks.


Walk Peterborough

The new Walk Peterborough website provides an even easier way to enjoy walking in your local area. The website is designed specifically to record different routes around the city and surrounding areas. In addition, through mobile optimisation and GPS data, you can now conveniently map and follow your route on the go.

Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s cultural and heritage sites, enjoy family-friendly days out, improve your health and well-being, want to find dog-friendly walks or simply looking to enjoy the natural environment – there’s something for everyone! You can also choose a walking distance to suit your requirements.

The charity Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) has produced the new website, with funding from Travelchoice. Travelchoice aims to encourage the use of sustainable travel, reduce the need to travel by car, and improve the quality of life for all residents while reducing the city’s impact on climate change.

“Walk Peterborough is a fantastic resource for exploring the beauty of the city on foot with friends, family and colleagues,” explains Esther Baffa-Isaacs, Sustainable Travel Officer at Travelchoice. “It can be used to plot your commute to work, college or university and set up walking buses to schools. The value of the social aspects of the site is endless because it makes it possible for people to share their latest walking adventure and give inspiration to others.”

Not only can you see a range of suggested walks to do around Peterborough, you can even add in your own route ideas to help others like you discover more of Peterborough. For more information, please email info@pect.org.uk and visit the website at www.walkpeterborough.co.uk.

 

Nordic Walking

Nordic Walking is a popular Scandinavian sport that offers a 98% full-body workout and provides great social and physical benefits for everyone. After completing the Learn to Nordic Walk course,participants can take part in our four weekly Nordic Walks, with all equipment provided free of charge. Nordic walks go from Bushfield and Hampton Leisure Centres, the Regional Pool and Central Park.

Prices for the course: £15 for Vivacity Card Holders and £35 for non-card holders

Prices for the Nordic walks: Free to Vivacity Card Holders and £4 for non-card holders.

For more information call 01733 864 738 or email 

See more at 
www.vivacity-peterborough.com/nordicwalking.

Active Travel

We all rely on cars and public transport, because they make our lives so easy.  

Choosing more active ways to get around is a fun and easy way to fit more activity into your daily routine.  It can take a little longer and you may not be able to do it for all your journeys, but you may be surprised where you can swap the car or public transport for two legs or two wheels.  

Also, walking or cycling instead of can also be good for your pocket, as well as the environment. 

The Peterborough Green Wheel offers 45 miles of on-road and traffic-free cycle paths in and around the city to help you find alternative ways of getting to and from work, taking the school run or leisurely rides. Find out more at Travelchoice.  They can also do you a personalised travel plan.

Sustrans have great advice on how to start cycling to work, and you can even get a new commuting bike without having to pay up front through the cycle to work scheme.

Active in younger years helps you age well

Living healthily in middle age can double your chances of being healthy when you are 70.  Being active is critical to maintain a healthy body and mind for later years, and poorer health in later life is not inevitable.

Older age can mean living as well as young people by making relatively small changes to our habits and lifestyles now.  Not being active increases our risk of many conditions that will impact on future quality of life, including dementia, osteoarthritis and general physical limitations in older age. 

Older adults can be more at risk of falling, and should do exercises to improve balance and co-ordination on at least two days a week, such as yoga, tai chi and dancing. 

Being active slows the natural breakdown of your bones and muscles, and helps us maintain a healthy weight and good circulation. It also helps maintain our brains. 

If you’re looking to be active with the children or grandchildren, there are over 200 play areas for families of all ages in and around PeterboroughFacilities at some of the parks such as Central Park include a paddling pool, sensory garden, an aviary, a cafe and sports playing grounds.  The Embankment is within easy walking distance of the city centre and runs along the picturesque views of the River Nene, Bretton Park boasts one of the largest green open spaces whilst Itter Park in Paston has a bowling green and a putting green.

Pedal yourself to a healthier lifestyle

There are over 250km of cycle lanes and paths in Peterborough making cycling safe, accessible and enjoyable for the whole family. Whether you are taking leisurely rides on the Green Wheel or using our primary cycle network to reach your school or place of work, this city loves cyclists. 

Dust off your saddle and get on your bike for an easy and low impact activity, whilst improving your fitness and reducing your stress levels.

  • A cycle ride of fifteen minutes to work or the shops and back meets the recommendation for an adult’s daily activity

  • On average, cyclists live two years longer than non-cyclists and are as fit as an average person ten years younger

  • Too dangerous to cycle? Being inactive presents a much greater risk than non-cycling, with 50,000 people dying in the UK each year due to coronary heart disease related to insufficient physical activity

  • From gentle exercise to serious sport, cycling burns off calories, raises your metabolic rate and helps you to feel and look a whole lot healthier

  • Cycling firms your thighs and bottom and can even help tone your stomach muscles

As well as being good for your health you will also save money and the environment.

View Travelchoice's Get Cycling booklet for advice on cycling around Peterborough. 

For cycle routes, download Peterborough's urban cycle map and rural cycle map or try out a scenic cycle leisure routesNene Park Loop, Nassaburgh Trail, John Clare Country, Crown Lake Link and Celtic Causeway.

Set yourself a Great Eastern Challenge

Why not set yourself the challenge to be part of one of the biggest and best half marathons in the region. If your fitness levels aren't up for the half marathon, sign up for the 5k fun run (you can walk it if running is still a but daunting for you). You could even get the whole family involved in the 5k. 

The Perkins Great Eastern Run takes place on Sunday 8 October 2017 and has a great reputation among half marathons in the UK, as its fast, flat course gives runners an excellent chance of a personal best. 

Novice runners can get all the running support and training advice they need for the race. Free weekly training sessions take place at the Peterborough Embankment Athletics Track from July and on race day pacers will lead runners around the course at a variety of speeds.

To register for this year’s half marathon or 5k please go to www.perkinsgreateasternrun.co.uk.

Disability Sports

 

Vivacity offers a range of sporting activities to encourage people from all backgrounds and ages to become more active and participate in sport and fitness activities. Our Sports Development services focus on making sports accessible to everyone focussing on children’s activities and disability sports.

Some activities are free and some are provided at subsidised prices, due to their specialist nature.

FINS Disability Swimming
FINS is part of the Vivacity Swim Academy aligned with the Swim England framework and is delivered in stages for children and young people with disabilities aged between 5-19. Students get extra support in the water from staff and volunteers with classes every Saturday from 2-4pm.
Prices: £78 per for 12 classes or £25 per month with direct debit at Jack Hunt Pool.
For more information call 01733 864 759 or email swim.academy@vivacity-peterborough.com.
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/fins.

Shark Basketball Club
Try your hand at basketball at one of our weekly sessions. Shark’s is a disability club that is open to individuals of all ages and abilities. Sessions take place every Sunday at Hampton Leisure Centre from 11-12pm.
Price: £2 per session at Hampton Leisure Centre.
For more information call 01733 863 783 or email disabilitysports@vivacity-peterborough.com
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/disabilitysports.

Adapted Cycling
The Peterborough Adapted Cycling Scheme (PACS) gives individuals with disabilities the opportunity to try a range of specifically adapted bikes from hand cycling to adapted cycling. We have a number of qualified and experienced coaches on hand to offer support.
Sessions are every Wednesday from 10.30-11.30am and 5-7pm at the Regional Pool and Thursdays* from 10-6pm and Saturdays* from 10-12pm at Ferry Meadows (*April to September only).
Price: £2 per session
For more information call 01733 863 783 or email 
disabilitysports@vivacity-peterborough.com
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/adaptedcycling.

Table Cricket Festival
Played on a table tennis surface, Table Cricket is fun for any participants covering a range of disabilities. This festival runs on a regular basis throughout the winter months at Hampton Leisure Centre.
To register your interest call 01733 863 783 or email disabilitysports@vivacity-peterborough.com.
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/tablecricket.

Disability Dance
Individuals can enjoy learning dance routines, creating their own style and having fun with the freedom to express themselves to a variety of music. This session is suitable for everyone regardless of age, ability or physical restriction with session every Tuesday from 1-2pm.
Price: £3 per session at Hampton Leisure Centre.
For more information call 01733 863 783 or email 
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/disabilitydance.

Archery programme
This fun indoor and outdoor activity is designed to be fully-inclusive regardless of disability with a fun competition every last Friday of each month. Dedicated archery leaders are on hand to help participants find a way of shooting that suits them.
Sessions run on Sundays at Werrington Leisure Centre between 9.45-10.45am and every Friday* at Focus Community Centre from 11-12pm (*October to March only).
Outdoor sessions run every Friday** at the Embankment Sports and Athletics Arena at the Regional Pool from 11-12.30pm (**April to September only).
Price: £3 per session or £24 for six classes.
For more information call 01733 863 783 or email disabilitysports@vivacity-peterborough.com
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/archery.

Boccia programme
Boccia is similar to bowls and is enjoyable for everyone and especially those with severe impairments and is open to everyone with carers and family members are more than welcome. Sessions are every Saturday from 10.00am-12.00pm.
Price: £2 per session at the Peterborough Bowls Club.
For more information call 01733 863 783 or email disabilitysports@vivacity-peterborough.com
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/boccia.

Rebound Therapy
Rebound Therapy is a form of exercise therapy that uses trampolines to provide opportunities for movement, therapeutic exercise and recreation for people across the whole spectrum of special needs. Sessions are every Thursday 4-6pm during term time only.
Price: £3 per session at Phoenix Upper School
For more information call 01733 863 783 or email disabilitysports@vivacity-peterborough.com
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/reboundtherapy.

 

Weekly park runs

Peterborough Parkrun is a FREE weekly 5km event for runners of all standards, which takes place every Saturday at 9am in Ferry Meadows Country Park, Ham Lane, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 5UU. It is not a race against other runners, but a 5k timed run and it can really be whatever you want it to be, whether that's for fun or as part of a training plan.

It offers an opportunity for all the local community, male or female, young or old, to come together on a regular basis to enjoy this beautiful park and get physically active into the bargain. We want to encourage people to jog or run together irrespective of their ability – this event is truly open to all and best of all it really is FREE!

Taking part is easy – just register before your first ever parkrun. The great thing is that you only ever need to do this once! Then just set your alarm for Saturday morning and get yourself there!

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the Ferry Meadows Café, show you barcode and get a 10% discount - please come and join us! Maybe swap stories about your run that day, chat to other runners over a cup of tea or coffee and just be an important part of this new running community.

So whether you are a complete novice looking to get yourself started on your own "running journey" or a seasoned athlete wanting to use this as a part of your training schedule, you’re welcome to come along and join us.

FREE exercise classes at Central Park


Our Parks is a brand new initiative bringing FREE, group exercise classes, led by experienced, fully qualified and insured instructors, to Central Park, Peterborough.

The following classes are currently running:

BOOT CAMP
Thursdays at 18:00
Sundays at 10:00
A fitness boot camp class that mixes traditional calisthenic and body weight exercises, with interval and strength training.

What is Our Parks?

Our Parks has been created to make it easy and free for you to get fit: 

  • Our Parks classes are delivered by fully qualified and registered coaches
  • Classes are for all ability levels and ages, please view the below colour grading and class descriptions to choose the right classes for you
  • Classes last 1 hour in duration
  • You must be aged 16 or over to attend a class without an adult
  • Children aged 3 and over are welcome to attend classes, one child per adult
  • If you are under 16 but wanting to attend un-accompanied, you must have your legal guardian's permission

How it works

  • You can Join for FREE by registering here.
  • Complete your personal details including a valid email address.
  • You receive a confirmation email and click link to access your account.
  • Your unique profile will be created.
  • Browse / search for classes in parks near you via postcode or class types and book class.
  • Attend classes for FREE.

SO TURN UP, TONE UP AND GET FIT NOW BY JOINING FREE TODAY.

 

Services for people living with chronic or long term health conditions

Vivacity have a range of health and wellbeing services for people living with chronic or long term health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and dementia and is a low-impact way to help people improve their quality of life through gentle exercise.

Hampton Leisure Centre

Monday 10.45am-11.45am Diabetes/Hypertension/Overweight or Obese
Tuesday 10.45am-11.45am Increasing mobility
Thursday 11am-12noon Musculoskeletal conditions
Thursday 1.45pm-2.45pm Stress, anxiety or depression
Thursday 1.45pm-2.45pm Dementia


Regional Fitness & Swimming Centre
 

Monday 12noon-1pm Dementia-friendly swim (£2.50)
Tuesday 7.30pm-9pm Dementia-friendly swim (£2.50)
Thursday 12noon-1pm Dementia-friendly swim (£2.50)
Friday 11.30am-12.30pm Cancer rehabilitation

 

Paston and Gunthorpe Community Centre

Monday 3pm-4pm Exercise for health - anyone with a health condition


Prices for the courses listed above are: £3 per session
or £2.50 for the Dementia-Friendly Swim sessions.
For more information call 01733 864 764 or email 
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/healthservices.

 

Aqua Relax in the Sensory Pool
Let the lighting and ocean scenes take away all the stresses and strains and transport you to a relaxing environment. Soak in a comforting 32 degree shallow pool for optimum relaxation. Sessions are every Wednesday 8-9pm (ladies only) Sunday 7-8pm.
Prices for the course: £4.80 with concessionary rates available.
For more information call 01733 864 760 or email regionalpool@vivacity-peterborough.com
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/sensorypool.

 

 

 

Keep moving - cut your cancer risk

Keeping active could help to prevent around 3,400 cases of cancer every year in the UK. Being physically active isn’t just good for your heart; there is lots of evidence that it can also reduce the risk of developing breast, bowel or womb cancer.

Being physically active, along with a healthy, balanced diet, can also help you manage your weight. Keeping to a healthy weight is another way to reduce the risk of developing cancer and other diseases. It is recommended that adults should aim to do at least 2½ hours of moderate activity every week.

Top tips on keeping active:

  • You don’t have to do it all in one go. All the activity you do throughout the week add up. Just 10 minutes at a time can count.
  • You can build up the amount of activity you do steadily over time.
  • There’s no need to join a gym or train for a marathon, unless you want to.
  • The more active you are, the greater the benefits you can gain.

Activity doesn’t just mean sport and exercise. Anything that makes you a bit warmer and slightly out of breath counts as moderate activity, including:

  • Cycling
  • Brisk walking
  • Heavy gardening
  • Washing the car
  • Dancing

Find out more ideas and tips on getting active for you and your family at Change4Life.

Studies show that once we make healthy behaviour a habit, it’s much easier to stick to it in the long term. To help you form healthy habits, try linking activity to a particular point in your day, like regularly walking to the station or bus stop in the morning, or meeting friends for a walk in the evening. Once you’ve set a goal, tell others about it. They can help you stick to your plans, keep you motivated, or even keep you company if you’re going for a walk, jog or cycle ride. Visit NHS Choices for ideas on how to fit physical activity into a busy schedule.

Nordic Walking

Nordic Walking is a popular Scandinavian sport that offers a 98% full-body workout and provides great social and physical benefits for everyone. After completing the Learn to Nordic Walk course, participants can take part in our four weekly Nordic Walks, with all equipment provided free of charge. Nordic walks go from Bushfield and Hampton Leisure Centres, the Regional Pool and Central Park.

Prices for the course: £15 for Vivacity Card Holders and £35 for non-card holders

Prices for the Nordic walks: Free to Vivacity Card Holders and £4 for non-card holders.

For more information call 01733 864 738 or email 

See more at
www.vivacity-peterborough.com/nordicwalking.

Walking for health

Vivacity have joined forces with Walking for Health and are currently running local walks in the Peterborough area.

Walking can improve general health and happiness, joining a local walking group often encourages people to explore the outdoors, get to know their local area and meet like-minded new people. It’s really easy to get started with walking as you don’t need any special equipment, it’s completely FREE, plus it counts towards your recommended amount of physical activity.

Walking for Health enables individuals of all ages to get moving more. This form of exercise is low impact so great for people that live with any long term condition and an excellent way to socialise with like-minded individuals.

There are a number of different locations across the Peterborough area where the groups meet on a regular basis including Ferry Meadows, Werrington, Orton Mere and Dogsthorpe to name a few. There are some beautiful routes so great for taking in some of the local scenery.

Most of the walks can be adapted so you can either take a short walk, or a longer stroll depending on your own preference or ability. Everyone is welcome!

Elaine Pringle, who is one of the Walk Leaders commented: “All of the walks are on solid paths and are not just through housing estates. The walks accommodate people of differing capabilities and speeds. You do not feel that you are in a race and everyone is friendly and welcoming. The walk leaders are all volunteers but take the time to make sure all of the walkers are OK throughout the walks. Some of the walks are followed by a cuppa and a good old natter in a local café!”

The Walking for Health scheme has helped Elaine personally following chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for lung cancer 2 years ago. “Some of the medication I was on led to weight gain and it was suggested that I walked on a regular basis to tackle this. I was made aware of the Walking for Health scheme and joined a twice weekly 3 mile walk at my local country park. When I first joined I didn’t know anyone else but everyone was very friendly and welcoming. As the walks were at the same time and place each week I found it easier to attend. I would most definitely recommend this scheme to others. It's a great way to get some exercise and you meet some lovely people too!”

Prices: Free to all.
For more information call 01733 864 738 or email walks@vivacity-peterborough.com
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/walks.

 

 

Explore the city in a new way with Walk Peterborough!

Are you a fan of walking? Do you want to improve your health and fitness? Need a reason to get outdoors? Then Walk Peterborough may be just what you’re looking for!

The new Walk Peterborough website provides an even easier way to enjoy walking in your local area. The website is designed specifically to record different routes around the city and surrounding areas. In addition, through mobile optimisation and GPS data, you can now conveniently map and follow your route on the go.

Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s cultural and heritage sites, enjoy family-friendly days out, improve your health and well-being, want to find dog-friendly walks or simply looking to enjoy the natural environment – there’s something for everyone! You can also choose a walking distance to suit your requirements.

The charity Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) has produced the new website, with funding from Travelchoice. Travelchoice aims to encourage the use of sustainable travel, reduce the need to travel by car, and improve the quality of life for all residents while reducing the city’s impact on climate change.

“Walk Peterborough is a fantastic resource for exploring the beauty of the city on foot with friends, family and colleagues,” explains Esther Baffa-Isaacs, Sustainable Travel Officer at Travelchoice. “It can be used to plot your commute to work, college or university and set up walking buses to schools. The value of the social aspects of the site is endless because it makes it possible for people to share their latest walking adventure and give inspiration to others.”

Not only can you see a range of suggested walks to do around Peterborough, you can even add in your own route ideas to help others like you discover more of Peterborough. For more information, please email info@pect.org.uk and visit the website at www.walkpeterborough.co.uk.

 

Healthy Eating

Support & Useful Links - Healthy Eating

Being overweight can seriously affect your health. If you’re overweight, you’re more likely to develop health problems such as heart disease, a stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Most overweight people are overweight because they consume more energy than they use through physical activity. This means that the best way to lose weight is to make achievable, long-lasting changes to your eating and physical activity habits.

If you’ve tried changing your diet and physical activity habits but are finding it difficult to lose weight, a referral from a health professional, such as your GP, to our local nutrition and dietetic service may help.

 

FREE healthy lifestyle classes 

We can offer a free ten week structured programme concerning nutrition and exercise, for adults looking for weight management. Find more details below or view our leaflet by clicking here!

We also run Let's get Healthy - a children’s healthy lifestyle club for 4-12 year olds. Find out more

 

 

Useful links

The following links provide information about the food and diet, the benefits of healthy eating and a range of tools to help you.

      

 

 

 

Healthy eating

Support and
useful links


Eating well

 


6 tips to healthy eating

Be Food Smart

 

 


Let's get Healthy

 

 

MoreLife programme for children

Healthy weight loss


Takeaways and eating out
Healthier cooking
Don't pass the salt Eat more fruit and veg
Cut back on fat
     

Let's get healthy

Our free healthy lifestyles club running in schools and community settings - currently Gladstone Park Community Centre.

The club is six weeks for children aged 4-6 (beginning Tues 16th, 4pm-5:15pm) , and ten weeks for children aged 7-12 (beginning Weds17th, 4pm-5:15pm). They are interactive and fun sessions, with parents attending the entire session for the younger group, and only the last 20 minutes of the sessions for the older group.

Workshops include learning about sugary drinks and food swapping for healthier snacks, making smoothies, and blindfold fruit & veg taste testing, and also activities and games such as parachute games and shuttle races.

 View our leaflet by clicking here!

 

LET’S GET HEALTHY

(Children’s Healthy Lifestyle Club)

Date

Location

Time

Tuesday 16th May

6 week programme for 4- 6 years

Gladstone Park Community Centre

4.00pm- 5.30pm

Wednesday 17th May

10 week programme for 7- 12 years

 

Gladstone Park Community Centre

4.00pm- 5.30pm

Email healthy.peterborough@nhsnet. or call direct on 01733 894540 to book on the above sessions or future sessions. If you have a long-term condition, we may need consent from your GP.

LGG 1

 

Shape up for Life

A ten week structured programme concerning nutrition and exercise, for adults looking for weight management. Find more details below or view our leaflet by clicking here!

 

SHAPE UP FOR LIFE

(Adult weight management programme)

Date

Location

Time

 

To be arranged

Gladstone Park Community Centre

6.00pm- 7.30pm

 

To be arranged

Millfield Community Centre, New England Complex, Lincoln Road, PE1 2PE

11.00am- 12.30pm

 

To be arranged

Millfield Community Centre, New England Complex, Lincoln Road, PE1 2PE

10.30am- 12.00pm

 

To be arranged

Gladstone Park Community Centre

12.00pm- 1.30pm

 

To be arranged

Gladstone Park Community Centre

2.00pm- 3.30pm

 

 

To apply: 

Email healthy.peterborough@nhsnet. or call direct on 01733 894540. If you have a long-term condition, we may need consent from your GP.

 

SU4L 1

SU4L 2

6 healthy eating tips


1. Base your meals on starchy foods

Starchy foods should make up around one third of the foods you eat. Starchy foods include potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread. Choose wholegrain varieties (or eat potatoes with their skins on) when you can: they contain more fibre, and can help you feel full.

2. Eat lots of fruit and veg

It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and veg a day. It’s easier than it sounds. A glass of unsweetened 100% fruit juice (150ml) can count as one portion, and vegetables cooked into dishes also count. Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit?

3. Eat more fish

Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week, including at least one portion of oily fish. Oily fish contains omega-3 fats, which may help to prevent heart disease. You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned: but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.

Oily fish include salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna, sardines and pilchards. Non-oily fish include haddock, plaice, coley, cod, tinned tuna, skate and hake. If you regularly eat a lot of fish, try to choose as wide a variety as possible.


4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

We all need some fat in our diet. But it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat we’re eating. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.

Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as hard cheese, cakes, biscuits, sausages, cream, butter, lard and pies. Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake, and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados.

Most people in the UK eat and drink too much sugar. Sugary foods and drinks, including alcoholic drinks, are often high in energy and if eaten too often, can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.

Food labels can help: use them to check how much sugar foods contain. More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g means that the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means that the food is low in sugar.

5. Eat less salt

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke

About three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces. Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt.

6. Drink More Water

Water makes up about two-thirds of the weight of a healthy body. To stay healthy, it is important to replace the fluid we lose when we breathe, sweat or urinate. We get some fluid from our food but most comes from drinks.

The European Food Safety Authority recommends about eight glasses of 200ml each for a woman, and 10 glasses of 200ml each for a man.

 

 

Support and Useful Links

What is a healthy diet?

Eating well helps you to achieve a healthier, happier lifestyle. A healthy, balanced diet includes a range of different types of foods eaten in the right amounts. This helps to keep your body healthy and reduce your risk of poor health now and in the future.  Eating well gives you energy, helps you concentrate and boosts your mood too.  

What is a Healthy Diet?

Understanding what to eat as part of a healthy balanced diet can be confusing. The Eatwell Guide is a visual representation of which foods most people should eat and in what amounts to achieve a healthier diet.

There are five main types of foods to include in your diet, and it is important to each a variety of different foods within each group. The five groups are:

Having a varied diet is important to get a range of nutrients. Eating foods in the right amounts is also important towards maintaining a healthy weight. In the Eatwell Guide the size of each sections suggests how much of each food group you need to eat. The bigger the section the more you need. Fruit and vegetables are one of the largest sections which mean you should eat lots from this group – at least five portions a day. Some foods should only be eaten in small amounts as the section of the plate is much smaller, such as oils and spreads.

Many of us enjoy treat foods and drinks high in fat, salt and sugar but we don’t actually need these in our diet, These foods are set to one side of the Eatwell Guide to show not to eat these very often or in large amounts. Most children and adults eat too much saturated fat, salt and sugar and should make changes to cut down on these.

Who is the Eatwell Guide for?

The Guide is recommended for most people, regardless of their weight, ethnicity or preference as a meat eater or vegetarian. Children aged 2 to 5 years should start to follow the guide. Everyone aged 5 and older should eat a healthy, balanced diet shown by the Eatwell Guide. Some people may need to seek advice first, such as people with dietary requirements or medical needs.

When should you follow the Eatwell Guide?

Try to follow the Eatwell Guide most of the time. Not every meal or snack you have will include a food from each of the five main sections but aim for a balance over the day and week. Imagine putting all the food you eat in a day or week in to the sections of the Eatwell Guide, would your sections be the same proportion as the guide? If not then consider what you would need to change in your diet, do you need to eat more of some foods and less of others?

Top Tips for a healthy diet

Here are just eight suggestions to help you and your family follow a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle; 

  1. Include starchy carbohydrates at meals, these include; potatoes, bread, rice pasta and other sources.
  2. Aim to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
  3. Eat more fish. It is recommended to eat one portion of oily fish a week, such as; sardines, mackerel, trout, herring, pilchards and salmon.
  4. Cut down on foods high in fat and sugar.
  5. Eat less salt.
  6. Eat well and exercise to reach and stay a heathy weight.
  7. Drink 6-8 glasses of fluid a day. (Plain water and milk are the only tooth friendly drinks for children).
  8. Have breakfast.

 

Eating more fruit and veg

Do you and your family eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day? A few small changes can help to increase your intake.

At least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day is the recommended intake for adults and children in the UK. However most of us do not eat enough. Just 27% of 19-64 year olds and 8% of 11-18 year olds get their 5-A-Day.

What are the benefits?

Fruit and vegetables are part of a healthy, balanced diet. Over one third of what we eat should be from this group of foods, as shown by the Eatwell Guide. Fruit and vegetables are an important part of a healthydiet. Eating 5-A-Day isshown to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke andsome cancers. Fruit and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals for a healthy body, such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and iron. They are an important source of fibre too, which helps to prevent constipation and for a healthy gut.

What counts?

5-A-Day is a combination of fruit and vegetables, try to eat a variety of different fruit and vegetables. This provides different nutrient contents, such as vitamins, minerals and fibre. It also keeps eating them interesting and enjoyable. Think about ‘eating the rainbow’ to get a variety of colours, textures and flavours.

Fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or pure fruit/vegetable juices and smoothies all count towards your 5-a-day. Beans and pulses also count. Find out more at 5-A-Day: what counts?

Portion sizes for adults are as follows. For children a rough guide to a portion is the amount they can fit in the palm of their hand. Find out more at 5-A-Day Portion Sizes.

Fruit: Vegetables: Beans & Pulses: Fruit / vegetable juice or smoothies Dried Fruits
80g 80g 80g 150ml 30g
  • 2 or more small fruits - eg 2 plums, 2 satsumas, 2 kiwis, 7 strawberries, 14 cherries or grapes
  • 1 medium size fruit - eg apple, banana, pear, orange
  • 1 slice large fruit - eg melon or pineapple
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables
  • a dessert bowl of salad
  • 1 medium tomato or 7 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of beans and pulses - eg baked beans, kidney beans, chickpeas
  • A combined total of 150ml
  • 1 heaped tablespoon - eg dried apricots, dates, figs or raisins

Note: Choose tinned fruit in natural juice (not syrup)

Note: Choose vegetables in plain water (without added sugar or salt)

Note: Beans & pulses count as a maximum of one portion a day even if you eat more.

Note: Counts as a maximum of one portion a day even if you drink more than this.

Sugars contained in fruit are released when juiced or blended which causes damage to teeth. Drink these with main meals rather than on their own.

Note: Due to the sugar contained in dried fruits it is sensible not to eat them at meal times not frequently during the day as snacks to help protect teeth.

You can get more lots more information about fitting in your 5-A-Day, ideas for your family’s intake or recipes which include fruit and vegetables on the NHS Choices website.

Five ways to your 5-A-Day

Wake up to a portion or two at breakfast. Add fruit to breakfast cereal, such as frozen berries with porridge and have a glass of fruit juice.

Don’t have time for breakfast? Grab a whole piece of fruit like a banana as you run out the door.

At lunch include a handful of cherry tomatoes or add a side salad to your sandwich or meal. Beans, lentils or pulses in soups or salads add variety and count towards your 5-A-Day.

Vegetable sticks with dip offer a healthy snack. Try cucumber, pepper, carrot or celery sticks with reduced-fat hummus. Whole pieces of fruit are a quick snack too, including apples and pears.

Add a side of frozen or tinned vegetables when serving up main meals, broccoli or green beans for example. Or try adding vegetables in to the dish itself with grated carrot or a handful of sweetcorn or peas.

Have tinned fruit (in juice), such as pineapple, pears or berries, with natural yoghurt as dessert.

 

 

Healthy weight loss

It’s no secret … eating less and moving more is the key to losing weight. Reaching a healthy weight and staying at that weight has great benefits for our health and happiness. A healthy weight reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes. It can boost confidence and self-esteem. Other benefits include improved sleep, feeling more energised and being better able to concentrate.

Are you currently a healthy weight?

Just one in three Peterborough adults are a healthy weight. There is no ideal weight that suits everyone. Each person is different and your healthy weight is determined by factors that are unique to you. There are a couple of measurements you can use to check if you are currently a healthy weight.

  1. You can use Body Mass Index (BMI) to find out if your weight is in a healthy range. A BMI calculator uses your height and weight to calculate whether you are a healthy weight, underweight, overweight or obese. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9.
  2. You can also check your waist measurement. If you carry more weight around your middle this may be unhealthy, even if your BMI is in the healthy range. A healthy waist measurement for males is 94cm or less and for females is 80cm or below.

If your BMI is overweight or obese and/or your waist measurement is above a healthy range losing weight would benefit your health.

How can you lose weight?

Eating a healthier, balanced diet and increasing your physical activity levels are the key to success. NHS Choices has lots of guidance to help you start losing weight

There are often media stories of people quickly losing a lot of weight. The evidence shows that you are likely to keep weight off once you’ve lost it if you lose weight gradually over a long period of time. Aim to lose around 0.5kg to 1kg a week (1lb to 2lb) until you achieve a healthy BMI and/or waist measurement.

Eating well and having the right portion sizes will help you to lose weight. There are lots of fad diets out there but these are often extreme, difficult to stick to and may not provide all the nutrients your body needs. Although you may lose weight in the short term reverting back to old habits can see the weight pile back on. Instead the Eatwell Guide shows us a healthier way to eat and still loose weight. This shows that there are five important foods groups our bodies need to be healthy and how much of each food group we should eat.

Being more physically active is also important in losing weight and looking after your health. No matter what or how much you can do there are plenty of ideas for moving more and keeping active.

Set yourself some weight loss goals

You may feel you have a lot of weight to lose. Be realistic about reaching a healthy weight and the time this may take. Remember a healthy weight loss is around 0.5kg to 1kg a week (1lb to 2lb). If you are overweight then starting with an initial goal to lose 5%-10% of your current weight gives you something to aim for.  It can be motivating to set yourself smaller weight loss goals towards your total weight loss aim e.g. reaching your first 2lbs, 7lbs and 1 stone.

Support

The One You Easy Meals app is a great way to eat foods that are healthier for you. You'll find delicious, easy meal ideas to help get you going if you're ever short of inspiration. 

The Live Well 12 week weight loss guide combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity.  You get a brilliant information pack for each week of the plan, which is full of advice and tips, plus a brilliant stick-it-on-the-fridge planner to help you track your weekly progress.

Don’t Pass the Salt!

Many of us eat too much salt without realising. Perhaps you only add a pinch of salt when cooking or a sprinkle of salt to your food. So you may be surprised that most of the salt we eat is hidden in the foods we buy or eat out. Our diets contain a third more salt than the maximum guideline amount meaning we are eating too much. This can be harmful to our health. 

How much is too much?

Adults should have a maximum of 6 grams of salt per day, or about one teaspoon. We currently consuming above this with 8.1 grams and should make changes to reduce our salt intake. Children should have even less salt while babies 0-6 months should not have any. 

Why is too much harmful?

Too much salt can raise your blood pressure. This increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. High salt intakes are also linked to a number of other poor health conditions. Eating less salt can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk from associated diseases.

Ways to cut down on salt

Salt is found in lots of different foods and drinks. Mostly these are prepared foods and eating out all of which contribute about 75% of the salt we eat.

Cheese, smoked fish and meats, gravy granules and soy sauce are usually high in salt, along with a longer list of foods. Other foods often high in salt include pasta sauces, ketchup, soup, ready meals and sausages.

It is always best to check food and drink labels to choose a lower salt option by choosing a different brand or variety. Per 100 grams a high salt product will contain more than 1.5 grams while a low salt product will have less than 0.3g. Traffic light labels on many food and drinks give a quick guide to the nutrient content to show how healthy it is. Look for more green options to show a healthier product, some ambers and fewer red options which less healthy. 

Knowing that processed and convenience foods are often high in salt you have more control over the salt content if you are able to cook from basics following healthy recipes. Instead of adding salt when you cook try to use black pepper, herbs and spices.

Learn more about Salt: the facts and get Tips for a lower salt diet.

 

 

Be Food Smart

Public Health England's new Change4Life campaign urges parents to ‘Be Food Smart’ and take more control of their children’s diets.

Recent reports show that childhood obesity in England has reached alarming rates. 

A new "Be Food Smart" app has been launched which allows people to scan the barcode of everyday food and drink products and see how much total sugar, saturated fat and salt they contain. The new Be Food Smart app has something for everyone, such as tips and suggestions for adults, food detective activities for the kids and fun ‘mini-missions’ for the whole family. You can also find hints and tips to cut down on sugar on the Change4Life website.

The free app helps and encourages families to choose healthier options and works by scanning the barcode of products allowing parents to compare brands, and features food detective activities for children and mini missions the whole family can enjoy.

To see how much sugar is in your food and drinks, download the FREE Be Food Smart app.

The campaign also helps parents identify the health harms of children eating and drinking too much sugar, saturated fat and salt, including becoming overweight or obese and developing tooth decay.

 

Cut Back on Fat!

We all need to eat less fat to help keep ourselves healthy. Too much fat in our diet can cause us to gain weight and increase our risk of heart disease and stroke.

We do need some fat in our diet, as it helps us to absorb certain vitamins which keep our bodies healthy. The type of fat we eat is important though. Adults and children need to eat less saturated fat in particular. Making changes to our diet toeat less saturated fats and replace these with healthierunsaturated fats is better for our health.

Different Types of Fat

What is saturated fat?

Saturated fat is unhealthy as too much can increase our cholesterol which increases risk of heart disease and stroke. Most saturated fats are solid at room temperature and usually come from an animal source.

These include; lard, butter, ghee, goose fat, palm oil and coconut oil.

What is unsaturated fat?

Unsaturated fats are healthier for us and swapping saturated fats for unsaturated fats can help to lower your cholesterol. Unsaturated fats tend to come from plant sources.

These include olive, rapeseed and sunflower oils, nuts and seeds, avocados and oily fish.

All fats are high in calories and eating too much of any type of fat will lead to weight gain. Try to cut down on the saturated fats you eat by swapping these for unsaturated fats. Do not start eating more unsaturated fats without also reducing your saturated fat intake or this may result in you eating too much fat in total.

How can I eat less saturated fat?

Reduce consumption of saturated fats

…by swapping them for these healthier choices

Butter, lard, ghee, goose fat

Lower fat margarine or spreads

Coconut oil and palm oil

Olive oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil

Hard Cheese e.g. cheddar, red Leicester

Reduced fat cheese

Soft cheese e.g. cottage cheese, quark

Fat on meat e.g. rind on pork chop, minced beef, skin on chicken

Cut visible fat off of the meat e.g. rind on pork chop. Orremove the skin before cooking. 
Look for leaner meats e.g. chicken, turkey, 5% fat minced beef.
Also include 2 portions of fish a week, one of which should be an oily fish e.g. mackerel, herring, pilchards, sardines, salmon, trout and fresh tuna.

Meat products e.g. sausages, bacon, beef burgers

Choose back bacon instead of streaky bacon.
Look at foods labels for meat products with less saturated fat.

Biscuits, cakes & pastries

Nuts e.g. almonds, brazils, cashews, walnuts
Seeds e.g. sesame, sunflower, pumpkin
Fruit & vegetables - avocados are a good source of unsaturated fats.

Find more swaps here 

Changing your cooking methods can also help reduce the fat content of foods. Instead of frying or adding fat to help food cook try one of these cooking methods;

  • Baking
  • Boiling
  • Poaching
  • Microwaving
  • Steaming

Check the food label. Learning to understand food labels will enable you to make a healthier choice. You will be able to see if a food is high in fat, and then choose one which is lower in both fat and saturated fat.

Fat as part of a healthy diet

Oils and spreads are included as part of a healthy balanced diet. This is shown by the Eatwell Guide. Oils and spreads are the smallest section of the Eatwell Guide, which shows we only need to eat these in small amounts.

Foods which are high in fat are set to one side of the Eatwell Guide. This shows that while we may choose to eat these types of foods occasionally, we do not need them for a healthy diet and so should eat less of them. These foods include;chocolate, cakes, biscuits and ice-cream.

Following a healthy balanced diet will support you to stay well and maintain a healthy weight.

 

 

 

 

Takeaways and Eating Out

Having fewer takeaway meals can help you to save money and lose weight. Many takeaway foods are high in calories, fat, salt and sugar which all have an impact on your health. So by reducing your takeaways you can help to keep yourself healthier.

There are lots of small changes you can make to have a healthier takeaway. Remember that these foods are usually not the healthiest choice of meals though so try to reduce how often you eat them. These ideas also apply when eating out at a restaurant.

  • Firstly, try to recreate your favourite takeaway meals together at home with friends and family. They can taste just as good or even better!
  • If you are having a takeaway try to plan when and how often you will have these as an occasional treat. How often do you currently have takeaways? See how much you can cut this down.
  • Some restaurants now show the calorie content on their menus. Look for dishes with fewer calories.
  • Choose a regular or small portion instead of the large or super-size. Could you share a portion or save some for another meal?
  • Have thick-cut chips instead of skinny fries, as these absorb less fat.
  • Opt for pizza with more vegetable or lean protein toppings (e.g. ham, chicken or fish). Instead of extra cheese or pepperoni.
  • Sauces that are tomato or vegetable based are healthier than creamy and cheesy sauces.
  • Think about how the foods have been cooked. Swap fried foods for boiled or steamed instead such as with rice for example. Look for dishes which are grilled or stir-fried too.
  • Wait about 15-20 minutes before ordering desert, you might find you’re actually full and don’t even want one.

Find out more tips for healthier takeaways 

Healthier Cooking

You can put yourself more in control of your diet by cooking your own meals. It is much more difficult to manage the fat, salt and sugar content when you buy convenience foods or takeaways. It can be harder to control the portion size too. Having the confidence to cook using basic ingredients means you control what does and doesn’t go in to your food.

There are so many different recipes you can try. Here are just a few suggestions of places to look for healthier inspiration.

Find healthy recipes on a budget for the whole family at Change4Life. You can also download their Smart Recipes App. 

The One Your Easy Meals App is another great way to find delicious, healthier recipes.

There are plenty more recipe ideas on the NHS choices.  Pick up ideas for eating well for less too.

Get healthy South Asian cooking tips and recipes here.

Happy hydration

Water is a healthy and cheap choice for quenching your thirst at any time. It has no calories and contains no sugars that can damage teeth. 

The Eatwell Guide says we should drink six to eight glasses of fluid a day. Water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks including tea and coffee all count.

It's easy to overlook, but choosing healthier drinks is a key part of getting a balanced diet. Many soft drinks – including instant powdered drinks and hot chocolate – are high in sugar. Food and drinks that are high in sugar are often high in calories, and having too many calories can make you more likely to gain weight.  Some energy drinks are high in both sugar and caffeine. Checking the nutrition labels on soft drinks such as fruit juices and fizzy drinks can help you make healthier choices.  Plain tea, fruit tea and coffee (without added sugar) can also be healthy. Find out more about other drinks.

Keeping hydrated can prevent or aid the treatment of constipation, low blood pressure, urinary tract infections (UTIs), pressure ulcers and falls.  Many of us think we’re tired because of lack of sleep or caffeine, we may be sleep deprived but the most common reason for tiredness is lack of water. Without water our bodies and organs would stop working properly. We need it for our bodies to function and perform.

Eat well - reduce your cancer risk

A healthy diet can reduce your risk of cancer. Some foods, such as processed foods, red meat and salt-preserved foods, can increase the risk of developing cancer, while others, such as fruits, vegetables and foods high in fibre, can reduce the risk of cancer.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help your body get all the nutrients it needs. Fruit and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet and are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre. Fruits and vegetables can also help you keep a healthy weight as they are relatively low in calories.

Try to consume a diet containing:

At least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day

• Plenty of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods: choose wholegrain foods where possible, as these contain more fibre

• Some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein

• Some milk and dairy foods

• Just a small amount of foods and drinks high in fat or sugars, such as cakes, crisps and biscuits

Eat more:

Fibre: Many studies show that foods high in fibre reduce the risk of bowel cancer. Fibre - rich foods include wholegrain pasta, bread, breakfast cereals, rice, pulses, fruit and vegetables

Eat less:

Processed and red meat: Strong evidence shows that eating lots of processed and red meat can increase the risk of bowel cancer, and possibly stomach and pancreatic cancer. Processed meat includes ham, bacon, salami and sausages. Red meat includes all fresh, minced and frozen beef, pork and lamb. Fresh white meat (such as chicken) and fish are not linked with an increased risk of cancer.

Salt-preserved foods: could increase the risk of stomach cancer. Salt-preserved foods include some pickled vegetables, salted fish and cured meats. Salt could increase stomach cancer risk by damaging the stomach lining, causing inflammation, or by making the stomach lining more sensitive to cancer-causing chemicals.

For more tips, recipes, and ideas on eating well visit NHS Choices.

Keeping a healthy weight to reduce cancer risk

Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you keep a healthy body weight. After smoking, obesity is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer. In England, over 60% of the population is overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of some cancers including:

  • Bowel cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Breast cancer if you are a woman who has been through the menopause
  • Cancer of the womb (uterus)
  • Kidney cancer

You can find out whether you are a healthy weight by using the BMI healthy weight calculator.  The good news is that small changes to your lifestyle that you keep up over time can lead to a reduction in bodyweight.

Ten top tips for a healthy weight:

1.   Eat regular meals and don’t skip breakfast – eat at the same time each day
2.   Choose reduced fat options e.g. dairy products, spreads and dressings

3.   Walk it off – fit in a brisk walk into your daily routine
4.   Pack a healthy snack e.g. fresh fruit instead of crisps or biscuits

5.   Watch out for food labels – check fat and sugar content on your food
6.   Be careful with your portion size and think twice before having seconds
7.   Give yourself a break from sitting – keep moving during the day
8.   Think about your drinks – choose water or sugar free options and limit fruit juice to one glass a day

9.   Focus on your food - don’t eat on the go
10. Don’t forget your 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day whether fresh, frozen or tinned

For some more ideas and tips to keep a healthy weight visit NHS Choices.  Try the One You Quiz for support to help you get back to a healthier you. 

Alcohol

Support & Useful Links - Alcohol

Realising you have a problem with alcohol is the first step to getting better, but it is often the hardest one.

You may need help if:

  • You always feel the need to have a drink. 
  • You get into trouble because of your drinking.
  • Other people warn you about how much you’re drinking.

 

Talk to your GP

A good place to start is with your GP. Be honest with them about how much you drink. Your GP may refer you to a local community alcohol service.

 

 

Useful links

Information to support you to cut down or stop drinking is available through a number of national websites. Some of the key sites are provided below while for those that need it there is local support.

 

           

               

5 benefits of drinking less

1. Drinking less reduces the risk of harming your health

Regularly drinking more than 14 units a week risks damaging your health. Fourteen units is equivalent to six pints of average strength beer or 10 small glasses of low strength wine.  

To reduce the risk of harming your health if you drink most weeks:

  • men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
  • spread your drinking over three days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week.

2. Cutting down makes you feel better

The immediate effects of cutting down include feeling better in the mornings, being less tired during the day, your skin may start to look better and you’ll start to feel fitter.

3. Drinking less alcohol reduces the chances of gaining weight

Did you know a standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate, and a pint of lager has about the same calorie count as a packet of crisps? Or that drinking five pints of lager a week adds up over a year and is equivalent to eating 221 doughnuts.

Tips to avoid weight gain include:

  • Alternate an alcoholic drink with a glass of water – this will help to prevent you becoming dehydrated.
  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach. If you do reach for snacks while drinking, opt for a healthier option.
  • If you’re drinking white wine, why not add a splash of soda water to help the same number of units last longer?

4. Not drinking while pregnant is the safest approach

The Chief Medical Officers for the UK recommend that if you’re pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all, to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.

Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, with the more you drink the greater the risk.

In addition to the risk of miscarriage, more recent research found that drinking, particularly in the first three months of pregnancy, also increases the risk of premature birth and low birthweight.

5. Avoiding binge drinking keeps you in control

Binge drinking usually refers to drinking lots of alcohol in a short space of time or drinking to get drunk. Binge drinking increases the risk of accidents, like head injuries and fractures, alcohol poisoning and heart disease

To reduce the risk of harming your health if you drink most weeks spread your drinking over three days or more days.

 

 

Support and Useful Links

 

What do 14 units of alcohol look like?

UK government guidelines state that the alcohol limit for men and women is the same. Both should not regularly drink more than 14 units per week to keep health risks from drinking alcohol low.

If you do drink up to 14 units a week, it's best to spread these evenly across a few days and to have at least two drink-free days a week.

Don't 'save up' your units, best to spread evenly over the week. Use a unit calculator to see how many units you are drinking.

What is a unit?

One unit is 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. Because alcoholic drinks come in different strengths and sizes, units are a way to tell how strong your drink is.  It takes an average adult around an hour to process one unit of alcohol so that there's none left in their bloodstream, although this varies from person to person.

 

The risks of drinking too much alcohol

Regularly drinking more than 14 units a week risks damaging your health.

Fourteen units is equivalent to six pints of average strength beer or 10 small glasses of low strength wine.  

New evidence around the health harms from regular drinking have emerged in recent years.

There is now a better understanding of the link between drinking and some illnesses, including a range of cancers.

The previously held position that some level of alcohol was good for the heart has been revised. It is now thought that the evidence on a protective effect from moderate drinking is less strong than previously thought.

Low risk drinking advice

To reduce the risk of harming your health if you drink most weeks:

  • men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
  • spread your drinking over three days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week

Pregnant women or women trying to conceive should avoid alcohol altogether. Read more on pregnancy and alcohol.

No 'safe' drinking level

If you drink less than 14 units a week, this is considered low risk drinking.

It is called "low risk" rather than "safe" because there is no safe drinking level.

The type of illnesses you can develop after 10 to 20 years of regularly drinking more than 14 units a week include:

The effects of alcohol on your health will depend on how much you drink. The less you drink, the lower the health risks.

Read about alcohol units to work out how much alcohol there is in your drinks.

'Single session' drinking

Drinking too much too quickly on a single occasion can increase your risk of injuries and accidents, such as:

  • head injuries
  • fractures
  • facial injuries
  • scarring
  • alcohol poisoning
  • heart disease

To reduce your health risks during a single drinking session:

  • limit how much you drink 
  • drink more slowly
  • drink with food
  • alternate with water or non-alcoholic drinks

You might also be interested in:

Track how much you are drinking

It may seem like you don't drink much, but a drink or two most evenings can do harm to your body. From making you gain weight to increasing your risk of cancer, alcohol can have serious effects on your body.

The more you drink, and the more often, the greater the risk to your health.

 
Drinking a bit too much can sneak up on you. Public Health England's free drinks tracker app makes it easy to keep an eye on the booze and take control with daily tips and feedback.

  • Compare your drinking with the alcohol unit guidelines.
  • Access simple tips and advice to help you cut down.
  • See how much money you could save by drink.

Download from Google Play

Download from iTunes

Binge drinking


Binge drinking usually refers to drinking lots of alcohol in a short space of time or drinking to get drunk.

Researchers define binge drinking as consuming eight or more units in a single session for men and six or more for women.

However, this definition does not apply to everyone because the tolerance and the speed of drinking in a session varies from person to person.

To reduce the risk of harming your health if you drink most weeks:

  • men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
  • spread your drinking over three days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week

Fourteen units is equivalent to six pints of average strength beer or 10 small glasses of low strength wine.

During a single drinking session, try to: 

  • limit how much you drink
  • drink more slowly
  • drink with food
  • alternate with water or non-alcoholic drinks

Keeping track of your drinking is even more important if you are out in risky or unfamiliar circumstances. You can be at risk from others, and may not be able to look after your friends.

You can easily lose control of what you do or say and may make risky decisions, thinking you're invulnerable.

Binge drinking increases the risk of:

  • accidents, like head injuries and fractures
  • alcohol poisoning
  • heart disease

Drink-by-drink guide

Below is a drink-by-drink guide, based on a standard (175ml) 12% volume glass of white wine and 4% strength pint of lager, showing how quickly alcohol can affect your mind and body.

One glass of white wine or a pint of lager (approximately two units):

  • You're talkative and you feel relaxed.
  • Your self-confidence increases.
  • Driving ability is already impaired, which is why it is best to drink no alcohol if you're driving.

Two glasses of white wine or two pints of lager (approximately four units):

  • Your blood flow increases.
  • You feel less inhibited and your attention span is shorter.
  • You start dehydrating, one of the causes of a hangover.

Three glasses of white wine or three pints of lager (approximately six units):

  • Your reaction time is slower.
  • Your liver has to work harder.
  • Your sex drive may increase, while your judgement may decrease.

Four glasses of white wine or three and a half pints of lager (approximately eight units):

  • You're easily confused.
  • You're noticeably emotional.
  • Your sex drive could now decrease and you may become less capable.

Bear in mind that some people (including women, young people and those with smaller builds) may experience the effects after drinking smaller amounts of alcohol.

If you have developed a tolerance to alcohol you may find that some of these effects do not apply to you.

In that case, consider whether it is time to cut back on your drinking or whether you need to seek help.

Find out how to treat a hangover 

Tips on cutting down on alcohol

If you regularly drink more than 14 units a week, try these simple tips to help you cut down.

Fourteen units is equivalent to six pints of average strength beer or 10 small glasses of low strength wine.

Make a plan
Before you start drinking, set a limit on how much you’re going to drink.

Set a budget
Only take a fixed amount of money to spend on alcohol.

Let them know
If you let your friends and family know you’re cutting down and that it’s important to you, you could get support from them.

Take it a day at a time
Cut back a little each day. That way, every day you do is a success.

Make it a smaller one
You can still enjoy a drink but go for smaller sizes. Try bottled beer instead of pints, or a small glass of wine instead of a large one.

Have a lower-strength drink
Cut down the alcohol by swapping strong beers or wines for ones with a lower strength (ABV in %). You'll find this information on the bottle.

Stay hydrated
Drink a pint of water before you start drinking, and don't use alcohol to quench your thirst. Have a soft drink instead.

Take a break
Have several drink-free days each week.

You may be surprised to find out how much you actually drink. Print a drinks diary to track your drinking over a week. 

Benefits of cutting down

The immediate effects of cutting down include:

  • feeling better in the mornings

  • being less tired during the day

  • your skin may start to look better

  • you’ll start to feel fitter

  • you may stop gaining weight

Long-term benefits include:

Mood
There’s a strong link between heavy drinking and depression, and hangovers often make you feel anxious and low. If you already feel anxious or sad, drinking can make this worse, so cutting down may put you in a better mood generally.

Sleep
Drinking can affect your sleep. Although it can help some people fall asleep quickly, it can disrupt your sleep patterns and stop you from sleeping deeply. So cutting down on alcohol should help you feel more rested when you wake up.

Behaviour
Drinking can affect your judgement and behaviour. You may behave irrationally or aggressively when you’re drunk. Memory loss can be a problem during drinking and in the long term for regular heavy drinkers.

Heart
Long-term heavy drinking can lead to your heart becoming enlarged. This is a serious condition that can’t be completely reversed, but stopping drinking can stop it getting worse.

Immune system
Regular drinking can affect your immune system. Heavy drinkers tend to catch more infectious diseases.

You might also be interested in:

Do you know the amount of calories in alcohol?

Did you know a standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate, and a pint of lager has about the same calorie count as a packet of crisps?

The average wine drinker in England takes in around 2,000kcal from alcohol every month.

Drinking five pints of lager a week adds up to 44,200kcal over a year, equivalent to eating 221 doughnuts.

Many drinkers add to their calorie count by having snacks, such as crisps, nuts or pork scratchings, to accompany their tipple.

A heavy drinking session is often followed by an unhealthy breakfast to help cope with a hangover, which again helps to pile on the pounds.

Going for a fry-up instead of your usual bowl of cereal can add an extra 450kcal to the calorie count from the night before.

The findings are based on an online survey of nearly 2,000 adults in England in March 2009 by YouGov for the Department of Health.

Regularly drinking more than the NHS recommends can have a noticeable impact on your waistline as well as cause less obvious but more serious health problems.

Many women don’t realise that two large glasses of white wine not only puts them over the recommended daily limit for regular alcohol consumption, but also provides them with nearly 20% of their recommended daily calorie intake, at approximately 370kcal in total.

Most people would baulk at consuming a full glass of single cream, but wouldn’t think twice about the calorie content of a couple of pints. But the calorie content is similar and, over time, excess alcohol intake can easily contribute to gaining weight.

Wine, beer, cider, spirits and all our favourite drinks are made from natural starch and sugar. Fermentation, and distillation for certain drinks, is used to produce the alcohol content. This helps explain why alcohol contains lots of calories – seven calories a gram in fact, almost as many as a gram of fat. And, of course, additional calories can be present in added mixer drinks.

Tips to avoid weight gain

To reduce the chances of gaining weight from drinking alcohol, follow these tips from the British Nutrition Foundation:

  • Men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week, which is equivalent to six pints of average strength beer or 10 small glasses of low strength wine.
  • Alternate an alcoholic drink with a glass of water – this will help to prevent you becoming dehydrated.
  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach. If you do reach for snacks while drinking, opt for a healthier option – choose a sandwich instead of crisps or chips, or choose a chicken burger without mayonnaise instead of a kebab with garlic sauce.
  • Drinking in rounds can mean you end up drinking more than you intended. Opt out and drink at your own pace.
  • Try cutting down with a friend, as you’ll be more likely to stick to it with moral support.
  • Eat a healthier dinner before you start drinking. Order or cook before you start drinking so you’re not tempted to go for the less healthy options.
  • Pace yourself by taking small sips.
  • Avoid "binge drinking" – it is not advisable to "save up" your units to splurge at the weekend.
  • If you’re drinking white wine, why not add a splash of soda water to help the same number of units last longer?

For more help on reducing your alcohol intake, read Tips on cutting down.

Cut down on booze - cut your cancer risk

Every year, alcohol causes around 12,800 cases of cancer in the UK (around 4% of all cancer cases). Alcohol increases the risk of seven types of cancer, including cancers of the mouth, upper throat, voice box, food pipe, breast, liver and bowel.

The less alcohol you drink, the lower your risk of cancer so it's always worth keeping track of and reducing the amount that you drink. No type of alcohol is better or worse than another, it is the alcohol itself that leads to the damage, regardless of whether it is in wine, beer or in spirits. There’s no ‘safe’ limit for alcohol when it comes to cancer, but the risk is smaller for people who drink within the government guidelines.

The government guidelines are given in units of alcohol. One unit of alcohol is the equivalent of 10ml of pure alcohol content is not the same as one drink. Most alcoholic drinks contain more than 1 unit. The number of units in a drink is determined by the size of the drink and how strong it is.

Even low levels of drinking can increase the risk of some cancers – but drinking within these limits keeps the health risks low. To reduce the risk of harming your health:

  • Men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
  • It is recommended to spread your drinking over three days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week.

Aside from cancer, alcohol can also lead to accidents and injuries, stroke, high blood pressure, liver disease and pancreatitis. Cutting down could help reduce the risk of these conditions as well. Also, drinking less can help you avoid hangovers, sleep better, cut out some ‘empty’ calories and save money!

In many pubs and bars, drinks are being served in larger glasses or amounts, and drinks, especially wines, beers and ciders, come in a wide range of strengths. It can be difficult to keep track - to help you work out how many units you have had, download the new One You Drinks Tracker

Tips on cutting down:

There are lots of simple ways to cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink. It can help to work out if there are particular situations when you tend to have a drink and plan in advance. This may be after a difficult day at work or at a weekly pub quiz you go to with friends.

  • Take a break: Have more alcohol-free days a week.
  • Do it together: Tell a friend or partner that you’re cutting down on alcohol, they can support you – or even join you.
  • Avoid rounds: avoid buying drinks in rounds, that way you don’t have to keep pace with anyone.
  • Stay Hydrated: Swap every other alcoholic drink for a soft one – starting with your first drink.
  • Set a limit: If you are planning to drink alcohol, decide on a limit in advance and make sure you don’t go over it.
  • Go smaller or try a lower strength drink: Try a bottled beer instead of a pint, or go for a lower strength drink such as a shandy instead of a pint of beer, or swap some wine for a spritzer.
  • Avoid temptation: Don’t stock up on beer, wine or spirits at home.

Drugs

Support & Useful Links - Drugs

Support for Recovery

If you or somebody you know is struggling with substance misuse and wish to begin or continue a recovery journey our local support and recovery organisation is CGL Aspire.

Address: 102-104 Bridge Street, Peterborough, PE1 1DY
Email: peterborough@cgl.org.uk
Telephone: 01733 895624 / 0800 1114354
Fax: 01733 349221

A further hub in Bretton will open in mid-May.The service will also have a base in Orton, at Unit 26 Herlington Centre, Orton Malbourne, Peterborough, PE2 5PW.  This will be open from 4th April.


Talk to your GP

A good place to start is to visit your GP. Your GP can discuss your concerns with you, assess the nature of your problems and help you choose the most appropriate treatment. Your GP might offer to treat you or might refer you to your local specialist drug service.

Many drug treatment services accept self-referrals so, if you're not comfortable talking to your GP, you might be able to approach your local drug treatment service directly.

 

Health advice

Useful Links

The following links provide information about the harms of drugs and the support available.

                 

    

 

The Safer Peterborough Partnership                                               

The Safer Peterborough Partnership is the body responsible for delivering the National Drug strategy at a local level.

Our three year plan is an overarching strategy looking at the key themes from the national drug strategies.

The three key themes from these are:

  • Reducing Demand
    Creating an environment where the vast majority of people who have never taken drugs continue to remain substance free and making it easier for those that do use illicit substances to stop.


  • Restricting Supply
    By robust national and local enforcement, we must make Peterborough unattractive destination to those dealing in drugs.

  • Building Recovery in Communities
    We will ensure those people that want to take the necessary steps to tackle their dependency have the service and support in place to ensure recovery is achievable.

Overarching aims are:

  • Reduce illicit and other harmful drug use.
  • Increase the numbers recovering from their dependence.

Using the three key themes and the two overarching aims as our base the partnership has developed a strategy which aims to tackle a vast number of local issues related to drugs.

 

 

Be safe, be in the know

All drugs carry risks.

Mixing drugs, especially with alcohol, increases these risks. For information on individual drugs visit the Talk to Frank website.

1. Cannabis (hash, weed, grass, skunk, marijuana)

Cannabis is a calming drug that also alters perceptions. It's seen as "natural" because it's made from the cannabis plant, but that doesn't mean it's safe. Cannabis can make you feel relaxed and happy, but sometimes makes people feel lethargic, very anxious and paranoid, and even psychotic.

It is possible to become psychologically dependent on cannabis. And some people do experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it.

2. Cocaine (powder cocaine, coke, crack)

Powder cocaine (coke) and crack are types of cocaine, and are powerful stimulants. Crack can be smoked, and powder cocaine can be snorted in lines. Both cocaine powder and crack can also be prepared for injecting.                             

If you take cocaine, it's possible to die of an overdose from over stimulating the heart and nervous system, which can lead to a heart attack. It can be more risky if mixed with alcohol.

Cocaine is highly addictive and can cause a very strong psychological dependence.

3. Ecstasy (MDMA, pills, crystal, E)

Ecstasy is a "psychedelic" stimulant drug usually sold as tablets, but it's sometimes dabbed on to gums or snorted in its powder form. It's also known as MDMA or "crystal".

Long-term use has been linked with memory problems, depression and anxiety. Ecstasy use affects the body's temperature control and can lead to dangerous overheating and dehydration.

Ecstasy can be addictive, as users can develop a psychological dependence on this drug. It is also possible to build up a tolerance to the drug and need to take more and more to get the same effect.

4. Amphetamine (speed, whizz)

Speed is the street name for drugs based on amphetamine, and is a stimulant drug. It's usually an off-white or pink powder that's either dabbed on to gums, snorted or swallowed in paper.

Taking speed can be dangerous for the heart, as it can cause high blood pressure and heart attacks. Injecting speed is particularly dangerous, as death can occur from overdose. Any sharing of injecting equipment adds the risk of contracting hepatitis C and HIV. 

5. Heroin

Heroin is a drug made from morphine, which is extracted from the opium poppy. ‘Street’ heroin often sold as 'brown' is highly addictive and people can quickly get hooked.

Injecting heroin and sharing injecting equipment can be very risky, as it increases the risk of overdose and contracting or spreading a virus, such as HIV or hepatitis C. There is also the risk that veins may be damaged and that an abscess or blood clot may develop.

 

 

Support and Useful Links

Sexual Health

Support & Useful Links - Sexual Health

Access your FREE local contraception and sexual health service

iCaSH is you nearest contraception and sexual health service at 39-41 Priestgate, Peterborough PE1 1JL or call 0300 300 3030.

Opening hours:

  • Monday: 09:00-19:30
  • Tuesday: 09:00-19:30
  • Wednesday: 09:00-19:30
  • Thursday: 09:00-19:30
  • Friday: 09:00-16:30
  • Saturday: 10:15-12:30

 

Useful links

The following links provide information about sexual health to help you.

 

Sexual health

1. Contraception

Contraceptive methods allow you to choose when and whether you want to have a baby. Barrier methods such as condoms are a form of contraception that help protect against both sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy. Contraception is free for most people in the UK. With 15 methods to choose from, you'll be able to find one that suits you best.

2. Emergency Contraception

Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if your contraceptive method has failed – for example, a condom has split or you've missed a pill. There are two types the emergency contraceptive pill (sometimes called the morning after pill) and the IUD (intrauterine device, or coil). Both types of emergency contraception are effective at preventing pregnancy if they are used soon after unprotected sex.

3. Chlamydia

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK. It's passed on from one person to another through unprotected sex (sex without a condom) and is particularly common in sexually active teenagers and young adults. Almost 7 in every 10 people diagnosed with the condition were under 25 years old.

Testing for chlamydia is done with a urine test or a swab test. Anyone can get a free and confidential chlamydia test at a sexual health clinic, a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic or a GP surgery. People under 25 years old can also get tested by the National Chlamydia Screening Programme. This is often in places such as pharmacies, contraception clinics or colleges. 

Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics. You may be given some tablets to take all on one day, or a longer course of capsules to take for a week.

4. Gay Health

If you’re gay, lesbian or bisexual, by being aware of your health risks and having relevant health checks, you can stay healthy and reduce your risk of illness.

Gay men, lesbians and bisexual people have the same health needs as straight people. However, research shows that people with same-sex partners may have a higher risk of contracting certain conditions. Gay men, lesbian women and bisexual people may also be less likely to take advantage of screening and other health checks so health problems are not picked up as early as they could be.

5. HIV and Aids

The number of people with HIV in the UK is rising and according to Public Health England, around a quarter don't know they have the virus. HIV is spread through bodily fluids, such as semen or blood. It's most commonly passed on during unprotected sex, including oral and anal sex.

HIV attacks the immune system, the body's defence against infection and disease. This means someone with HIV has a higher risk of getting a serious infection or disease.

 

Support and Useful Links

 

 

Safe sex - use a condom

Using a condom is the best way to protect yourself from STIs and avoid unplanned pregnancy this festive season.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as chlamydia, are passed from one person to another through unprotected sex or sexual contact. Using a condom is the best way to keep you safe from STIs. Be prepared and carry a condom - carrying a condom means you’re looking after your sexual health, not making judgements about anyone’s sexual history.

If used correctly every time you have sex, condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. If you haven’t used a condom or it slips off during sex, you should talk to a health professional about STI testing and emergency contraception.

You can get free condoms at the integrated Contraception and Sexual Health (iCaSH) clinic at Kings Chambers.

If you have any concerns about your sexual health or want to find out more about sexual health services, including STI testing, visit the iCaSH website or call 0300 300 3030.

The clinic is located at Kings Chambers, 39 – 41 Priestgate, Peterborough PE1 1JL and offers a range of services including condoms and other contraception, STI testing, emergency contraception, chlamydia testing, HIV testing and care, and support and advice. You can also visit your local GP or pharmacy for sexual health support and advice.

STI check

If you have had sex without a condom, it’s a good idea to get yourself checked for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Most STIs, such as chlamydia, are treatable and the earlier you get tested and start treatment, the better. You can get tested at your GP or at the iCaSH clinic at Kings Chambers. You can make an appointment by calling 0300 300 3030.

You might feel embarrassed, but there's no need – the staff at these clinics are used to testing for all kinds of infections. It's their job and they won't judge you. They will do their best to explain everything to you and make you feel at ease.

The service is free and confidential, even if you are under 16.

If you’re aged between 16 and 24, you can also get free online chlamydia testing.

If you have any concerns about your sexual health or want to find out more about sexual health services, including STI testing, visit the iCaSH website or call 0300 300 3030.

The clinic is located at Kings
Chambers, 39 – 41 Priestgate, Peterborough PE1 1JL and offers a range of services including condoms and other contraception, STI testing, emergency contraception, chlamydia testing, HIV testing and care, and support and advice. You can also visit your local GP or pharmacy for sexual health support and advice.

Mental Health

Support & Useful Links - Mental Health

If you're having mental health problems, you're not alone. One in four of us will have problems with our mental health at some time in our lives. 

The First Response Service 

The First Response Service (FRS) puts your mental health first. It provides 24-hour access, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to mental health care, advice and support. If you are experiencing something that makes you feel unsafe, distressed or worried about your mental health you can now contact the FRS by dialing 111 and selecting option 2.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT)

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust provides integrated community and mental health, learning disability and social care services

Address: Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridge, CB21 5EF

Telephone: 01223 726789 (open 8:30am to 5pm)

Psychological wellbeing service

Keep Your Head

For children’s mental health visit Keep your Head - mental health resources and local information for young people, parents/carers and professionals.

Samaritans

If something's troubling you, get in touch:

Telephone: 01733 312 727 (local call charges apply)

National telephone: 116 123 (this number is free to call)


Email Samaritans: 
jo@samaritans.org

Address: Samaritans Peterborough, 
441 Lincoln Road, Millfield, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE1 2PE

Usual hours open to receive callers at the door: 
12:00pm - 8:00pm

 Displaying CPSL Mind logo latest.jpg

Mind infoline

0300 123 3393

Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.

Email: info@mind.org.uk

Morley Way
Peterborough
Cambridgeshire
PE2 7JR 

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Stop Suicide Pledge - The Stop Suicide website has tailored information on coping with suicidal thoughts and helping someone who is suicidal. 

 

 


   

   

 

              

Types of mental health issues

1. Low mood and depression

Difficult events and experiences can leave us in low spirits or cause depression. It could be relationship problems, bereavement, sleep problems, stress at work, bullying, chronic illness or pain. Sometimes it's possible to feel down without there being an obvious reason.

A low mood will tend to lift after a few days or weeks, but if it doesn’t it can be a sign of depression. If negative feelings don't go away, are too much for you to cope with, or are stopping you from carrying on with your normal life, you may need to make some changes and get some extra support.

2. Struggling with stress?

Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. Pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else.

There is little you can do to prevent stress, but there are many things you can do to manage stress more effectively, such as learning how to relax, taking regular exercise and adopting good time-management techniques.

3. Why can’t I control my anger?

Anger is a feeling that affects us all. Things that can make us feel angry include a threat to us or people close to us, a blow to our self-esteem or social standing in a group, being interrupted when we’re pursuing a goal, being treated unfairly and feeling unable to change this, being verbally or physically assaulted, or someone going against a principle we feel is important.

You can also look at what makes you angry, and how you deal with those feelings. For specific tips, you can read this article about how to control your anger. If you feel you need help controlling your anger, see your GP.

4. Why do I feel anxious?

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear. Everyone feels anxious at some point in their life, but for some people it can be an ongoing problem. A little bit of anxiety can be helpful; for example, feeling anxious before an exam might make you more alert and improve your performance. But too much anxiety could make you tired and unable to concentrate.

A little anxiety is fine, but long-term anxiety may cause more serious health problems, such as high blood pressure (hypertension). You may also be more likely to develop infections. If you’re feeling anxious all the time there are effective treatments available, so do talk to your GP.

 

Support and Useful Links

Keep your head

The Keep Your Head website provides a central point for reliable information and resources on children and young people’s mental health. The site has information on looking after your own wellbeing, as well as details of local services and what to do if a young person is experiencing a mental health crisis. The website is for children, young people, parents/carers, teachers and professionals.

The website includes:

  • Tips for feeling good and staying healthy
  • Details of apps that could help you to look after your mental wellbeing
  • Information on bullying, stress and sleep
  • Specific information on self-harm and suicide and where to go for support
  • Information for teachers and health professionals on referral options and training.

There are also details of a range of local services that can support young people’s mental health, including the 3T’s talking therapies service, the Shelf-Help library book scheme and Kooth online counselling service.

Visit www.keep-your-head.com to find out more!

What is a mental health crisis?

You, or someone you know, might be in crisis if:

  • You are thinking of hurting yourself or suicide seems the only option.
  • Someone you know has made threats to hurt you or someone else.
  • You are experiencing extreme distress that seems overwhelming.

Who can help in a mental health crisis?

Call 111 and press option 2 for the First Response Service - a 24-hour service for people in a mental health crisis. This service is for anyone, of any age, living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The phone will be answered by a trained mental health professional who will be able to listen to your concerns and help you get the support you need.  They can offer advice over the phone, put you in contact with the crisis services or even refer you to a Sanctuary - safe places run by Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind (CPSL Mind). The Peterborough and Cambridge Sanctuaries offer short-term practical and emotional support between 6pm and 1am, seven days a week. You can watch a tour of the Cambridge Sanctuary.

Who can call?

If you aren't able to make the call yourself then anyone can call on your behalf, for example a friend, carer, loved one or even your GP. The service is available to anyone, of any age, currently living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in a mental health crisis.

For more information visit: http://www.cpft.nhs.uk/about-us/mental-health-crisis.htm

 

Tips for Looking After Your Mental Health

Many of us know how to look after our physical health but we are less clued up on how to do this for our mental health. Many things have an impact including our relationships, stress levels, quality of sleep, diet and our level of physical fitness.

These are a few tips to help look after your mind and body:

  • The quality of our sleep is fundamental to how we cope with everyday life – there are lots of practical steps and lifestyle changes we can make to help us get a bit more sleep. Visit One You for suggestions.
  • Keeping active is not only good for our physical health, but also it helps to keep our mind in shape too. Find something active that you enjoy and try to build it into your day.
  • Take control of stress! Too much pressure can take its toll, so whether it is work, relationships or money worries try to take steps to look after yourself. Visit One You and NHS Choices for lots of useful information that can help you take back control.
  • Make time to catch up with friends - our relationships and connections with other people are all important to keeping us well.

For further information and useful tips see the following websites:

Bullying

Bullying can take many forms – verbal abuse, being physically hurt, having things stolen, being left out or online bullying are some of the ways. People might bully someone because of their religion or country they are from, their sexual identity, the way they look or how well they do in school, among other reasons. Bullying can impact on a child’s physical and emotional health, with the effects being long lasting in some cases. Bullying can also affect a child’s experience of school and ability to build relationships.

As a young person, or as an adult who is being bullied, it is important tell someone about it and ask for help. As a parent or carer these are some of the things you can do to support your child, further details of each of these points can be found on the NSPCC website:

  • Talk about bullying with your child
  • Make sure they know who to ask for help
  • Help them relax and take time out
  • Teach them how to stay safe online
  • Talk to your child’s school or club
  • Take further action if the bullying continues
  • Report online videos of bullying.

Locally you can find more information on bullying on the Keep Your Head website.

The Kooth online counselling service and 3Ts talking therapies service both offer emotional support to young people in Peterborough and are free to access. For more information on these services visit the Keep Your Head website.

Useful websites:

  

 

Coping with Bereavement

It is devastating when you lose someone close to you. Everyone’s experience of grief is unique, but there are some common things that lots of us will feel. You might feel numb, angry, exhausted or guilty for something you did or didn’t do or say. Your mind will be distracted so you may also find it hard to concentrate as well as you would do normally. These feelings are normal and will pass, but it can take time.

Speaking to someone can help, and you may get all the support you need from family and friends. If you don’t feel able to open up to people that you know, or you feel you are struggling, then there are organisations and sources of support that can help. These include:

  • Cruse Bereavement Care - Offers face-to- face, telephone (0808 808 1677) and email (helpline@cruse.org.uk) support.
  • Help is at Hand – A booklet specifically written for those bereaved by suicide by those who have also been affected by suicide. The booklet gives practical information as well as details of further support.
  • Samaritans – Provide a safe place for you to talk. They will listen and try to understand what you’re going through and help you make your own decisions that are right for you. You can get in contact with them via telephone (116 123 [free 24 hour helpline]), email, letter or face-to- face.

Sometimes it isn’t just your own grief that you have to deal with, but that of your children. Children need time to grieve too, and it’s important to try and talk to them about their feelings as well as your own. Try to encourage them not to hide their feelings, but instead talk about them. As much as possible try to keep to the routine that your family had before the death to give a bit more stability, as hard as this may be.

These services provide specific support for young people and their families who are bereaved:

  • Hope Again - Provides advice for young people after the death of someone close to them including personal stories of other young people who have been bereaved.
  • Child Bereavement UK – supports families and educates professionals when a child or baby of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.

For more information on bereavement and dealing with grief please visit the NHS Choices bereavement webpage.

Spotting the warning signs

Not everyone who thinks about suicide will tell someone and there are some people who give no indication at all of their intention. However, there are warning signs that we can all look out for. These include if a person is:

  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide.
  • Actively looking for ways to kill themselves.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Increasing their use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Suddenly very much ‘recovered’ after a period of depression.
  • Visiting or calling people unexpectedly to say goodbye either directly or indirectly.
  • Making arrangements; setting their affairs in order.
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions.

The STOP Suicide website has lots of information on what to do if you are worried about someone or you need help yourself. 

 

 

Get on Top of Stress

If you are feeling stressed, you're not alone. Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure, and pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. A bit of stress is normal and can help push you to do something new or difficult, but too much stress can take its toll.

There are things you can do, and people or services that can help you to get on top of what is causing you to worry. Try some of these top tips:

Talk to Someone
Sharing how you feel can really help. Start by telling a friend, family member or someone else you can trust just how you feel. If you've tried self-help techniques and they aren't working, you could speak to a health professional who will be able to give you more guidance and suggest other sources of support.

Take Control of Money Worries
A common root of many people’s worries is money problems. There are lots of organisations that can help you manage your situation, so don’t feel alone. Visit the NHS Choices website for information on charities that can help.

Stopping Smoking
Stopping smoking is not only beneficial to your physical health, but can also improve your mental health and relieve stress. It’s a myth that smoking helps people to relax, it actually can increase anxiety and stress. There is lots of help available to support you. As a first step call the local Stop Smoking service on free phone 0800 376 56 55.

Get Active!
Being physically active can boost your mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reduce your risk of stress. Often the easiest way to build activity into your day is through walking or cycling instead of taking the car. Visit the One You websitefor more information on ways to get active 

 

Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep allows your mind to unwind and de-stress. It also helps your brain to make sense of the day, and enables your body to fight illnesses better. Sleep and mood effect each other, so try and boost how much good quality sleep you are getting each night.

A few tips to help you sleep well:

  • Try making a list of the things you need to do tomorrow before you go to bed so that they aren’t on your mind when you are trying to sleep.

  • If you can’t sleep, then don’t lie in bed worrying about it, get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy before returning to bed.

  • Moderate exercise (that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe faster and feel warmer) on a regular basis can help to relieve tension and aid sleep.

  • Cut down on caffeine, particularly in the evenings, as it can interfere with falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. Try switching to a warm milky drink or herbal tea instead.

  • Try to have a regular routine for your sleep – going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time each day can really help.

For more tips and advice on sleep visit the One You and NHS Choices websites:

 

Protect your mind

Being active is really good for your mind as well as your body. Getting some physical activity each day can help prevent you getting depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.

Moving more can also help you get a good night's sleep, which helps your brain to rest and recharge. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, being active every day can help to ease the symptoms. Physical activity can also help with stress by helping to clear your thoughts so you can deal with any problems more calmly. 

How exercise helps your mental wellbeing 

Scientists think that physical activity helps maintain and improve wellbeing in a number of ways. Physical activity can help people with mild depression. Evidence shows that it can also help protect people against anxiety. Physical activity is thought to cause chemical changes in the brain, which can help to positively change our mood. Some scientists think that being active can improve wellbeing because it brings about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge.

How you can get more active

If you want to get active, think about physical activity in the broadest sense. It can help to read the physical activity guidelines for adults. Adults aged 19 and over should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity – such as fast walking or cycling – a week.

Find activities that you enjoy, then make them a part of your life. There's lots of information and advice on NHS Choices to help you get active:

Feel happier and enjoy life more with these five evidence-based steps for improving your mental wellbeing.

Stopping smoking is good for your mental health

Being smoke-free helps relieve stress, anxiety and depression and gives you a more positive outlook on life. These benefits apply to all smokers, not just those with pre-existing mental health problems.

It’s a myth that smoking improves mood

Why do smokers (with and without mental health problems) falsely believe smoking improves their mood? Scientists think it’s because they confuse the ability of cigarettes to abolish nicotine withdrawal as a beneficial effect on their mental health. Smokers tend to feel irritable, anxious and down when they haven’t smoked for a while and these unpleasant feelings are temporarily reversed when they light up a cigarette. That creates the impression that it’s the smoking that has improved their mood, when in fact it’s smoking that caused the psychological disturbances in the first place.

The mental health benefits of quitting smoking

Studies show that people's anxiety, depression and stress levels are lower after they stop smoking when compared with those who carry on smoking and that their quality of life and mood improves.

 

Want to quit smoking?

Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice? 

 

Stroke and Heart health

Get yourself an NHS Health Check

The NHS Health Check is your chance to get your free midlife MOT. For adults in England aged 40-74 without a pre-existing condition, it checks your circulatory and vascular health and what your risk of getting a disabling vascular disease is. 

If you're in the 40-74 age group without a pre-existing condition, you can expect to receive a letter from your GP or local authority inviting you for a free NHS Health Check. Don't worry if you haven't got your invitation yet, as you will be invited for one over the next few years. In the meantime, there are other ways of getting your health checked

As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing something dangerous like high blood pressure, heart disease or type 2 diabetes. Your NHS Health Check can spot early signs and help prevent these happening to you, which means you'll be more likely to enjoy life for longer. Start by taking the online heart age test to see how healthy your heart is.

Once you've had your NHS Health Check, your healthcare professional will discuss your results with you. You'll be given advice and support to help you lower your risk and maintain or improve your vascular health. But you don't have to wait until your NHS Health Check appointment to make healthy changes. 

Check your heart age

Did you know that your heart age can be older than your actual age?

Use this tool to find out if your heart age is higher or lower than your actual age.

Anyone over 30 can use the tool, even if you don't know your blood pressure and cholesterol.

However, without these numbers, your result will be an estimate and we recommend you get tested to get an accurate result.

The calculator works out your lifetime risk and heart age using information such as your family history of heart disease and your lifestyle choices, including whether you smoke. These risk factors are used to predict how many more years you can expect to live before you have a heart attack or stroke compared with someone without these particular factors – if you don't take action to improve your health.

"The risk calculator can now estimate cardiovascular risk over a much longer period than the 10-year risk," explains Dr Iain Simpson, a consultant cardiologist involved in developing the calculator.

"The problem with the 10-year risk is that it is biased in favour of age and females."

For example, a 35-year-old female smoker with high blood pressure (160 systolic pressure) and a high cholesterol level (7), plus a family history of heart disease, would have a true heart age of 47 and expect to survive to the age of 71 without having a heart attack or stroke. Her 10-year risk would be calculated as less than 2% because she is female and fairly young.

But the lifetime risk calculator shows that if she quit smoking and brought her blood pressure and cholesterol down into the healthy range, her heart age would fall to 30. She could expect to live to the age of 85 before having a heart attack or stroke and more than halve her 10-year risk to less than 0.25%.

"Knowing your lifetime risk allows you to invest in your cardiovascular health for the future," says Dr Simpson.

"This risk calculator aims to give power back to the patient and help them to make more informed decisions about how to manage their risk. It promotes lifestyle changes as early as possible and drug therapy only when necessary for the right people at the right time."

So there are some things about your risk that you can't change – like your age or family history. But the good news is that the most important factors in your risk score are changeable.

What's your heart age? Take the heart age test now.

Can you act F.A.S.T.?

act fast

Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential because the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.

The main symptoms of stroke can be remembered with the word FAST: Face - Arms - Speech - Time.

Take the test to learn more about the signs of a stroke and to make sure you know what to do in an emergency.

See what happens to the brain during a stroke

This animation explains how a stroke happens, the different types of stroke and how lifestyle changes may help to reduce the risks.


Support

Peterborough Stroke Information Café takes place Mondays 11am-12.30pm at Sainsbury's Cafe. It offers an opportunity for anyone affected by stroke to meet with others for peer support, information, advice and guidance on where to go for support in the local area.

The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at the stroke association website.
 

5 ways to keep your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy, whatever your age, is the most important thing you can do to help prevent and manage heart disease.

Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death both in the UK and worldwide. Lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels can help reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease. You can do this by:

Eating a well balanced healthy diet 

Check those food labels. Too much saturated fat, sugar and salt in products like cakes, biscuits, sausages, cream, cereals and fizzy drinks, will increase your cholesterol, waistline and your risk of developing heart disease. Find out how much sugar is in your food and drink by scanning in your barcode to Change4life’s new Sugar Swap app.  

Staying active 

Physical activity can help reduce your risk of heart disease. It can also help you control your weight, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and improve your mental health – helping you to look and feel great. If heading to the gym isn’t your thing there are still plenty of ways to get active. Find an exercise you enjoy as you’re more likely to stick to it. Or simply do things like take the stairs or walk the kids to school.

Drinking less alcohol

Drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol can have a harmful effect on your heart and general health. It can cause abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, damage to your heart muscle and other diseases such as stroke, liver problems and some cancers. It’s all about moderation. Drink less than 14 units per week, limiting the amount you drink in any one session, to reduce the risk of developing serious health conditions. Download MyDrinkAware - an app to help you track what you’re drinking.

Stubbing out the cigarettes

If you’re a smoker, stopping smoking is the single most important step you can take to protect the health of your heart. Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with people who have never smoked. Stopping smoking has huge benefits and it’s never too late to give up. The good news is once you stop smoking your health improves and your body begins to recover. There is lots of help available to support you. Call the local Stop Smoking service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.

Getting a free midlife MOT

The NHS Health Check is for adults aged 40-74 without a pre-existing condition. As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing something dangerous like high blood pressure, heart disease or type 2 diabetes. Your NHS Health Check can spot early signs and help prevent these happening to you, which means you’ll be more likely to enjoy life for longer. If you’ve not had yours yet, call your GP. 

Reducing your risk of stroke

stroke preventionThe best way to help prevent a stroke is to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol.

A stroke is a serious, life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Every year, around 110,000 people in England have a stroke, it is the third largest cause of death and a major cause of adult disability. Up to 80 per cent of strokes are preventable by making changes to your lifestyle.  Having high blood pressure, high cholesterol and clogged arteries, gives you a higher risk of a stroke. You can reduce your stroke risk by:

You can reduce your stroke risk by:

Staying a healthy weight and eating less salt
An unhealthy diet can increase your chances of having a stroke because it may lead to an increase in your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Eat a low-fat, high-fibre and balanced diet, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains. You should limit the amount of salt you eat to no more than 6g (approximately 1 teaspoon) a day because too much salt will increase your blood pressure. Limit foods that are high in salt and processed foods. Being overweight increases your risk of having a stroke by 22%, and 64% risk if you’re obese.

Doing more exercise
Regular exercise can help to lower your blood pressure and help you maintain a healthy weight. Regular moderate exercise can reduce your risk of stroke by 27%.  Any amount of exercise will help, but if you can manage it, you should aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five or more times a week. You don’t have to do all 30 minutes at once, it can be broken up into smaller blocks of time throughout the day.


Stopping smoking
You are twice as likely to die from stroke if you smoke. Smoking leads to high blood pressure, damages your arteries and makes your blood more likely to clot. If you stop smoking, you can reduce your risk of having a stroke and will also improve your general health and reduce your risk of developing other serious conditions. There is lots of help available to support you. Call the local Stop Smoking service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.


Cutting down on alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol raises your blood pressure and causes weight gain. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts a strain on your arteries and heart, which can lead to stroke. Binge drinking is particularly dangerous as it can cause your blood pressure to rise very quickly. You are three times more likely to suffer a stroke if you drink heavily. Drink less than 14 units per week spread over 3 days or more to reduce your stroke risk. Download MyDrinkAware - an app to help you track what you’re drinking.

Medical treatment for risk factors
If you have been diagnosed with a condition known to increase your risk of stroke – such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat), diabetes or transient ischaemic attack (‘mini-stroke’) – ensuring the condition is well controlled medically is also important in helping prevent strokes. Lifestyle changes can help control these conditions, but you may also need to take regular medication. A free NHS Health Check for adults aged 40-74 can spot early signs of some conditions. If you’ve not had yours yet, call your GP.

Know your blood pressure numbers

blood pressureHigh blood pressure (hypertension) puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels.  If untreated, over time this extra pressure can increase your risk of a stroke and other conditions such as kidney disease and vascular dementia.  Many people are unaware that they have high blood pressure as it rarely has noticeable symptoms.  The only way of knowing there is a problem is to have your blood pressure checked.  All adults should have their blood pressure checked regularly (at least every five years for healthy adults and more frequently if at high risk). Having this done is easy and could save your life.  Adults aged 40-74 will have their blood pressure checked as part of their NHS Health Check or you can ask your GP to check your blood pressure at any time.

When your blood pressure is measured it will be written as two numbers, for example 120/80.  You would read this as ‘120 over 80’.  Both of these numbers are very important. The higher they are, the higher your risk of health  problems in the future. Ideally, your blood pressure reading should be below 120/80mmHg (for the lowest possible risk of disease). However, anything under 130/80mmHg is generally considered normal.  You are said to have high blood pressure if readings on separate occasions consistently show your blood pressure to be 140/90mmHg or higher.  Having a raised blood pressure reading in one test does not necessarily mean you have high blood pressure as blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day. 

Your chances of having high blood pressure increase as you get older. There isn't always a clear cause of high blood pressure but you are at increased risk if you lead an unhealthy lifestyle, are aged over 65, have a relative with high blood pressure, are of African or Caribbean descent or drink too much coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks).  The good news is that high blood pressure scores can be brought down by making changes such as cutting down on salt, caffeine and alcohol, losing weight, becoming more active and stopping smoking. If necessary, your doctor may prescribe you blood pressure-lowering drugs, but they may want you to try to make changes to your habits first.

The only way to know what your blood pressure is, is to have it measured.  It is important to know what your blood pressure numbers are, and to lower them if you need to.  You can find advice on leading a healthy lifestyle on this website.”

What is a stroke?

type of stroke

A stroke is a brain attack. It happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off. Blood carries essential nutrients and oxygen to your brain. Without blood your brain cells can be damaged or die. This damage can have different effects, depending on where it happens in your brain.  A stroke can affect the way your body works as well as how you think, feel and communicate.

Different types of stroke

Most strokes are caused by a blockage cutting off the blood supply to the brain. This is an ischaemic stroke. However, strokes can also be caused by a bleeding in or around the brain. This is a haemorrhagic stroke.

A transient ischaemic attack or TIA is also known as a mini-stroke. It is the same as a stroke, except that the symptoms last for a short amount of time and no longer than 24 hours. This is because the blockage that stops the blood getting to your brain is temporary.

What causes stroke?

As we age our arteries become harder and narrower and more likely to become blocked. However, certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors can speed up this process and increase your risk of having a stroke.

Can you recover from stroke?

All strokes are different. For some people the effects may be relatively minor and may not last long. Others may be left with more serious problems that make them dependent on other people.  Unfortunately not everyone survives – around one in eight people die within 30 days of having a stroke. That’s why it’s so important to be able to recognise the symptoms and get medical help as quickly as possible.  The quicker you receive treatment, the better your chances for a good recovery.

Know your cholesterol numbers

cholestrolCholesterol is a fatty substance known as a lipid and is vital for the normal functioning of the body. It's mainly made by the liver, but are also found in some foods.  However, it is foods that are high in saturated fat which leads to elevated Cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol is carried in your blood by proteins, and when the two combine they're called lipoproteins. The total cholesterol values are made of of two main types of lipoprotein: 

  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) – which carries cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver, where it's either broken down or passed out of the body as a waste product. For this reason, HDL is referred to as "good cholesterol" and higher levels are better.

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – which carries cholesterol to the cells that need it. If there's too much cholesterol for the cells to use, it can build up in the artery walls, leading to disease of the arteries. For this reason, LDL is known as "bad cholesterol".

The amount of cholesterol in the blood (both HDL and LDL) can be measured with a blood test. The recommended cholesterol levels in the blood vary between those with a higher or lower risk of developing arterial disease.

What should my cholesterol levels be?

Blood cholesterol is measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood, often shortened to mmol/L.

As a general guide, total cholesterol levels should be:

  • 5 mmol/L or less for healthy adults

As a general guide, LDL levels should be:

  • 3 mmol/L or less for healthy adults

An ideal level of HDL is above 1 mmol/L. A lower level of HDL can increase your risk of heart disease.

The first step in reducing your cholesterol is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. It's important to keep your diet low in fatty food. You can swap food containing saturated fat for fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals. This will also help to prevent high cholesterol returning.  Other lifestyle changes, such as taking regular exercise and giving up smoking (if you smoke), can also make a big difference in helping to lower your cholesterol.  If these measures don't reduce your cholesterol and you continue to have a high risk of developing heart disease, your GP may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication, such as statins. Your GP will take into account the risk of any side effects from statins, and the benefit of lowering your cholesterol must outweigh any risks.

Adults aged 40-74 will have their cholesterol checked as part of their NHS Health Check.  If you are concerned about your cholesterol level, you can ask your GP for a blood test.

Jim's story: We call ourselves stroke survivors, not patients - that's very important

Jim\'s storyJim Whyte was forced to give up work after having a stroke, but he’s proved that there is life after stroke.

Jim was getting out of a van when he suddenly felt his left leg turn to jelly. “I fell down, and my workmates got me a chair,” he says. “They brought me a cup of tea, but I couldn’t work out where the handle was to grasp it. Somehow I knew I’d had a stroke and asked them to take me to hospital.

“By the time I got there, I didn’t have any feeling in the left side of me. I felt like a lump of meat. I could hardly get out of the car.”

Doctors confirmed that Jim was right; he'd had a stroke. He spent the next 27 weeks in hospital undergoing rehabilitation and physiotherapy. “Luckily, my speech was still all right, though I’m sure my kids and grandchildren sometimes wish I’d be quiet!” he says. “During my time in hospital I regained around 85% use of my hand and arm. I’m actually very lucky.”

Jim had high blood pressure and was diabetic, which are both risk factors for stroke. However, he had never smoked and, due to his diabetes, was already following the healthy diet recommended for stroke survivors.

“My wife was a chef and she made sure we ate properly,” he says. He was put on tablets for high blood pressure and now has regular checks. “When I had the stroke, I had no idea I had high blood pressure,” he says.

Jim had his stroke more than 10 years ago. Although it forced him to give up work, he makes a point of leading an active, healthy lifestyle. He attends his local stroke survivors club every week, which includes exercise sessions, talks from experts and a blood-pressure check.

“It’s also a great place to share advice and make friends,” says Jim. “It’s good to talk about any problems you’re having with people who have been through the same thing. I’d recommend any stroke survivors to contact the Stroke Association to get information on their nearest club.” He also visits stroke survivors in hospital.

Jim believes there is life after stroke. “We call ourselves stroke survivors, not patients; that’s very important. When you’ve had a stroke, the most important thing to do is accept it. Unless you do that, it’s difficult to move forward. But once you do, you’ll realise that you can live a very happy, active life. I certainly do!”

Winter & Summer health

Keep colds at bay

The flu vaccine can prevent you from catching flu - so if you are over 65, are pregnant, or have a long term condition that means you’re entitled to a free NHS flu vaccine, then it’s worth making sure you take this up through your GP surgery or some local pharmacies.

Apart from that, the best way to protect yourself from bad colds and flu is to have a healthy lifestyle - eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise and drinking plenty of warm drinks in the winter months. Cold temperatures won’t give you a cold on their own - but getting cold does allow the viruses which cause the common cold to multiply more quickly.   

Colds and flu share some of the same symptoms (cough, sore throat), but are caused by different viruses. Flu can be much more serious than a cold.

If you're generally fit and healthy, you can usually manage the symptoms of a cold or flu yourself without seeing a doctor. Look after yourself by resting, drinking non-alcoholic fluids to avoid dehydration and avoiding strenuous activity. Painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can relieve aches and pains.  

There are around 200 viruses that cause colds and just three that cause flu. There are many strains of these flu viruses, and the vaccine changes every year to protect against the most common ones.

Colds cause more nasal problems, such as blocked nose, than flu. Fever, fatigue and muscle aches are more likely and more severe with flu.

Colds

Symptoms of a cold include: 

  • runny nose – beginning with clear mucus that develops into thicker, green mucus as the cold progresses
  • blocked nose
  • sore throat
  • sneezing
  • cough

People with a cold may also suffer with a mild fever, earache, tiredness and headache. Symptoms develop over one or two days and gradually get better after a few days. Some colds can last for up to two weeks.

According to the Common Cold Centre in Cardiff, a cold is most contagious during the early stages, when the person has a runny nose and sore throat.

Flu

Flu usually comes on much more quickly than a cold, and symptoms include:

  • sudden fever of 38-40C (100-104F) 
  • muscle aches and pains
  • sweating
  • feeling exhausted and needing to lie down 
  • a dry, chesty cough

A person with flu may also have a runny nose and be prone to sneezing, but these are not usually the defining symptoms of flu.

Flu symptoms appear one to three days after infection and most people recover within a week, although you may feel tired for longer. A severe cold can also cause muscle aches and fever, so it can be hard to tell the difference.

Whether it’s a cold or flu, get medical help if you either:

  • have a chronic condition (such as asthmadiabetes or heart disease)
  • have a very high fever as well as an unusually severe headache or abdominal or chest pain

People more at risk

Some people need to take extra care as they're more at risk of serious chest complications, such as pneumonia andbronchitis. People over 65 are more at risk of complications. People under 65, including children, are more at risk of complications if they have:

Everyone in an at-risk group is eligible for a free flu vaccination, which is the best protection against the virus. Find outwho is offered the flu jab, including all pregnant women.

Stop the viruses spreading

Cold and flu viruses are spread by droplets that are coughed or sneezed out by an infected person. Other people can breathe in these droplets or transfer the droplets to their eyes or nose, via their fingers.

Protect yourself and others against colds and flu by:

  • coughing or sneezing into a tissue
  • throwing a used tissue away as soon as possible 
  • washing your hands as soon as possible
  • having a flu jab every year if you're in an at-risk group

Colds and flu viruses can also be passed on via infected droplets on objects or surfaces, such as door handles. You can help to prevent passing on or getting colds and flu by washing your hands regularly, and avoiding touching your eyes and nose.

 

Keep warm this winter

Cold homes have a significant impact on people's health. One of the best ways of keeping yourself well during winter is to stay warm.

Keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacksstrokespneumonia and depression.

The chances of these problems are higher if you're vulnerable to cold-related illnesses because of one or more of the following:

  • you're over 65
  • you have a long-term health condition, such as heart, lung or kidney disease
  • you are disabled.

At home this can be done by making sure the main living room is at least 18 degrees, having regular hot drinks, by using a hot water bottle or an electric blanket (but not at the same time) and standing up to move around every 20 minutes.

When venturing out the home be sure to wear plenty of clothes to keep muscles warm. Wear footwear with plenty of tread to give a better grip, and if using a walking stick, to make sure the rubber ferrule has a good tread.

Even if it isn't a severe winter, cold weather makes us more vulnerable to certain illnesses. You’re at risk of a heart attack, a stroke or even hypothermia if you’re exposed to a cold environment for a long time, or to extreme cold for only a short time.

  • Make sure you keep your hands and face warm. As well as wearing gloves and a hat, always wrap a scarf around your face when you go out in cold weather, even for short intervals. This helps to warm the air you breathe.
  • Several thin layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thick layer, as the layers trap warm air. Clothes made from wool or fleecy synthetic fibres such as polyester are a better choice than cotton. Start with thermal underwear, warm tights or socks.
  • If you’re sitting down, a shawl or blanket will provide a lot of warmth. Try to keep your feet up, as the air is cooler at ground level.
  • Wear warm clothes in bed. When very cold, wear thermal underwear, bed socks and even a hat – a lot of heat is lost through your head.
  • Use a hot-water bottle, wheat bag or an electric blanket to warm the bed, but never use a hot-water bottle and an electric blanket together as this can be dangerous. Check whether your electric blanket can be kept on all night or whether it’s only designed to warm the bed before you get in. Get it checked every three years by an expert. If you have continence difficulties, talk to your doctor before using one.
  • Keep your feet warm. Choose boots with non-slip soles and a warm lining, or wear thermal socks.
  • Check local news and weather forecasts for advice when cold weather is predicted.

 

City Energy Tariff helping to tackle fuel poverty

The risk of circulatory and respiratory diseases such as heart attacks and asthma can be reduced in a warmer home.

Research from the NHS suggests that keeping homes at a steady temperature of 18°C throughout the colder months will be enough to reduce the risks of cold-related illnesses, with living rooms and bedrooms ideally at 21°C.

However, 4.5 million households across the UK suffer from fuel poverty and cannot afford to heat their homes to these recommended guideline temperatures. As a result of this, 25,000 people per year die from cold-related illnesses.

This statistic has not gone unnoticed by Peterborough City Council and along with recognising increasing energy prices by the ‘Big Six’ energy companies, the local authority partnered with award-winning OVO Energy to launch Peterborough Energy, which provides a competitive dual-fuel tariff to residents.

So far, more than 5,500 residents have signed up to Peterborough Energy and saved an average of £248 per year on their energy bills.

Councillor John Holdich, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “Peterborough Energy has helped thousands of households to switch to a cheaper energy tariff. The result has meant a citywide saving of more than £1.3million, which is fantastic news. It shows that many people are still simply paying far too much for their gas and electricity.”

Switching your energy supply to Peterborough Energy, as well as reducing expenditure by taking simple steps such as draught-proofing doors and turning appliances off standby, will help residents avoid fuel poverty throughout the colder months.

See how much you could save by visiting www.peterboroughenergy.co.uk

 

 

Protect yourself from flu

This article explains how you can help protect yourself and your children against flu this coming winter, and why it’s very important that people who are at increased risk from flu have their free flu vaccination every year.

What is ‘Flu?

  • Influenza or flu is a respiratory illness associated with infection by influenza virus.
  • It is infectious and common and spread by coughs and sneezes.
  • It's not the same as the common cold. Flu is caused by a different group of viruses. Symptoms tend to be more severe and last for longer.
  • Symptoms include sudden high temperature, headache and general aches and pains, aching muscles and joints, tiredness and sore throat. You can also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and have a cough.
  • Flu occurs most often in winter and usually peaks between December and March in the northern hemisphere.
  • For most healthy people influenza infection is just a nasty experience that is self-limiting and can be treated with medication that is available over the counter in pharmacies and supermarkets such as Paracetamol.
  • Despite popular belief, the flu vaccine cannot give you flu as it doesn't contain the active virus needed to do this.

Why vaccinate against ’flu?

  • Some people with serious long term conditions or with a compromised immune system are at much greater risk if they get flu and can suffer serious complications.
  • The most common complications are bronchitis and pneumonia, which may require hospital admission and can be life threatening
  • The high risk groups are not just the elderly, but include people of all ages who have serious conditions that put them at risk (see attached list for who is at risk) and also pregnant women in whom flu can lead to serious complications that can damage the health of both mother and baby.

Why vaccinate against ‘flu every year?

  • The influenza virus is unstable and as a result new strains and variants are constantly emerging.
  • The vaccine is changed each year to take account of the latest circulating strains.
  • Our previous exposure to ‘flu may not have given us immunity to the latest strains and so the flu vaccine should be given each year.

Who should be vaccinated?

  • All those 65 or over
  • Those aged 6 months to 65 years who are in the high risk groups for vaccination
  • Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
  • Those in long stay residential or nursing homes
  • Carers of elderly or disabled people
  • Health and social care staff who are in direct contact with patients / clients
  • All children aged 2, 3 and 4
  • All children in school years 1,2 and 3
  • How is the vaccination given?
  • For those over 16 years and from 6 months to 2 years, the vaccine is given in a single injection,
  • For the younger age groups (2 to 16) a nasal vaccine has been introduced that has been used successfully for many years in the USA
  • Children in clinical risk groups aged 2 to under 9 years who have not received ‘flu vaccine before should receive a second dose of vaccine at least four weeks later.

Where can you get your vaccination?

  • The majority of people will be able to be vaccinated at their GP surgery – most practices have special clinic sessions during the Autumn - contact your GP practice for more information 
  • People who are carers may not be known in this capacity by their GP so should contact their surgery to request vaccination
  • Front line health and social care staff should be immunised through their employer – employers have arrangements in place through their occupational health departments to make it easy for staff to access the vaccination
  • Residential and nursing homes should have plans in place, usually with the local GP, to have residents vaccinated
  • Pharmacies across the community have also been commissioned to give the flu vaccination to adults.
  • Pregnant women in Peterborough have an additional option to have their flu vaccination given by their midwife.

When can you get your vaccination?

  • The vaccine is available from October each year, and GP practices and occupational health departments are set up to vaccinate from then until December.
  • As ‘flu usually circulates during the winter, the earlier you can have it the better

Groups recommended to receive flu vaccine

Flu vaccine should be offered to these eligible groups:

  • All patients age 65 years and over
  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Chronic heart disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Chronic neurological disease
  • Diabetes
  • Immunosuppression
  • Pregnant women
  • People in long-stay residential or homes
  • Carers
  • Health and Social Care staff
  • All children aged 2, 3 and 4
  • All children in school years 1, 2 and 3

 

 

 

Cold winters bad for your health

If you are an older person, a young child or have an ongoing health problem, cold winter weather can be bad for your health. Getting too cold can raise your risk of chest infections, and can also raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. There are simple things you can do to reduce these risks and stay warm and well:

  • Check that your boiler is working. Before a cold snap hits, it’s worth getting checking to see if your boiler is fully working.

  • Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F).You might prefer your main living room to be slightly warmer. Keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights.Because breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest infections.

  • Eat well. Food is a vital source of energy, which helps to keep your body warm.

  • Keep active when you’re indoors. Try not to sit still for more than an hour or so.

  • Wear several layers of light clothes. Because they trap warm air better than one bulky layer.

  • Look after yourself. If you go out in the cold weather wear extra clothes. Don’t go out if it is too cold.

  • Make sure you’re receiving all the help that you’re entitled to. Learn how to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating and keep up with your energy bills at www.gov.uk/phe/keep-warm

More advice on keeping warm

Find out about cold weather payment

Find out about winter fuel payment

How to cope in very cold weather

 

Hayfever

Hay fever is a common allergic condition that affects up to one in five people at some point in their life.

Symptoms of hay fever include:

  • sneezing

  • a runny nose

  • itchy eyes

You'll experience hay fever symptoms if you have an allergic reaction to pollen.

Pollen is a fine powder released by plants as part of their reproductive cycle. It contains proteins that can cause the nose, eyes, throat and sinuses (small air-filled cavities behind your cheekbones and forehead) to become swollen, irritated and inflamed.

You can have an allergy to:

  • tree pollen, released during spring

  • grass pollen, released during the end of spring and beginning of summer

  • weed pollen, released late autumn

Read more about the causes of hay fever.

Many people find their symptoms improve as they get older. Around half of people report some improvement in symptoms after several years. Symptoms disappear completely in around 10-20% of people.

Hay fever treatment

There's currently no cure for hay fever, but most people are able to relieve symptoms with treatment, at least to a certain extent.

The most effective way to control hay fever would be to avoid exposure to pollen. However, it's very difficult to avoid pollen, particularly during the summer months when you want to spend more time outdoors.

Treatment options for hay fever include antihistamines, which can help to prevent an allergic reaction from occurring and corticosteroids (steroids), which help to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Hay fever can often be controlled using over-the-counter medication from your pharmacist. However, if your symptoms are more troublesome it’s worth speaking to your GP, as you may require prescription medication.

For severe and persistent hay fever, there's also a type of treatment called immunotherapy. It involves being exposed to small amounts of pollen over time, to build resistance to its allergic effects. However, this can take many months or even years to work.

Read more about treating hay fever.

Who's affected

Hay fever is one of the most common allergic conditions, with an estimated 13 million people affected in the UK. 

You can get hay fever at any age, although it usually begins in childhood or during the teenage years. It's more common in boys than girls. In adults, men and women are equally affected.

You're more likely to develop hay fever if you have a family history of allergies, particularly asthma or eczema.

Self-help tips

It's sometimes possible to prevent the symptoms of hay fever by taking some basic precautions, such as:

  • wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes when you're outdoors

  • taking a shower and changing your clothes after being outdoors to remove the pollen on your body

  • staying indoors when the pollen count is high (over 50 grains per cubic metre of air)

  • applying a small amount of Vaseline (petroleum gel) to the nasal openings to trap pollen grains

Read more about preventing hay fever.

Complications

Even though hay fever doesn't pose a serious threat to health, it can have a negative impact on a person's quality of life. People with very severe hay fever often find that it can disrupt their productivity at school or work.

Inflammation of the sinuses (sinusitis) is another common complication of hay fever. Children may also develop a middle ear infection (otitis media) as a result of hay fever.

Read more about the complications of hay fever.  

Allergic rhinitis

Seasonal allergic rhinitis is the medical term for hay fever. Rhinitis means inflammation of the inside of the nose.

Some people also experience hay fever-like symptoms when exposed to other allergy-triggering substances, such as dust mites and animal fur.

Read more about other types of allergic rhinitis.

Pollen count

The pollen count is a measurement of the amount of pollen in the air. The higher the count, the more severe symptoms of hay fever can become (depending on the specific type of pollen you're allergic to).

The Met Office provides a pollen forecast. If the pollen count is high, you can take preventative measures, such as taking antihistamine medication, before leaving the house.

 

Sunscreen and sun safety

Advice for adults and children on sunscreen and sun safety in the UK and abroad.

Sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer. Sunburn doesn't just happen on holiday – you can burn in the UK, even when it's cloudy. 

There's no safe or healthy way to get a tan. A tan doesn't protect your skin from the sun's harmful effects.

Aim to strike a balance between protecting yourself from the sun and getting enough vitamin D from sunlight

Sun safety tips

Spend time in the shade when the sun is strongest. In the UK, this is between 11am and 3pm from March to October.

Make sure you:

  • spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
  • make sure you never burn
  • cover up with suitable clothing and sunglasses
  • take extra care with children
  • use at least factor 15 sunscreen

What factor sunscreen (SPF) should I use?

Don't rely on sunscreen alone to protect yourself from the sun. Wear suitable clothing and spend time in the shade when the sun's at its hottest.  

When buying sunscreen, the label should have:

  • a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to protect against UVB
  • at least four-star UVA protection

UVA protection can also be indicated by the letters "UVA" in a circle, which indicates that it meets the EU standard.

Make sure the sunscreen is not past its expiry date. Most sunscreens have a shelf life of two to three years.

Don't spend any longer in the sun than you would without sunscreen.

What are the SPF and star rating?

The sun protection factor, or SPF, is a measure of the amount of ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) protection.

SPFs are rated on a scale of 2-50+ based on the level of protection they offer, with 50+ offering the strongest form of UVB protection.

The star rating measures the amount of ultraviolet A radiation (UVA) protection. You should see a star rating of up to five stars on UK sunscreens. The higher the star rating, the better.

The letters "UVA" inside a circle is a European marking. This means the UVA protection is at least one third of the SPF value and meets EU recommendations.

Sunscreens that offer both UVA and UVB protection are sometimes called broad spectrum.

How to apply sunscreen

Most people don't apply enough sunscreen. As a guide, adults should aim to apply around:

  • two teaspoons of sunscreen if you're just covering your head, arms and neck
  • two tablespoons if you're covering your entire body while wearing a swimming costume

If sunscreen is applied too thinly, the amount of protection it gives is reduced. If you're worried you might not be applying enough SPF15, you could use a stronger SPF30 sunscreen.

If you plan to be out in the sun long enough to risk burning, sunscreen needs to be applied twice:

  • 30 minutes before going out
  • just before going out 

Sunscreen should be applied to all exposed skin, including the face, neck and ears – and head if you have thinning or no hair – but a wide-brimmed hat is better.

Sunscreen needs to be reapplied liberally and frequently, and according to the manufacturer's instructions.

This includes applying it straight after you've been in water – even if it's "water resistant" – and after towel drying, sweating, or when it may have rubbed off.  

Swimming and sunscreen

Water washes sunscreen off, and the cooling effect of the water can make you think you're not getting burned. Water also reflects ultraviolet (UV) rays, increasing your exposure.

Water-resistant sunscreen is needed if sweating or contact with water is likely.

Sunscreen should be reapplied straight after you've been in water – even if it's "water resistant" – and after towel drying, sweating, or when it may have rubbed off.

Children and sun protection

Take extra care to protect babies and children. Their skin is much more sensitive than adult skin, and damage caused by repeated exposure to sunlight could lead to skin cancer developing in later life.

Children aged under six months should be kept out of direct strong sunlight.

From March to October in the UK, children should:

  • cover up with suitable clothing
  • spend time in the shade – particularly from 11am to 3pm
  • wear at least SPF15 sunscreen

Apply sunscreen to areas not protected by clothing, such as the face, ears, feet, and backs of hands. Get more sun safety advice for children.

To ensure they get enough vitamin D, all children under five are advised to take vitamin D supplements.  

Protect your eyes in the sun

A day at the beach without proper eye protection can cause a temporary but painful burn to the surface of the eye, similar to sunburn.

Reflected sunlight from snow, sand, concrete and water, and artificial light from sunbeds, is particularly dangerous.

Avoid looking directly at the sun, as this can cause permanent eye damage. 

Clothing and sunglasses

Wear clothes and sunglasses that provide sun protection, such as:

  • a wide-brimmed hat that shades the face, neck and ears
  • a long-sleeved top
  • trousers or long skirts in close-weave fabrics that don't allow sunlight through
  • sunglasses with wraparound lenses or wide arms with the CE Mark and European Standard EN 1836:2005 

How to deal with sunburn

Sponge sore skin with cool water, then apply soothing aftersun or calamine lotion.

Painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, will ease the pain by helping to reduce inflammation caused by sunburn.

Seek medical help if you feel unwell or the skin swells badly or blisters. Stay out of the sun until all signs of redness have gone.

Read more about treating sunburn

Get tips on preventing and treating heat exhaustion in hot weather.

Who should take extra care in the sun?

You should take extra care in the sun if you:

  • have pale, white or light brown skin
  • have freckles or red or fair hair
  • tend to burn rather than tan
  • have many moles
  • have skin problems relating to a medical condition
  • are only exposed to intense sun occasionally – for example, while on holiday
  • are in a hot country where the sun is particularly intense
  • have a family history of skin cancer

People who spend a lot of time in the sun, whether it's for work or play, are at increased risk of skin cancer if they don't take the right precautions.

People with naturally brown or black skin are less likely to get skin cancer, as darker skin has some protection against UV rays. But skin cancer can still occur.

The Cancer Research UK website has a tool where you can find out your skin type to see when you might be at risk of burning.

Protect your moles

If you have lots of moles or freckles, your risk of getting skin cancer is higher than average, so take extra care.

Avoid getting caught out by sunburn. Use shade, clothing and a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to protect yourself.

Keep an eye out for changes to your skin. Changes to check for include:

  • a new mole, growth or lump
  • any moles, freckles or patches of skin that change in size, shape or colour

Report these to your doctor as soon as possible. Skin cancer is much easier to treat if it's found early.

Use the mole self-assessment tool to see whether you could have a cancerous mole.

Using sunbeds

The British Association of Dermatologists advises that people shouldn't use sunbeds or sunlamps.

Sunbeds and lamps can be more dangerous than natural sunlight because they use a concentrated source of UV radiation.

Health risks linked to sunbeds and other UV tanning equipment include:

  • skin cancer
  • premature skin ageing
  • sunburnt skin  
  • eye irritation

It's illegal for people under the age of 18 to use sunbeds, including in tanning salons, beauty salons, leisure centres, gyms, and hotels.

Find out more by reading Are sunbeds safe?

Hot weather: how to cope

Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it's too hot for too long there are health risks. If a heatwave hits this summer, make sure the hot weather doesn't harm you or anyone you know.

Why is a heatwave a problem?

The main risks posed by a heatwave are: 

Who is most at risk?

A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people are:

  • older people, especially those over 75
  • babies and young children
  • people with a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems
  • people with mobility problems – for example, people with Parkinson's disease or who have had a stroke
  • people with serious mental health problems
  • people on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control
  • people who misuse alcohol or drugs
  • people who are physically active – for example, labourers or those doing sports

Level one alert: be prepared

The Meteorological Office has a warning system that issues alerts if a heatwave is likely. Level one is the minimum alert and is in place from June 1 until September 15 (which is the period that heatwave alerts are likely to be raised).

Although you don't have to do anything during a level one alert, it is advisable to be aware of what to do if the alert level is raised. Knowing how to keep cool during long periods of hot weather can help save lives.

Public Health England (PHE) has advice on how to stay safe during a heatwave (PDF, 417kb).

Level two alert: heatwave is forecast

The Met Office raises an alert if there is a high chance that an average temperature of 30C by day and 15C overnight will occur over the next two to three days. These temperatures can have a significant effect on people's health if they last for at least two days and the night in between.

Although you don't need to take any immediate action, follow these steps in preparation:

  • Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio, TV or social media, or the Met Office.
  • If you're planning to travel, check the forecast at your destination.
  • Learn how to keep cool at home with the beat the heat checklist (PDF, 193kb).

Level three alert: when a heatwave is happening

This alert is triggered when the Met Office confirms there will be heatwave temperatures in one or more regions.

Follow the instructions for a level two alert. The following tips apply to everybody when it comes to keeping cool and comfortable, and reducing health risks.

Tips for coping in hot weather

  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler.
  • Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don't go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat.
  • Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
  • Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.
  • Listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool. 
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
  • Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
  • Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.

If you're worried about yourself or a vulnerable neighbour, friend or relative, you can contact the Peterborough City Council's environmental health office.  Environmental health workers can visit a home to inspect it for hazards to health, including excess heat. Call 01733 747474.

Level four alert: severe heatwave

This is the highest heatwave alert in Britain. It is raised when a heatwave is severe and/or prolonged, and is an emergency situation.

At level four, the health risks from a heatwave can affect fit and healthy people, and not just those in high-risk groups. These groups include the elderly, the very young and people with chronic medical conditions.

Follow the information given above for a level three alert. Check that anyone around you who is in a high-risk group is coping with the heat.

How do I know if someone needs help?

Seek help from a GP or contact NHS 111 if someone is feeling unwell and shows symptoms of:

  • breathlessness
  • chest pain
  • confusion
  • intense thirst
  • weakness
  • dizziness 
  • cramps which get worse or don't go away 

Get the person somewhere cool to rest. Give them plenty of fluids to drink. 

Find out about the symptoms of heat exhaustion.

 

Children's Health

Make your Health Visitor Checks Count!

When you have a baby, you will be assigned a health visitor to support you throughout you and your baby’s journey. Health visitors are qualified nurses who work with a range of highly trained and skilled colleagues to promote health and wellbeing, and support families with all aspects of bringing up a child. They are there to give you parenting advice and support, answer any questions or concerns that you may have and carry out developmental reviews.

You can contact your health visitor at any point but all parents will receive at least 4 key visits between the birth of your baby until they are 2 ½ year’s old. If this is the first time you are becoming a parent, you may meet your Health Visitor whilst you are pregnant. This is a perfect opportunity to talk through any worries you may have about becoming a parent.

 

Visits from your health visitor:

  1. New baby visit: Your health visitor will visit you at home when your baby is 10 to 14 days old to see how you are adjusting to parenthood and can offer any advice about feeding or caring for your baby, including: interacting with your baby, establishing a routine, feeding, crying and immunisation.

  2. 6 to 8 weeks old: You will next see your Health Visitor again when your baby is between 6 and 8 weeks old. This again is the perfect chance for you to discuss any issues including physical health, immunisations and your own health and wellbeing. Your Health Visitor can also advise you on local baby and parent group, including Children’s Centre activities.

  3. 1 year old: After that the next visit will not take place until your child is around 12 months old. This visit may take place at your home or at a clinic and will assess your baby’s physical, social and emotional development as well as general health issues such as safety, diet and dental health.

  4. 2 ½ years old: The last formal visit you will receive from your Health Visitor will be when your child is around 2 ½ years old. This is a really important visit as it supports you to make sure that your child’s is meeting their developmental milestones and ensure that any issues, including vision and hearing, are identified as early as possible. This visit is also a good chance for you to talk about any language development, behaviour, sleeping or toilet training concerns you may have and make sure your child is on the way to becoming ‘School-Ready’. If your child is at Nursery there may also be an opportunity to have an integrated 2 ½ year check, where a Nursery Practitioner is also present and can offer their thoughts on your child’s development as they see your child on a regular basis.

Health Visitors are here to support you and your family through those important early years of your baby’s life.

Remember you can contact your Health Visitor at any point until your child is 5 year’s old if you have any questions or concerns so make the most out of your visits.

You can contact the Peterborough Health Visiting Service by calling 01733 777 937 or dropping into one of their clinics. You can find out more about the service in Peterborough here.

Remember Baby Teeth Matter too!

Your child will begin to start teething at around 6 - 12 months old. It is important to make sure that you start looking after your child’s teeth as soon as they break through – you can even start a good dental hygiene routine early on by gently cleaning your baby’s gums with a soft, clean, damp cloth.

Tooth decay:

Tooth decay is caused by having too many sugary foods and drinks too often. It can be painful for your child and could lead to an extraction. The good news is that tooth decay is largely preventable by eating a healthy, balanced diet and starting a good tooth brushing routine as soon as your child gets their first teeth.

Tooth brushing tips:

Once your baby’s teeth have started to arrive you should brush them for 2 minutes twice a day – once in the morning and again before your child goes to bed. For children under 3, you should use a smear of fluoride toothpaste and thoroughly brush all surfaces of the teeth, inside and outside to remove any food particles or natural sugars found in milk and formula products. Children between the ages of 3 and 6 years can use a pea-sized blob of toothpaste. It’s important to supervise tooth brushing until your child is seven or eight years old, either by brushing their teeth yourself or, if they brush their own teeth, by watching how they do it. The NHS Choices websites has lots of hints and tips on children’s tooth brushing.

Tooth-friendly diet:

In order to look after your child’s teeth, it’s important to give them a healthy, balanced diet.  Remember, sugar causes tooth decay. It’s not just about the amount of sugar in sweet food and drinks, but how long and how often the teeth are in contact with sugar. Some tips for giving your child a tooth-friendly diet include limiting the amount and how often you give sugary foods, and avoiding sugary drinks – the best drinks for young children are their usual milk and water. It’s important that you don’t add sugar to weaning foods and drinks and to only use bottles for water, expressed or formula milk, as using them for juices or sugary drinks can increase tooth decay.

Visit the dentist – it’s free for children!

You can make sure that any signs of tooth decay are spotted early by making sure that you take your child to the dentist for a regular check-up. Your child’s first visit to the dentist should be at around 12 months old. Remember, dental treatment for children is free in the UK until your child is 16 years old and regular appointments may prevent more serious issues in the future. You can find out where your local dentist is here.

Healthy Peterborough:

In Peterborough we want to make sure every child has the opportunity to have good dental health.  At your child’s 12 month Health Visitor check we are issuing toothbrush packs, which include a child’s toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste and an information leaflet to help you prevent your child developing tooth decay. You can also pick up an additional pack, once it has run out, from your local Children’s Centre. A healthy child is a happy child so make sure they have a smile to be proud of!

Why does my child require vaccination?

As soon as babies are born they are exposed to a huge number of bugs. Vaccinations (also call immunisations) protect children from dangerous childhood diseases and increase herd immunity in the population.

Watch these videos to understand more.

 


How do I know when to vaccinate my child?

By entering your child’s date of birth on the vaccination calendar, you can see the dates of your child’s routine vaccination.

There are a number of vaccines that are routinely offered to everyone in the UK, for free on the NHS, and ideal ages when these vaccines should be given.

Full details of all these vaccinations and more can be found on the NHS Choices website.

If you're not sure whether you or your child have had all your routine vaccinations, ask your GP or practice nurse to find out for you. It may be possible to catch up later in life.

What can parents expect?

  • Appointment letter
    You'll automatically receive an appointment letter when your baby or child is due for a routine vaccination. It could be at your GP practice or a local child health clinic.

  • Attend appointment at GP or health clinic with ‘red book’.
    Remember to take your Personal Child Health Record (PCHR), commonly called the ‘red book’ because of its red cover, to the appointment. Details of the vaccination will be recorded in it.

Suggestions to ease your vaccination appointment

  • Wear vaccination-friendly clothes
    Dressing your baby or child in the right clothes can save time and effort at the vaccination clinic. Babies under 12 months have injections in the thigh. Toddlers and older children have them in the arm. Thin cotton layers fastened with poppers are perfect for babies, and loose or short sleeves for toddlers and older children. Avoid chunky, padded or tight-fitting clothes with lots of buttons and straps.

  • Get to the vaccination appointment on time
    Give yourself sufficient time to get to your appointment.  Ideally, allow yourself an hour.

  • Before the injection
    Tell the nurse about any bad reactions your child has had after any previous vaccinations.

  • Stay calm
    It's natural to worry about your child's pain. Try to stay calm and treat the procedure in a matter-of-fact way. If you're anxious, your child may sense this and also become anxious and restless. Older children generally find it less traumatic if parents explain to them in plain language that vaccination is a good thing.

  • Hold your child during vaccination
    Usually, the doctor or nurse will ask you to hold your child on your knee 
    while they vaccinate them. If the injection is quick, your child won't even see the needle or notice that anything has happened. If you're nervous about seeing your child having an injection, ask a nurse or another member of staff to hold them for you. Children rarely faint after a vaccination, but if your child is prone to fainting, ask if they can have the vaccination lying down.

After the vaccination

Make sure that the type of injection (and where it was given) is noted down in your red book and in your child's GP records. Your child may need this information later in life – for example, for school trips, when applying for certain jobs, or going to live or study abroad.

Give permission for relatives to take children for vaccinations 

It is possible for a relative, friend or childminder to take your child for vaccinations, if they have parental permission to do soParents can inform the surgery in advance or give them a letter with their contact details for the surgery to contact if required.   

What to do if you miss a vaccination?

Don't panic. You don't have to start the course of vaccines again. Just let the clinic know so they can rearrange the vaccination as close to the recommended age as possible.

Where can parents get more information?

NHS Choices website.

CHILDHOOD VACCINATION FAQS

Routine immunisation schedule

Vaccination calendar

Your GP surgery

 

Action packed summer at Ferry Meadows

Imagine somewhere beautiful, safe and unspoilt where you can walk, cycle, play, horse-ride, ride a train, go fishing, exercise the dog, jog, push the buggy and explore endless meadows, lakes and woodland - all less than three miles from Peterborough's busy city centre.

You'll find all this and more at Ferry Meadows - including cafes, hard-surfaced routes for wheelchair users, a busy events and activity programme and endless opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Cycling
Ferry Meadows and the wider Nene Park offer many miles of off-road traffic-free cycling, including a stretch of the National Cycle Network Route 63. A map is available from the Visitor Centre for £1.50 which shows the full network of cycle ways which make up the Peterborough Green Wheel.  Rutland Cycling Hire Centre offers a cycle hire service over the summer weekends and school holidays.

Boating
Hire kayaks, canoes, row boats and pedaloes. There are also group activities such as raft building, land games and orienteering and structured courses in sailing, windsurfing and kayaking.

Events taking place at Ferry Meadows 

Fairies and Elves of Ferry Meadows
Saturday 1st
July
10.30am-12noon and 1.30pm-3pm
Ferry Meadows Country Park, meet at Discovery Den
Enter the magical world of the fairies and elves of Ferry Meadows. Come along to spot the signs that they have been in the park, make some magical woodland potions and build some amazing homes for them.
Cost: Free. Suggested donation £2
Accessibility: This event includes walking on uneven ground and/or crossing stiles and therefore may not be suitable for all abilities.  Please call 01733 234193 for further details. 
Booking: Essential. Please visit
www.neneparktrust.org.uk to book a place or telephone 01733 234193 for more information

British Dragonfly Society Walk
Saturday 8th
July
10am - 3pm
Ferry Meadows Country Park, meet at Discovery Den
Visit the British Dragonfly Society information stand in the Discovery Den and then join them for a guided walk at 1pm
Cost: Free, suggested donation £2
Accessibility: This event is on surfaced paths and suitable for all abilities including wheelchair users and buggies.
Booking: No need to book. For more information please call Nene Park Trust on 01733 234193 or e-mail
visitor.services@neneparktrust.org.uk

 

Family Volunteering
Sunday 9th
July
10am-12noon
Ferry Meadows Country Park
Make a difference by helping the Rangers out in the Park. Children, couples, grandparents, friends - everybody welcome. All tools and training will be provided, you just need to bring along lots of enthusiasm!
Free car parking for all participants
Cost: Free. Suggested donation £2
Accessibility: This event includes walking on uneven ground and/or crossing stiles and therefore may not be suitable for all abilities.  Please call 01733 234193 for further details. 
Booking: Essential. Please visit
www.neneparktrust.org.uk to book a place or telephone 01733 234193 for more information

 

Summer trail
Thursday 20th July -Sunday 3rd September
Trail sheets available 10:00am-2:30pm

Ferry Meadows Country Park, meet at the visitor centre
Collect a trail sheet on the theme of rabbits from the Visitor Centre and then hunt for clues as you walk around Ferry Meadows. Return to the Visitor Centre to claim your prize.
Cost: £0.50
Accessibility: This event is on surfaced paths and suitable for all abilities including wheelchair users and buggies.
Booking: No need to book. For more information please call Nene Park Trust on 01733 234193 or e-mail 

Guided Walk with a Ranger
Friday 21st
July
6pm - 9.15pm
Ferry Meadows Country Park
Join Ian Lowe for a guided walk around Ferry Meadows and the surrounding area, pointing out areas of interest along the 6 mile route and ask him questions along the way.
Cost: Free. Suggested donation £2
Accessibility: This event is on surfaced paths and suitable for all abilities including wheelchair users and buggies.
Booking: Essential. Please visit
www.neneparktrust.org.uk to book a place or telephone 01733 234193 for more information

Wild Wednesday
Wednesday 26th
July
10am-2pm
Ferry Meadows Country Park, meet at Discovery Den
Children and adults are welcome to come and join in some seasonal and wild crafts.
Times: 10:00am-2:00pm
Cost: Free. Suggested donation £2
Accessibility: This event takes place indoors and is suitable for all abilities.
Booking: No need to book. For more information please call Nene Park Trust on 01733 234193 or e-mail 
visitor.services@neneparktrust.org.uk

Kids Tree Climbing
Friday 28th
July
10am-3pm
Ferry Meadows Country Park, meet at Visitor Centre
Children can come and have a go at tree climbing in a rope and harness. Instruction given by Rangers.
Cost: £2
Accessibility: This event may not be suitable for all abilities.  Please call 01733 234193 for further details.
Booking: Essential. Please visit
www.neneparktrust.org.uk to book a place or telephone 01733 234193 for more information

 

Minibeast Safari
Friday 28th
July
10.30am-12noon and 1.30pm-3pm
Ferry Meadows Country Park, meet at Discovery Den
There'll be no lions or tigers on this safari, but you will be surprised at the variety of mini wild animals you find living in Ferry Meadows.
Cost: Free
Accessibility: This event includes walking on uneven ground and/or crossing stiles and therefore may not be suitable for all abilities.  Please call 01733 234193 for further details. 
Booking Essential. Please visit
www.neneparktrust.org.uk to book a place or telephone 01733 234193 for more information

 

 

For more information please call Nene Park Trust on 01733 234193 or e-mail visitor.services@neneparktrust.org.uk

Ferry Meadows lies 3 miles west of Peterborough and just two miles east of the A1 off the Oundle Road (A605). Brown tourist signs for Nene Park are on all major routes in the city.

Children's and School Holiday Activities

Vivacity run a range of activity sessions for children, ranging from holiday clubs through to drop in sports sessions across the city. Club Viva is a sport and fitness focussed child-care club, designed to give parents the flexibility to work and leave their child in safe hands for a day, a week or the whole holiday period.

Club Viva Holiday Activity Club
Runs every school holiday apart from Christmas.
Prices: from £18 per day at various Vivacity Leisure Centres.
For more information call 01733 863 754 or email clubviva@vivacity-peterborough.com
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/clubviva.

Free Teen Drop-In Sessions throughout the summer
Free sessions for 12-17 year olds which focus on sports around the city to keep kids entertained and active over the summer holidays.

  • Mondays: Central Park, 3-5pm at the tennis courts
  • Tuesdays: Werrington Leisure Centre, 3-5pm at the football pitch opposite the skate park
  • Wednesdays: Bretton Park, 3-5pm at the kids waterpark near the skate park
  • Thursdays: Bushfield Leisure Centre, Astroturf Pitch, 3-5pm, meet at the centre
  • Fridays: Paston Ridings, near the Honeyhill Children’s Centre, Paston, 3-5pm at the small football pitch

Prices: Free for 12-17 year olds.
For more information call 01733 864 754 or email clubviva@vivacity-peterborough.com
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/teens.

Under 5’s Free Swimming
As part of Vivacity’s ongoing support of getting children active at an early age they offer free swimming for all under 5s at four swimming pools across the city. 
Price: Free for all children under 5.
For more information call your local Vivacity Pool for more information.
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/under5s.

Family Fun Sessions
Enjoy fun inflatables and floats, one and two-man zorbs and mini boats with fun for all the family in the Regional Pool. Sessions are every Sunday 2-6pm.
Price: £6 and £3 for Vivacity Gym Members.
For more information call 01733 864 760 or email regionalpool@vivacity-peterborough.com.
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/familyfun.

Rollers Skating Sessions
Fun for all the family – enjoy great lighting and a great atmosphere with the latest music to skate around to, young and old. 
Price: £3.50 (skate hire £1.50) or a family ticket for £11 (4 and up only, under 8’s need to be supervised at all times).
For more information call 01733 864 760 or email regionalpool@vivacity-peterborough.com.
See more at www.vivacity-peterborough.com/familyfun.

Free swimming for all children under 5 in Peterborough

Vivacity offers free swimming to all children under 5 years old across four pools in the city.

By offering free swimming to youngsters, Vivacity hopes to foster water confidence and a love of swimming from an early age, not to mention encourage parents to swim more often.

Already taking advantage of this at the Regional Pool is Katie Mundell and her son Sebastian (2). Mum of two Katie Mundell from Ryhall visits the pool regularly so free swimming for under 5s will save a few extra pounds in her monthly budget: “I’ve taken both my sons swimming every week from soon after birth – I think it’s so important to get them into the water as early as possible. Sebastian (2) in particular loves swimming and it’s good exercise for them and for me! To offer free swimming for little ones is a great idea. I run the Mum2Mum Markets in the area and I know how much mums appreciate little savings here and there.”

Jon Marsden, Director of Sport & Healthy Living at Vivacity commented: “We already offer free swimming outside of lessons to children enrolled in our Swim Academy but we are delighted to now widen this to all children under 5. According to the Amateur Swimming Association, 1 in 5 adults in the UK is unable to swim, and we are committed to supporting children learning to swim at an early age so that they can keep swimming into adult life and build healthy habits for the future. We also want to encourage all children to be safe in-and-around the water and enjoy the many water based activities available.

The free swimming offer is available at four of Vivacity’s pools including the Lido. To take advantage of this offer the accompanying adult simply needs to show their Vivacity card at the pool reception desk. Vivacity cards are completely free, and can be obtained at any Vivacity location. They offer discounts on many Vivacity activities including admission to Longthorpe Tower and Flag Fen, as well as discounted rates for sports activities across Vivacity facilities.

For more information about free swimming for the under 5’s or Vivacity’s wider services then please visit Vivacity-Peterborough.

Let's get healthy

Our free healthy lifestyles club running in schools and community settings - currently Gladstone Park Community Centre.

The club is six weeks for children aged 4-6 (beginning Tues 16th, 4pm-5:15pm) , and ten weeks for children aged 7-12 (beginning Weds17th, 4pm-5:15pm). They are interactive and fun sessions, with parents attending the entire session for the younger group, and only the last 20 minutes of the sessions for the older group.

Workshops include learning about sugary drinks and food swapping for healthier snacks, making smoothies, and blindfold fruit & veg taste testing, and also activities and games such as parachute games and shuttle races.

 View our leaflet by clicking here!

 

LET’S GET HEALTHY

(Children’s Healthy Lifestyle Club)

Date

Location

Time

Tuesday 16th May

6 week programme for 4- 6 years

Gladstone Park Community Centre

4.00pm- 5.30pm

Wednesday 17th May

10 week programme for 7- 12 years

 

Gladstone Park Community Centre

4.00pm- 5.30pm

Email healthy.peterborough@nhs.net. or call direct on 01733 894540. If you have a long-term condition, we may need consent from your GP.

 

Drink Plenty

 

Drinking plenty of fluid helps stop us getting dehydrated. Encouraging children to drink enough is important as they may not remember by themselves. Guiding children with what to drink is also important for their health.

Children and adults should aim to drink between 6-8 glasses of fluid each day. They may need to drink more on some days, if the weather is warmer or they are more physically active for example.

The best drinks for children are water and milk. The Eatwell Guide recommends what to eat and drink for a healthy, balanced diet.

Water - is a good choice. Plain water contains no calories and is not harmful to teeth.

Lower fat plain milk –is a good source of calcium, important for healthy bones. From the age of two, most children can start to move to semi-skimmed milk.

Fruit and vegetable juices and/or smoothies - provide vitamins and minerals and count as one of your 5-a-day. They do contain sugars though so limit to no more than 150ml a day and have with a meal to protect teeth.

Diet, sugar-free and no added sugar drinks these are a healthier swap from full sugar drinks. As they still taste sweet consider limiting these so children do not develop a taste for sweet drinks.

Children are having nearly three times more sugar than the recommended daily amount! One of the main sources of sugar in the diet of 
children under 18 is sugary drinks and fruit juices
.

Children do not need sugary drinks as part of their everyday consumption. Sugary drinks provide energy which can add calories to our diet. Having these drinks regularly can contribute too many calories and lead to weight gain and obesity. Having high sugar drinks too often can also increase the risk of tooth decay.

Fizzy drinks, squashes and juice drinks can be high in sugar and may be acidic which erodes the outer surface of teeth. Flavoured water can be high in sugar, as can sport and energy drinks. Some of these types of drinks may contain caffeine, which is not recommended for children.

Avoid giving sugary drinks in between meals, to help protect children’s teeth. If children do consume these drinks try to keep them to mealtimes.

Limit fruit juice and/or smoothies to no more than 150ml per day.

Keep milk drinks with added sugar as occasional treats, including milkshakes, hot chocolate, malt drinks or condensed milk.

It is advised not to give children drinks containing caffeine, such as tea, coffee and some soft drinks. Look for decaffeinated varieties instead.

For more ideas on keeping children hydrated visit Change4Life

Download the Change4Life Be Food Smart app and scan foods and drinks to reveal their sugar, fat and salt content.


 

 

Eat your way to 5 A Day

Fruit and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Children and adults are recommended to eat at least 5-a-day, every day.

Benefits of 5 A Day

The Eatwell Guide shows us that fruit and vegetables should make up just over one third of the food we eat each day. Fruit and vegetables help us to stay healthy, for example they:

  • Lower our risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
  • Provide us with important vitamins and minerals to be healthy
  • Contain fibre, which helps our digestion and gut health plus reduces risk of bowel cancer.
  • Help us to be a healthy weight as they are low in fat and calories.

How Much Do You Need?

Aim to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day. This is 5 different varieties not 5 of the same type. It can be a combination of fruit and vegetables; it isn’t 5 of one and 5 of the other.

  • 80g of fresh, frozen or tinned fruit
    This is often referred to as the amount that will fit in to the palm of your hand – you can use this as a measure instead of weighing it out. Remember that children have smaller palms and so will need to eat less than an older child or an adult.

    An 80g portion of fruit is about the same as; large fruit - a slice or half e.g. a slice of melon or half a grapefruit; 1 medium size fruit e.g. an apple or 2 small size fruits e.g. 2 plums or satsumas.
    80g of vegetables is about the same as; 3 heaped tablespoons of peas, beans or pulses; 2 broccoli spears or a dessert bowl of salad.
  • 30g of dried fruit 
    30g is about one heaped tablespoon of dried fruit. This counts as a maximum of one portion a day, even if you eat more.

  • One 150ml glass of unsweetened 100% fruit juice or a smoothie
    This counts as a maximum of one portion a day, even if you drink more.  


5-A-Day Throughout the Day - What Counts?

  • Fresh, frozen and tinned varieties all count. Watch Out! Choose tinned fruit in natural juice (not syrup) and tinned vegetables in water with no added sugar or salt.
  • Dried fruit also counts but only as one portion a day. Remember to keep dried fruit to mealtimes only for children, not as a snack, to help protect their teeth.
  • Did you know? Beans and pulses also count e.g. lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, split peas. These count as a maximum of one portion a day.

Don’t be caught out! Potatoes, yam, plantain and cassava do not count towards your 5-a-day. Instead these are counted as a starchy carbohydrate - along with bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. They are still part of a healthy balanced diet.


Easy ways to 5 A Day

It can be easier than you think to eat 5-a-day. Check out some of our top tips.  

  • Set the family a challenge. If you don’t all eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day already then see how quickly you can build up from the number you do currently eat.
  • Get the children involved. They could keep a sticker chart of how many portions they have. Make snacks fun by letting them design something like a ‘fruit face’.  Teach them about different varieties when you go shopping, can you interest them to try something new?  
  • Can you add at least one portion to each of your main meals? Breakfast could be a glass of fruit juice, berries on top of cereal or a banana on toast. At lunch try adding a side salad, have vegetable sticks with dip or a whole piece of fruit. With dinner serve a side of one or two different  vegetables. If you’re having desert try plain natural yoghurt with sliced fruit.
  • Fruit and vegetables make great snacks too.
  • Try to ‘eat the rainbow’. This means eating a variety of different fruits and vegetables which are different colours, textures and flavours.  
  • Look for things in season. These often taste better and are better value. In season in July are; cherries, cucumber and lettuce. Also; blueberries, bramley apples, broad beans, cauliflower, carrots, celery, courgette, raspberries, runner beans, rhubarb. Not forgetting; strawberries, peas, savoy cabbage and spinach! So much choice.

Sign up for free to the Change4Life Fruit and Veg Boost! Get free recipes, useful hints and tips, shopping advice and more! 

Change4Life has lots of ideas to help your family to eat at least 5-a-day

 

Eating together

Eating together as a family can help to promote a healthy diet to children and support a healthy weight, as well as give you a chance to catch up on the family news!

Children learn behaviours from adults, who act as role models. Family meals are an opportunity for parents and carers to set good examples of healthy choices for children to adopt. By eating well yourself you can encourage children and the whole family to eat well too.

Life is often busy, so taking time out for a family meal can give you a chance to pause and share the day’s events. It can open up conversations about the good things that are happening, but also worries that your child may have.

The Eatwell Guide shows how the whole family can eat well together and share the same meal. The guide displays a variety of foods we need to eat to be healthy, and trying these together can encourage children to taste lots of new foods. Eating together from an early age will help to teach babies and children good habits, but if children are older it isn’t too late to start.

Eating well is important for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Making healthier choices as a whole family will help children and adults to reduce their risk of being overweight and obese. Remember that children need ‘me sized meals’.

Younger children need smaller portions than older children, and older children need less than adults.

Here are just a few ideas to increase how often you share family meals:

  • Plan ahead. Busy and often different schedules for everyone in the household can make it difficult to find time to eat together. Plan which meal times you will share e.g. breakfast, lunch or dinner and on which days during the week and at weekends. You might also plan what you will eat, try to involve children in choosing meals too.
  • Cook together. As well as eating as a family, think about cooking together too. Involving children in preparing meals can help to get them interested in healthy eating. Children could weigh ingredients, peel, grate or chop to help out for example.
  • Find somewhere to sit down together, such as a kitchen or dining room table. Think about turning the television off and putting your mobiles or tablets away while you eat. This will reduce distractions and provide a better opportunity to talk and catch up as a family.
  • If you have young children, or children that don’t like to sit still for long, then try getting creative by playing a game at the dinner table to make it a bit more fun! A game of ‘guess who’ or ‘10 things I love about…’ a chosen topic such as the summer for example.

 

What Should Children Be Eating?

The Eatwell Guide shows us what a balanced and healthy diet looks like. It illustrates the amount of different types of foods to eat over a day or week. Children aged 5 and older should follow the Eatwell Guide along with adults. Children aged 2 to 5 years should start to follow the guide and eat the same foods as the rest of the family.

Eating well as a whole family will influence children to make healthier food choices. As children become more independent in their food choices, it is important for parents and carers to guide them to make healthy choices and establish good habits for life.

Five main types of foods to include as part of a healthy diet

Encourage children to follow the Eatwell Guide most of the time, and only have high fat, sugar and salt foods as occasional treats, not every day.

Eat more!

Fruit and vegetables - Aim for at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day. One portion is about the amount that fits in to the palm of a child’s hand.

  • Apples, bananas and other whole pieces of fruit make a quick snack. Vegetable sticks are easy too, try sticks of pepper, carrot or celery.
  • A glass of fruit/vegetable juice or a smoothie counts, although this should be limited to no more than 150ml in a day.
  • Include at least one portion of fresh, frozen or tinned vegetables with main meals.
  • Add frozen berries or tinned fruit (in fruit juice not syrup) to plain natural yoghurt for a healthy pudding.

Fibre – Children’s intakes of fibre are low. Fibre helps us to feel fuller for longer and helps towards a healthy weight. It also reduces risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

  • Choose high fibre breakfast cereals e.g. Weetabix, shredded wheat or porridge.
  • Have wholemeal or granary bread or start with a 50:50 bread.
  • Choose wholegrain, wholemeal and brown varieties of pasta and rice. Try mixing these with white varieties to first introduce children to them.
  • Encourage children to eat the skins on boiled or jacket potatoes.
  • Add beans and pulses to dishes e.g. kidney beans, lentils and chickpeas.

Oily fish – It is recommended to eat one portion (140g) of oily fish a week, which most children do not achieve.  Oily fishes include; salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, herring and fresh tuna.

Eat less!

Sugar - Children eat more than three times more sugar than the recommended amount every day. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain. Unhealthy weight increases the risk of serious illnesses including type-2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Regularly having a lot of sugar can also cause tooth decay.

For ideas to cut back on sugar visit Change4Life Sugar Smart to help you to reduce sugar in your child’s diet.

Swap These

For These

Sugary breakfast cereals

Plain cereal & plain porridge.

Fizzy drinks & juice drinks

Water, reduced fat milk & juice drinks (no added sugar).

Sugary yoghurts

Plain yoghurt with fruit.

Cakes, pastries & biscuits

Unsalted rice cakes, plain popcorn, fruited teacake & toast.

Sweets, chocolate & ice-cream

Sugar-free jelly.

Saturated (Unhealthy) Fat - Children have too much unhealthy fat in their diet. This fat can build up and lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers later on.

Swap These

For These

Whole milk

Lower fat milk (e.g. semi-skimmed or 1%).

Full fat butter, cheese & yoghurts

Lower fat varieties of these dairy products.

Sausages

Low fat mince.

Cakes, pastries, chocolate & biscuits

Unsalted rice cakes, plain popcorn, fruited teacake & toast.

Salt - More than half of children are eating too much salt. Three quarters of the salt we eat is already added to the food we buy. This can increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease in adulthood.  

Swap These

For These

Crisps & salted nuts

Unsalted rice cakes, plain popcorn & unsalted nuts.

Sausages, bacon & ham

Reduced salt, unsmoked varieties.

Pizza & cheese

More vegetable or chicken toppings with less cheese.

Sauces e.g. gravy, ketchup brown sauce & soya sauce

Lower salt sauces. Flavour food with herbs, spices & pepper instead.

The free Food Smart app from Change4Life helps the whole family make healthy choices wherever you are. Download it now and scan foods and drinks to reveal their sugar, fat and salt content.


First foods for your baby

Babies and children should be encouraged to eat healthily from the very start. At around 6 months you should start to introduce your baby to solid foods. This is often referred to as weaning.

From 0-6 months it is recommended babies are exclusively breastfed. They can get everything theyneed from breast milk or formula milk. At around 6 months babies then need solid foods in addition to their usual breast milk or formula milk feeds. This helps to meet their large energy requirements as they grow and develop.

Start to introduce your baby to solid foods by around 6 months old but not before 4 months. This is for babies who are breastfed or on formula milk. Advice for premature babies may differ, please speak to your Midwife, Health Visitor or GP.

Some signs that your baby is ready for their first solid foods:

1. They can stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady.
2. They have eye, hand and mouth co-ordination so they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth on their own.
3. They can swallow food, rather than pushing food back out and getting most of it on their face rather than in their mouth.

Learn more signs to look out for.

The Start4Life website has lots of useful information. They offer guidance on choosing your baby’s first foods. This page also gives ideas for finger foods which introduce your baby to different textures and types of foods.

It is important to introduce your baby to a healthy diet from the start including:

  • Vegetables and fruit,
  • Starchy foods (bread, rice, potatoes and pasta),
  • Protein foods (meat, fish, eggs and beans or pulses)
  • Dairy foods (plain full fat yoghurt).
  • Foods should have no added sugar and no added salt.

There are some foods which you should avoid giving to babies

It will take time to introduce your baby to different foods. When you first introduce solid foods you are just getting your baby used to eating. The amount they eat is less important as they will still be getting most of what they need from breast milk or formula milk. Slowly increase the amount and variety of solid foods they are having. Until by 10-12 months your baby can be offered 3 meals a day eating the same as the rest of the family in smaller amounts.

Some helpful tips:

  • Be patient and relaxed at mealtimes.
  • Be prepared – introducing solid foods will be messy!
  • Don’t worry if your baby’s appetite varies day to day this is normal.
  • Take away any distractions at mealtimes (e.g. TV, mobile phones or toys)
  • Keep trying your baby with new foods. Refusing food is common.
  • Babies learn to like foods they are given regularly. Keep offering foods even if your baby is not sure at first, it can take several attempts before they accept it.
  • Introduce lots of different foods from 6 months so they get used to different flavours and textures.
  • Be a good role model by eating well yourself.
  • Eating together as a family will help to teach your baby good habits.

From 6 months to 5 years it is recommended that your baby takes a vitamin supplement.

Remember to speak to your Midwife, Health Visitor or GP if you need any advice. You can also get more information on complementary feeding  from Start4Life, NHS Choices, British Nutrition Foundation.

 

Healthy Start Scheme

Could you qualify to receive free vitamins for children under 4 and as a pregnant or breastfeeding woman? There are also free vouchers to spend on some basic foods. Healthy Start helps you to give your family the best start in life.

Healthy Start Vitamins

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for everyone. However some groups of people may still find it difficult to get all of the goodness they need from their diet. It is recommended that pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and small children take a vitamin supplement in addition to eating well. This helps them to get the vitamins they need to stay healthy.

Vitamin tablets are available for pregnant women and mothers with a child under one who qualify. Children’s vitamin drops are available for those aged from 6 months to 4 years. Find out if you qualify or for more information you can speak to your Midwife or Health Visitor. Applying for Healthy Start is easy.

If you already receive Healthy Start vitamin coupons but aren’t sure where you can swap them for free vitamins click here for a list of places in Peterborough.


Healthy Start Vouchers

Healthy Start vouchers can help you to buy these basic foods; milk, fruit and vegetables and infant formula milk. Click here to check if you qualify for free vouchers or speak to your Midwife or Health Visitor. 

  • Pregnant women and children over one and under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week.
  • Children under one year old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week.

You can use the vouchers in any local participating shop. Click here to find a retailer near you.


Who to contact

Telephone 0345 6076823 or visit Healthy Start

Could you qualify to receive free vitamins for children under 4 and as a pregnant or breastfeeding woman? There are also free vouchers to spend on some basic foods. Healthy Start helps you to give your family the best start in life.

 

Get Sugar Smart

Our children are eating and drinking too much sugar. In-fact they consume three times as much sugar as recommended.

Too much sugar can lead to weight gain. Unhealthy weight increases the risk of serious illnesses including type-2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Regularly having a lot of sugar can also cause tooth decay.

Many of the foods and drinks we give our children contain a lot of sugar. This sugar has been added to make products taste sweeter. You might be surprised at just how many everyday foods have added sugar, including; breakfast cereals, soft drinks, and yoghurts.

How can you reduce sugar?

  • Swap high sugar items for similar choices with less sugar
  • Give smaller portions of sugary items
  • Cut back on how often children have sugary drinks and snacks

As adults we can encourage children to make a swap to a lower sugar item by choosing these for ourselves too. For ideas to cut back on sugar visit Change4Life Sugar Smart to help you to reduce sugar in your child’s diet.

The Change4Life Sugar Smart App allows you to scan barcodes on food and drink packaging to reveal how many sugar cubes it contains. This is a free app and can be downloaded via their website.

Sugary Snacks

Sweets, cakes, pastries, biscuits and chocolate should be occasional treats and not given or seen by children as regular snacks. There are lots of other ways to treat and reward children. What about you reading them a story, playing or doing an activity with them, a walk or run together or even extra time to play with friends.

Snacks can provide extra energy in-between main meals. Swap sugary snacks for healthier alternatives, some ideas include;

  • Whole fruit or chopped fruit salad.
  • Vegetable sticks with dips such as hummous or low fat soft cheese. This helps towards children’s 5-a-day.
  • Natural yoghurt. Adding fruit will make this naturally sweeter.
  • Slice of toast, tea cake, crackers, rice cakes or plain popcorn.

When does your child snack and which one you could change first? Some parents swap the after school snack to start with. Plan ahead so you have a healthier snack to give them when they ask for it and neither of you reaches automatically for the usual unhealthy option.  

Change4Life has lots of suggestions for swapping sugary snacks.

Sugary Drinks

Do you know how many cubes of sugar are in a can of fizzy drink compared to a glass of tap water?
There can be as many as 9 cubes of sugar in fizzy drinks cans but there are zero in plain tap or bottled water!

Children get most of their sugar intake from sugary drinks. These include fizzy drinks, juice drinks, squash and cordial, energy drinks and fruit juice. Even no added sugar and sugar free choices can still damage the protective layer (enamel) on children’s teeth.

Swap sugary drinks for plain water and milk as these are the only tooth friendly drinks for children.

Change4Life has top tips for swapping sugary drinks.

 

 

 

Active Children, More Often, Everyday

Being physically active every day is important for your child’s growth and development. There are lots of different activities to keep children active, this makes exercise more fun and helps to use and strengthen different parts of the body. 

How much activity should children do?

These are the minimum amounts of time children should be active for, doing more is recommended. 

Children under 5
Should be active for at least three hours (180 minutes) every day.
This could be rolling and playing on the floor, standing up and moving around while grabbing, pulling and pushing through play. More energetic activity may include parent and child swimming, using a climbing frame, running around or playing ball games.

Children and Young People (5-18 years)
Should do at least 60 minutes of activity every day.
Children over 5 should do different types of exercises of moderate and vigorous intensity and for muscle strengthening. These activities include walking, skating and cycling; swimming, running and football or similar sports; plus gymnastics or martial arts.

This activity doesn’t all have to be at once, it should be spread over the whole day. Any 10 minute burst of energy counts towards the total minutes.
                                                                                                   
Need some more ideas for keeping children active? 

Check out www.nhs.uk/change4life for hundreds of games, ideas and activities to have fun and get active – indoor and out, rain or shine – there’s something for all the family!

Stop sitting for long periods

Being inactive and sitting still (being sedentary) for long periods is bad for our health, even if we do the recommended amount of exercise for the day. Being inactive while we are asleep is ok though.

Try not to let children sit watching TV or playing on the computer or games console for long periods, and reduce the time they are sitting in a buggy or in the car.  Break up the time they spend sat down to do homework or reading.

Remind children to do something active to break up long periods of sitting, even just a few minutes helps. Putting toys away, setting the dinner table and playing away from a screen are some ideas to encourage movement.    

Find out more about being inactive and get ideas to build up children’s activity levels

Great rewards for being active!

Encouraging children to achieve their recommended amount of physical activity each day will help to reduce their risk of poor health. Activity helps to strengthen muscles and bones and improves fitness. It builds confidence and improves concentration and learning at school. Being active is part of staying a healthy weight and improving health. Physical activity makes children feel good too!

 

Tips for Teeth

For a confident smile it is important to establish a good oral health routine. You can also help ensure healthy teeth by giving children tooth friendly foods and drinks.

Change to a Cup

If you are bottle feeding try to put in only water or milk. These are the only tooth friendly drinks for babies and children. 

As your baby reaches around 6 months, start to introduce a cup or free flow beaker. From the age of one, look to give all drinks in a cup or free flow beaker and ‘bin-the-bottle!’

Tooth Friendly Foods and Drinks

Sugar increases the risk of tooth decay. To protect your child’s teeth, work at cutting down on how often they have sugary foods and drinks. Every time they eat or drink anything sugary, acid then attacks their teeth for about an hour. It is best to give sugary items as occasional treats and at mealtimes.

Visit chanage4life for more ideas on sugar swaps.

Swap sugary foods & drinks… For these healthier choices!
Fizzy drinks (including sugar and sugar-free or ‘diet’ drinks) Plain still water …For more flavour add some fresh fruit e.g. a slice of orange or mixed berries. Plain milk
100% Fruit Juice Limit to 1 x 150ml glass a day and serve only at mealtimes.
Sweets and chocolate

Children should view these as a treat (not an everyday snack) and not to be had very often. Have them at the end of a mealtime not on their own.

Try not to give these as a reward, non-food rewards include stickers, time spent reading a story with a parent or extra time playing with a friend.

Sugary snacks e.g. sugary cereal, biscuits, cakes, chocolates and sweets

Fruit e.g. apple, blueberries and other berries, Satsuma, banana, pear. Only give dried fruit as part of a main meal.

Raw vegetables e.g. carrot, pepper, cucumber. Chop these in to sticks and serve with a hummous dip.

Toast or rice-cakes with low-fat spread or plain popcorn.

Do you know how much sugar is hidden in foods and drinks children eat?

Download the free SugarSmart App from Change4Life which lets you scan items to revel how much sugar it contains.

Brushing

As an adult you can teach children the routine of brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes. This will establish good habits to keep teeth healthy and avoid tooth decay or gum disease. Consider these top brushing tips;

  • Brush your baby’s teeth as soon as their first tooth appears; this is usually around 6 months but can be earlier or later.
  • Brush teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. You can use regular fluoride toothpaste; you don’t need to buy special toothpaste for children.
  • Use a smear of toothpaste for under 3 year olds and a pea size for children over 3.
  • Brush for 2 minutes twice a day, including before they go to bed.
  • Children often need help with tooth brushing until the age of 8.

Visit the Dentist

When your child’s first teeth appear take them to see the dentist. The NHS dental care is free for children. Continue to visit the dentist regularly, at least once a year.

More information on dental health for both children and adult

Wake up to Breakfast

Breakfast is an important start to the day. Making sure children have had breakfast each morning will give them energy to help them concentrate at school and improve behaviour. Breakfast can help improve mood, reduce stress and make us feel happier too. It helps us to reach and maintain a healthy weight too.

Our bodies can get important vitamins and minerals from eating breakfast, including;

  • Calcium to build strong bones and teeth
  • Iron to make red blood cells, which take oxygen around the body

Eating breakfast together as a family can encourage children to adopt the habit. It’s also a really good start to the day for everyone! Try to eat breakfast within 2 hours of waking up.

Healthy breakfast choices

Cereal is a popular breakfast choice. Healthy breakfast cereals include plain wheat biscuits, shredded wheat and porridge. These cereals are low in sugar, fat and salt. They are also high in fibre, which helps to keep us feeling full for longer compared to foods low in fibre. 

Watch out though! Many breakfast cereals contain a lot of sugar which makes them unhealthy choices to eat everyday.  Check out our blog on food labels. The first time you buy a new cereal learn to read the food label to check it is low in sugar, fat and salt. When you’ve found a healthy cereal you won’t need to keep checking the label until you change to a different cereal.

Children (and adults) do not need to add sugar to cereal. Instead, to make breakfast sweeter, experiment with adding different fruits. With so many fruits to choose from breakfast never needs to be boring or the same. You can add fresh, frozen, tinned (in fruit juice not syrup) or dried fruit. For example; banana, raisins, strawberries, blueberries, prunes and many, many more! 

Serve cereal with low fat yoghurt, skimmed, 1% or semi-skimmed milk (children over 5 years). This is a good source of calcium for healthy bones and teeth.

Breakfast isn’t just about cereal. Bread is another healthy choice. Wholemeal bread has more fibre than white bread to keep you feeling full for longer. This could be made in to a sandwich with meat, fish or cheese fillings. Or toasted and served with baked beans or an egg - scrambled, poached, dippy or hard boiled. Aim to add a piece of whole fruit or some vegetables such as tomatoes, mushrooms or lettuce as well.

Less healthy breakfasts

Be careful of some breakfast choices which are higher in sugar or fat. These foods give a short burst of energy but they may not keep children full until lunchtime or keep them focused on their work all morning. Regularly eating these foods can lead to unhealthy weight gain.   

Avoid cereals with lots of sugar. You may be surprised at which cereals are higher in sugar, try to read the food label to make a better choice. Most cereal bars also contain a lot of sugar. Croissants and other pastries are high in fat and should not be an everyday option. If a full English breakfast is fried or cooked in a lot of oil it will be less healthy. Instead grill sausages, bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes and poach or scramble eggs.  

Bold ideas for breakfast

For breakfast inspiration, recipes and tips visit;

   

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Breastfeeding

The first year of life has a big influence on your baby’s health now and in the future. Breastfeeding can help your baby get off to the best start in life. It provides all the nourishment they need for healthy growth and development.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breast milk contains all the goodness your baby needs for their first 6 months. Some of the ingredients of breast milk, which help protect your baby against disease, can only be made by your body. Formula milk does not contain these ingredients as they cannot be replicated. The mix of ingredients in breast milk also changes between feeds to respond to your baby’s needs.

If you choose to breastfeed, your baby does not require anything else in their first 6 months. Around this time you will begin weaning them on to solid food. There are lots of benefits to continuing breastfeeding after 6 months as well at the same time as introducing solid foods. The longer you are able to breastfeed your baby the more they will benefit.

There are lots of benefits to breastfeeding both for your baby and for you as a mum. It helps your baby to fight illness and infection. Your risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer is reduced if you can breastfeed. It burns around 500 calories a day too! Plus breast milk is free. Importantly, breastfeeding can help to strengthen the bond between you and your baby.  

Getting Support with Breastfeeding

It can take some time before you comfortable and confident to breastfeed. You may need some extra support, don’t worry about asking for help lots of mums do. Speak to your Midwife or Health Visitor.

You can also access more information on the Start4Life website, such as advice on positioning your baby, ensuring that they are feeding well and other practical tips. Breastfeeding helplines can answer any questions you may have. 

Breastfeeding Peer Supporters are volunteer mums in your community who have breastfed themselves. They are trained to listen and supply information to support you around breastfeeding; they will also recognise when to direct you to a professional. Find out more from the Peterborough breastfeeding support facebook page.

Baby Cafes are another way of accessing support locally. These are drop-ins to help breastfeeding mums and are run by women trained in offering support in this area.

  • Mondays 1pm-2.30pm, Brewster Avenue Children's Centre. PE2 9PN
  • Tuesdays 1pm-2.30pm East Children's Centre, Durham Road, PE1 5JU
  • Wednesdays 10am-11.30am Honeyhill Children's Centre, Paston, PE4 7DH
  • Thursdays 11.45am-1.45pm Community Room, Serpentine Green Shopping Centre, PE7 8BD

The support of your partner, family and friends can also be really helpful. Start4Life has tips on how partners can help with breastfeeding too.

Healthy Mum

It is important to look after yourself as well as your baby. Try to stay healthy by eating a balanced diet and doing regular physical activity.

The Eatwell Guide gives you more information about which are the right foods to eat and in what amounts for a balanced diet. It is also recommended that all pregnant and breastfeeding mums take a daily supplement of 10mcg of vitamin D.

Adult guidelines are to achieve 150 minutes of physical activity each week to keep heathy. We should all try to reduce the time we spend sitting (being sedentary) for long periods of time as well. 

Children’s Healthy Weight

A healthy weight is important to prevent poor health in childhood and as we become adults.  More children and adults than ever before are overweight or obese. An unhealthy weight can seriously affect children’s physical health and their mental wellbeing.

Whatever your child’s current weight there are lots of small changes you can make which will help the whole family to reach and stay a healthy weight. Eating a range of different foods in the right amounts and doing enough physical activity each day will have huge benefits. 

Why is unhealthy weight an issue?

Being overweight or very overweight harms children and has increased risks as they become adults. These include:

  • Low self esteem
  • Bullying
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Pre-diabetes
  • Bone and joint problems
  • Breathing difficulties
  • More likely to be absent from school due to illness
  • More likely to be overweight as adults

Helping children to reach and stay a healthy weight will reduce their risk of poor health, such as those risks listed above. It will increase their self confidence as well as improving their concentration and behaviour.  Children are fitter and healthier if they are a healthy weight.

How do I tell if my child is a healthy weight?

It can be difficult to tell if a child is a healthy weight or not just by looking at them. The number of children who are overweight or very overweight has been increasing. We are now more used to seeing bigger children which makes it hard to judge by sight or by comparing them with other children who may not be a healthy weight.

If your child is in Reception or Year 6 you will have the choice for them to be weighed and measured at school. The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) records the weight and height of 4-5 year olds and 10-11 year olds during their first and last primary school year.  If you have chosen for your child to take part in the NCMP then you will receive a letter home telling you your child’s weight and category; underweight, healthy weight, overweight or very overweight.

If your child is not in these school years you can use the NHS Healthy Weight Calculator to find out if they are a healthy weight. You will need to enter their gender, age, height and weight (make sure that these measurements are accurate) in to the online calculator and it will tell you their weight category.

If you are concerned about your child’s weight you speak to your school nurse or GP.

How can I help my child if they are not a healthy weight?

There are lots of small changes you can make to help your child reach a healthy weight.

Children learn from adults as their role models, so what we do they are likely to copy us. It is important that children see adults doing the same things we are asking them to do. By also changing our diet and exercise behaviour as adults we can enjoy the healthier benefits along with children.

Eating well is important to be a healthy weight. To find out more about the right foods to eat and in what amounts visit Change4Life . 

Daily physical activity is also essential in reaching and staying a healthy weight. Change4Life has lots of ideas to get children moving more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is a ‘Healthy Diet’?

Eating a balanced diet is an important part of being healthy. Knowing what a healthy, balanced diet should look like can be confusing though. The Eatwell Guide gives a clearer picture of what we need in order to eat well. Both children and adults should follow the guide.

What a healthy diet looks like

The Eatwell Guide help you eat a healthy, balanced diet. It shows an image of plate divided in to sections which display a variety of different foods. These different types of foods are shown as five main groups:

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Potatoes, bread, rice pasta and other starchy carbohydrates
  • Beans, pulses fish, eggs, meat and other proteins
  • Dairy and alternatives
  • Oils and spreads

The size of the sections suggests how much of each food group you need to eat. The bigger the section the more you need. Fruit and vegetables are one of the largest sections which mean you should eat lots from this group – at least five portions a day. Some foods should only be eaten in small amounts as the section of the plate is much smaller, such as oils and spreads.

There is one section which is set outside of the main plate, which is the section for foods high in fat, salt and sugar. You do not need these foods in your diet, and by not including them as a section of the main plate it shows you should not eat these very often or in large amounts. Read more about a balanced diet.  

Who is the Eatwell Guide for?

The Guide is recommended for most people, regardless of their weight, ethnicity or preference as a meat eater or vegetarian. Children aged 2 to 5 years should start to follow the guide. Everyone aged 5 and older should eat a healthy, balanced diet shown by the Eatwell Guide. Some people may need to seek advice first, such as people with dietary requirements or medical needs.

When should you use the Eatwell Guide?

Try to follow the Eatwell Guide most of the time. Not every meal or snack you have will include a food from each of the five main sections but aim for a balance over the day and week. Imagine putting all the food you eat in a day or week in to the sections of the Eatwell Guide, would your sections be the same proportion as the guide? If not then consider what you would need to change in your diet, do you need to eat more of some foods and less of others?

Top Tips for a healthy diet

Here are just eight suggestions to help you and your child follow a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle; 

  1. Include starchy carbohydrates at meals, these include; potatoes, bread, rice pasta and other sources.
  2. Aim to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
  3. Eat more fish. It is recommended to eat one portion of oily fish a week, such as; sardines, mackerel, trout, herring, pilchards and salmon.
  4. Cut down on foods high in fat and sugar.
  5. Eat less salt.
  6. Eat well and exercise to reach and stay a heathy weight.
  7. Drink 6-8 glasses of fluid a day. (Plain water and milk are the only tooth friendly drinks for children).
  8. Have breakfast.

 

Keep your head

The Keep Your Head website provides a central point for reliable information and resources on children and young people’s mental health. The site has information on looking after your own wellbeing, as well as details of local services and what to do if a young person is experiencing a mental health crisis. The website is for children, young people, parents/carers, teachers and professionals.

The website includes:

  • Tips for feeling good and staying healthy
  • Details of apps that could help you to look after your mental wellbeing
  • Information on bullying, stress and sleep
  • Specific information on self-harm and suicide and where to go for support
  • Information for teachers and health professionals on referral options and training.

There are also details of a range of local services that can support young people’s mental health, including the 3T’s talking therapies service, the Shelf-Help library book scheme and Kooth online counselling service.

Visit www.keep-your-head.com to find out more!

2017 Peterborough Children's Film Awards

Well done to all the school children who took part in this year's Peterborough Children's Film Awards.

This year's theme was 

  • Healthy Eating - in support of the Healthy Peterborough initiative and what you are doing in the classroom now.
  • Children's Mental Health - How do we look after ourselves when things go wrong? in support of the Peterborough Safeguarding Children's Board 

Here are the winning films:

Children Film Awards 2017 logo


The Fulbridge Academy - Fulbridge Animal Hospital

Winner of Early Years Foundation Stage Category

 

The Peterborough School - Shape of You
Winner of Years 1&2 and Warwick Davis Award - Best Overall Film


The Fulbridge Academy - Mindfulness Club
Winner of Year 3&4 Category


 


Nene Valley Primary School - Stay Strong

Winner of Year 5&6 and Peterborough Safeguarding Children's Board Categories

 

Hampton Hargate Primary School - We are never ever giving back the treasure
Winner of Peterborough Music Hub Best Soundtrack Category

 

8 July - Healthy Peterborough Lifestyle Service Launch

The city’s Healthy Peterborough Lifestyle Service is excited to invite members of the public to celebrate the launch of the service on Saturday 8 July between 10am and 4pm on Bridge Street, outside Peterborough Town Hall. 

This vibrant and entertaining event will be an opportunity to learn about the range of support on offer with a focus on Healthy Body, Healthy Heart and Lungs and Exercise. Free health checks, stop smoking support and exercise demonstrations will run alongside a fun packed day of Bhangras, balloon modelling, stilt walker, face painters, giant bubbles, puppets and Dhol players! 

Peterborough City Council commissioned Solutions4Health to provide information and support to enable residents to make better lifestyle choices and take control of their health.Councillor Diane Lamb, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for public health, will join representatives from Solutions4Health in celebrating this new service. 

Councillor Lamb said: “The new Healthy Peterborough Lifestyle Service has real potential to transform people’s lives and I’m looking forward to the launch event to see the support being offered in practice. 

“Backed up by research we know that changes in lifestyle, for example giving up smoking or taking more exercise, can have a big impact on our long term health. But it can be hard to make changes without support and motivational advice, and that’s where the new Healthy Peterborough service steps in. 

“Whether you want to give up smoking or some tips on integrating exercise into your lifestyle, it’s all going to be on hand. I hope as many people will come along to the event to get a taster of the support and advice on offer. "

Leena Sankla, Director of Public Health & Lifestyle Services at Solutions 4 Health said “We are excited to showcase the amazing support on offer to both children and adults in the city of Peterborough. The event is shaping up to be a real celebration of the diversity and vibrancy of the city as well as highlighting key areas where the Healthy Peterborough service can help residents to understand their health and make a positive change, not only for themselves but for their friends, family and loved ones.” 

Peterborough residents who can’t make it to on the day but are keen to start living a healthier, happier life, can contact the service via;

Telephone: 0800 376 5655 / 01733 590 064
Email: healthy.peterborough@nhs.net
Web: www.healthypeterborough.org.uk

Your guide to childhood illnesses

There are many childhood illnesses that can be treated at home, by a pharmacist or by your GP.

This leaflet gives you some information on some of these illnesses, and lets you know when you should seek urgent medical treatment.

It also lets you know about local health services and it has links to other information you might find useful.

A&E Alternatives

This video describes the NHS services available as alternatives to A&E. A&E should only be used for serious and life-threatening conditions that need urgent medical attention.

To find your nearest NHS service, NHS Walk-in Cente or Minor Illness and Injury Unit visit NHS Choices
For further information about the alternate services available click on these links Self care111Pharmacy, GPMinor Illness and Injury Unit    


Bullying

Bullying can take many forms – verbal abuse, being physically hurt, having things stolen, being left out or online bullying are some of the ways. People might bully someone because of their religion or country they are from, their sexual identity, the way they look or how well they do in school, among other reasons. Bullying can impact on a child’s physical and emotional health, with the effects being long lasting in some cases. Bullying can also affect a child’s experience of school and ability to build relationships.

As a young person, or as an adult who is being bullied, it is important tell someone about it and ask for help. As a parent or carer these are some of the things you can do to support your child, further details of each of these points can be found on the NSPCC website:

  • Talk about bullying with your child
  • Make sure they know who to ask for help
  • Help them relax and take time out
  • Teach them how to stay safe online
  • Talk to your child’s school or club
  • Take further action if the bullying continues
  • Report online videos of bullying.

Locally you can find more information on bullying on the Keep Your Head website.

The Kooth online counselling service and 3Ts talking therapies service both offer emotional support to young people in Peterborough and are free to access. For more information on these services visit the Keep Your Head website.

Useful websites:

  

 

Ageing well

10 tips for ageing better

We know it’s not just about living longer, it’s about living healthily and happily for longer. Follow our top 10 tips for ageing better.

1. Watch what you eat and drink

Having a balanced diet is crucial for good health, energy and preventing illness. An ideal diet should be low in saturated fat, with lots of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, oily fish, and small amounts of low-fat dairy and lean meat. Don’t forget to top-up with lots of water to avoid dehydration, which can make you feel tired and confused. Tea, coffee and fruit juice will also help you to stay hydrated, but avoid sugary fizzy drinks. See our healthy eating guide for lots more information.

If you drink alcohol, keep at least two days per week booze-free to give your liver time to recover from the toxic effects of alcohol, and don’t exceed recommended daily limits for alcohol consumption.

2. Look after your teeth

Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Floss helps to prevent gum disease by removing pieces of food and plaque from between the teeth. If it’s left to build up you might notice sore or bleeding gums, and gum disease can also be linked to diabetes, strokes, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Have regular check-ups and, if you wear dentures or have a bridge, ask your dentist to check that they fit properly. Find out more about dental care.

3. Stay active

Daily exercise helps you to stay strong and healthy. This will lower your risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. If that wasn’t enough, staying active can boost your self-esteem, improve your sleep, and give you more energy. Government guidelines recommend that older adults do 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, as well as strengthening exercises twice a week. If that sounds like a lot, start small and as you get stronger you will be able to work up to those amounts.

Find out more about what exercise might suit you.

4. Make the most of your GP

It’s a good idea to get some routine tests done at the doctors to check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. High readings increase your risk factor for stroke and heart disease but any problems are completely reversible with medication.

Whilst you’re there, why not ask your doctor about the seasonal flu jab? It’s free once you reach 65, or if you have a health condition that puts you at risk of more serious problems if you caught the flu. Also see our list of 7 health tests that can save your life.

5. Get a vitamin boost

Lots of people have a vitamin D deficiency and don’t know it. In fact, it’s estimated that it affects half of the adult population. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to cognitive impairment, bone problems and also cardiovascular disease.

Try to get outside in the sunshine for at least 15-20 minutes a day for a vitamin D boost. It can also be found in food such as eggs and oily fish. Alternatively, talk to your doctor about a vitamin D supplement.

6. Take care of your feet

Look after your feet by applying moisturiser to prevent dry skin and cutting your toenails straight across. Make sure you have footwear that fits properly and supports your feet. If they are sore you may be tempted to stay in slippers, but a pair of trainers could be a good option as they are more supportive.

Contact your GP if your feet become painful, feel very hot or cold or if you have common problems like corns, bunions or ingrown toenails. See our guide to common foot problems.

7. Sort out your sleep

Many of us have trouble getting – or staying – asleep as we get older. This can leave you feeling tired and grumpy. Avoid insomnia by cutting down on daytime naps, establishing a bedtime routine and going to bed at the same time each night. Try a warm drink such as chamomile tea or hot milk before you go to bed.

8. Take the tests

As we age our hearing and eyesight can be affected, so it’s important to get them checked regularly. Hearing loss is common in older people so see your GP if you have to have the TV on loud or having trouble tuning into conversations. If you need a hearing aid, some are available on the NHS.

Have your eyes checked every year if you are aged 70 or over, and every two years if you are under 70. This means that changes in your vision can be corrected and any problems can be picked up before they seriously affect your sight. Eye tests are free if you are over 60.

9. Stay in touch

Spending time with other people can prevent you from feeling lonely or anxious. If you find that you are no longer able to do the things you used to do, try to develop new hobbies and interests or think about becoming a volunteer. Use Skype to make video phone calls to friends and family who don’t live nearby, or find out more about our befriending services.

If you are single, divorced, or bereaved and would like to meet someone, read our online guide to dating.

10. Give up smoking

Smoking is bad for your body and your brain. It is linked to a whole range of different health problems, including heart disease, lung cancer, and bronchitis. The good news is that if you stop smoking, regardless of your age, your circulation, your lung capacity and your energy levels will improve. Find out more here.

Living well with dementia

Dementia is caused when parts of the brain stop working properly due to disease or trauma. The symptoms may include memory loss, changes in thought, mood, and behaviour. We do not fully understand the causes yet although eating healthily and being physically active can reduce the risk of some types of dementia in later life.

The number of people with dementia in Peterborough is increasing, as we are all living longer. Do you know anyone affected by dementia?

For many people, it can be a worrying time when either you, or a person you care about, are diagnosed with dementia. There are ways you can get help and lots of information to help you make sense of the experience. There are local opportunities to support you to overcome problems and improve your quality of life.

Based at the Dementia Resource Centre, the Alzheimer’s Society provides a one-stop shop for residents of Peterborough whose lives are affected by dementia. Advice, information and support are available to ensure that those who have a diagnosis of dementia and their carers are able to get the help they need in everyday life.

Many services are run from the resource centre, including a monthly dementia café, cognitive stimulation, peer support, carer support and information, and a service user review panel. Activity groups include art & craft, gardening, singing and current affairs.

Mr & Mrs M have been coming to the centre since shortly after it opened. They both currently attend Singing for the Brain. Mrs M enjoys helping to maintain the Dementia Resource Centre garden and has told me how many friends she has made amongst other carers.  They often come along just to have lunch at our on-site café and meet others for support & social interaction.  Mrs M said that without our support and the centre, she wouldn’t know what she would do and probably wouldn’t be able to cope on her own. 

We can all show consideration to people with dementia in our local communities – why not find out more about becoming adementia friend and increasing your understanding of dementia so that you can be supportive to those around you?

Keeping active

Living healthily in middle age can double your chances of being healthy when you are 70.  Being active is critical to maintain a healthy body and mind for later years, and poorer health in later life is not inevitable.

Older age can mean living as well as young people by making relatively small changes to our habits and lifestyles now.  Not being active increases our risk of many conditions that will impact on future quality of life, including dementia, osteoarthritis and general physical limitations in older age. 

Older adults can be more at risk of falling, and should do exercises to improve balance and co-ordination on at least two days a week, such as yoga, tai chi and dancing. 

Being active slows the natural breakdown of your bones and muscles, and helps us maintain a healthy weight and good circulation. It also helps maintain our brains. 

If you’re looking to be active with the children or grandchildren, there are over 200 play areas for families of all ages in and around PeterboroughFacilities at some of the parks such as Central Park include a paddling pool, sensory garden, an aviary, a cafe and sports playing grounds.  The Embankment is within easy walking distance of the city centre and runs along the picturesque views of the River Nene, Bretton Park boasts one of the largest green open spaces whilst Itter Park in Paston has a bowling green and a putting green.

Don't fall for it!

Improving safety in the home can help you stay active and independent. 

Falls, slips and trips are a leading cause of disability among older people so it’s important for you to consider what you can do to help make your home and environment safe.  

Clearing away clutter, ensuring floors and carpets are safe, making sure your home is well lit and installing handrails where necessary are all useful suggestions for improving safety.

Remaining active, eating well, paying attention to foot problems, properly fitting shoes and slippers can all contribute to avoiding falls. Addressing factors in the home together with remaining active and eating well, will all help you stay active and continue doing the things you enjoy doing.

For more information on preventing falls at home, visit the Age UK website.

 

Get an NHS Health Check

If you're aged 40-74, you can expect to receive a letter from your GP or local authority inviting you for a free NHS Health Check. Like a ‘midlife MOT’, it aims to control risk factors and help prevent diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and dementia.

It includes some basic questions, a blood pressure and BMI check and some blood tests. Your healthcare professional will discuss your results with you. The NHS Health Check is an ideal opportunity to gain advice and support for healthier lifestyle choices like keeping active, eating healthily, not smoking and drinking less alcohol.

As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing something dangerous like high blood pressure, heart disease or type 2 diabetes. Your NHS Health Check can help prevent these, helping you to enjoy life for longer.

More information is available at: http://www.healthcheck.nhs.uk/ 

Services to prevent falls

It is estimated that residents of Peterborough who fall in 2016 will result in over:
 
  • 1,010 GP attendances
  • 1,208 ambulance call outs
  • 1,585 A&E attendances 
  • 555 hospital inpatient admissions
The associated costs of these are estimated to be over £39 million.
 
The city council's Home Services Delivery Team provides a range of services that are focused around Falls Prevention. These include:
 
The Handyperson service:

This service provides a wide range of practical support for older, disabled and vulnerable people to help maintain independent living, including:
  • small building repairs
  • odd jobs (for example, putting up curtain rails or shelves which prevent use of ladders and falling)
  • general home safety checks with remedial action 
  • falls/accident prevention checks with remedial action to reduce risks (for example, securing loose carpets, putting up grab rails, suitable lighting)
  • security checks with remedial action (for example, installing locks, chains, spy-holes)
  • small home energy efficiency measures (for example, installing low energy light bulbs, replacing appliances)
  • fire safety (for example, installation of smoke alarms, electric blanket checks, chip pan/fat fryer exchange), and
  • signposting clients to other services
 
Repairs Assistance Grants
  • Up to a maximum of £20,000 (means tested) for owner occupied property to address a range of hazards in the home including tripping hazards, falls between levels such as unsafe staircases, falls on the level such as uneven paving
  • Heating grants to repair, replace or provide central heating systems. Cold homes cause both physical and mental harm. They can lead to circulatory problems as blood becomes thicker in lower temperatures, leading to stroke and heart attacks, as well as reduced mobility leading to falls or other injury. 

 

Call (01733) 863860 for Handyperson and repairs assistance

 
 
Disabled Facility Grants
  • Up to a maximum of £30,000 (means tested) to adapt a person's home to enable them to remain living independently at home, this can range from a stairlift, through floor lift, level access shower to an extension to provide ground floor sleeping and bathing facilities, all of which include falls prevention.
 
Assistive Technology
  • Assistive Technology (AT) covers a wide variety of equipment and devices, both simple and complex that can promote independence and enable living at home for longer. This includes aids for sensory impaired clients, and clients with cognitive impairment, dementia and learning disabilities, including equipment and devices which can prevent falls.

Minor Aids and Adaptations

  • assistance with discharge to enable care at home such as fitting key safes, equipment, grab rails, ramps
 

For further information call (01733) 747474.

 

Benefits of exercise

The more you sit, the weaker and more frail you become.  See below for problems you can reduce the risk of avoiding with exercise.

Problem I have or
want to avoid
Exercise can help because What you will notice

No energy
Short of breath

Improves stamina and muscle power.
Removes waste quicker Stimulates circulation to all organs including the brain.
Lose weight.

It is easier to move from place to place.
Feel less sluggish.
More energy for day-to-day activities.

High Blood, Pressure Heart attack, Heart disease, Stroke

Helps lower cholesterol level, stress hormones and muscle tension.
Helps lower blood pressure.
Keeps the heart muscle strong.
Aids circulation and helps blood and body fluids to move.

Feel better, more energetic.
Feel less dizzy.
Prevents ankle swelling, blood clots, leg ulcers and foot pain.

Over-weight

Burns more calories and replaces inactive fat with muscle. 
Increases muscle mass.

Muscles burn calories even when you sleep, so losing weight and keeping it down is easier.

 

Swollen feet The movement of muscles massages veins so blood and fluids return from the feet.

Reduces swollen ankles and feet. 
Walking becomes easier.

Osteoporosis Muscle pulling on bone stimulates bone growth, making bones stronger and less likely to break. Standing or weight bearing for 4 hours a day helps

Less likely to break a bone if you fall.
Less pain.
Better posture helps prevent falls.

Arthritis

Stronger muscles help to hole the joints in correct position so there is less wear and tear on them.
Moving joints helps to 'nourish' them and keeps a good range of movement.

Less wear and tear on joints means less pain.
You will be able to keep doing things for yourself - wash hair, do up buttons, put own shoes one, walk more easily and safely.

Cancer: Breast, Colon, Prostate

Burns fat, which stores carcinogens.
Gets ride of waste quicker.

More regular bowel movement.
Feel more comfortable in the abdomen.
Burning fat helps to lose weight.

Kidney Disease

Lowers blood pressure and blood sugars so less risk to kidneys.
Being upright helps kidneys to drain.
Stimulates circulation and thirst.
Removes body waste and drug “left overs”

Kidney infections can cause backache and a general feeling of lethargy.
Will feel thirsty, improving fluid intake, increased urine flow, flushing kidneys and decreasing the chance of stagnation, infections and stones.
Feel more lively and energetic

Can’t Sleep at night
Night visits to the loo

Using the body during the day will help muscles relax and rest at night.
Helps fluid circulate from legs to kidneys during the day rather than at night.

Getting a better night’s sleep will aid restful sleep, helping you to feel more alert and energetic on waking.

Constipation, Bloating

 

Stimulates circulation and colon activity.
Decreases need for medicines.

Feel more energetic. 
Feel more comfortable.
Less wind to deal with.

 

Depressed
Don’t like the way I look

Exercise releases endorphins, “feel good” chemicals in the brain which help you to feel cheerful and positive.
Lose weight.
Tone up muscles.

Release of endorphins helps you to feel happy and alert.
May not need medicines or so many.
Toning the body and losing weight will make you look better, clothes fit better.
Improving self-esteem.

 Low back pain

Improves abdominal muscle tone.
Improves posture.
Prevents constipation and bloating which stresses muscles causing pain.

Better posture and good abdominal muscles will help prevent back pain and make you feel better about yourself.
Good posture helps in preventing trips and falls.

 Urinary incontinence

Stimulates muscle tone and thirst, which stimulates urine flow.
Stronger deep abdominal muscles will also mean stronger pelvic floor muscles.
Drinking more will stop dehydration which causes headaches and lethargy.
Moving easier so no delay in toileting, will prevent infection and overfilling.

The deep abdominal muscles work together with the pelvic floor muscle which will make it easier to control the urge to urinate.
Less fear of accidents happening. 
Less headaches, feel more energetic.

 Injury  

Exercise increases strength, flexibility and balance.
Encourages better posture and body alignment.
Decreases wear and tear.
Decreases chance of falls and injury.

 

More confident to move about.
Less pain if muscles are stronger.
Everyday tasks become easier and therefore less tiring, so more energy and “verve”.

Local Dementia Support

The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem solving, perception or language.

A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour. Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. There are over a hundred different types of dementia of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common followed closely by Vascular Dementia. It is possible to have more than one type of dementia at the same time and this is known as Mixed dementia. More detailed information is available on the Alzheimer’s Society’s website www.alzheimers.org.uk

Based at the Dementia Resource Centre (DRC), the Alzheimer’s Society provides a one-stop shop for residents of Peterborough whose lives are affected by dementia. Advice, information and support are available to ensure that those who have a diagnosis of dementia and their carers are able to get the help they need in everyday life.

Dementia Support Workers and a Dementia Adviser are able to meet people at the DRC or in their own home to provide information and signposting as well as guidance on practical matters and emotional support. The Advocate is able to help people with dementia to express their views, to access information and services and to secure their rights.

Some of the services that take place at the DRC include:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Hairdressing
(by appointment)
Open Minds
Chair Yoga, OOMPH, Young On-Set group Open Carers Group, Singing for the Brain (Wrens) Dementia Café Singing for the Brain (Nightingales and Larks – fortnightly)

Other services are available by invitation. Please contact the DRC on 01733 893853 or peterborough@alzheimers.org.uk.  All the services are designed to improve and enhance wellbeing, maintain independence and prevent crisis situations.

If you would like to help by becoming a volunteer please contact our Volunteering Officer, Debbie Holmes, on 01733 893853 or debbie.holmes@alzheimers.org.uk

Another way of becoming involved is through Dementia Friends at www.dementiafriends.org.uk

 

This is a note that was received recently, written by someone who uses the Dementia Resource Centre services.

"The DRC is the most amazing place. We have been helped more than we can ever hope to say. My wife loves her Arts & Crafts group so much and everyone helps her so much. Her confidence has improved in leaps and bounds and she has made lots of lovely friends. The staff are so professional and caring and have helped me many times when I have been very low with my caring role. We are so blessed to be here. Thank you for all that you do."

Eat a healthy, balanced diet to reduce your risk of dementia

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for your physical health and mental health. Staying a healthy weight helps to protect against dementia, throughout your life.

Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables a day. A balance of carbohydrates (foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta), protein (beans, pulses, fish, eggs or meat), dairy (milk or soya), unsaturated oils and spreads in small amounts. Eat less saturated fats, salt and sugars. Drink plenty of water (6-8 glasses a day).

Even if you cannot get a perfect balance in every meal, try to get the balance over the day or week.

You can get more advice on our Healthy Eating pages or NHS Live Well, which includes the Eatwell guide5 A Day tips and 12 week Weight Loss pack.

Being active reduces the risk of falls and dementia

Being active at all ages is essential for keeping healthy and well and ensuring you carry on doing the things you enjoy in everyday life and it reduces the risk of dementia and falls.

All adults, including older people, should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week in bouts of 10 minutes or more to stay healthy. This means that the activity should cause you to become warmer, breathe harder and make your heart beat faster. Brisk walking, ballroom dancing and water aerobics are good examples of moderate physical activities.

Equally important are activities to improve muscle strength and bone health. This could include light resistance exercises or carrying or moving loads such as groceries and activities that improve your balance.  Specific strength and balance exercises that improve balance and co-ordination help reduce the risk of falls. Speak to your local Public Health team on 0800 376 56 55 or gym to get you started and continue doing these exercises regularly at home.

Our understanding about the benefits of exercise is not new, but we now know how important it is to protect against dementia too. People often feel much better after getting out and doing exercise. Joining an exercise group is a good way of staying socially active too, improving your confidence and wellbeing. Try to make it fun!

Think about how you can build exercise into your daily life - walk or cycle rather than drive, go out to the park, plan activities with your family and friends.  Check out the Healthy Peterborough Physical Activity pages for more information on the FREE local programme, or find out about FREE local walks.

Older people who have fallen in the last year or feel at risk of falling are encouraged to do strength and balance exercises to improve balance and co-ordination. These exercises can be done at home.

If you have any pre-existing medical condition please check with your GP before carrying out physical activity.

For more information about staying active in older life visit the Age UK website:

 

Cancer Screening

Healthy lifestyle changes can prevent many cases of cancer, screening aims to drive down cancer cases even further. National programmes are in place for breast cancer screening, cervical screening and bowel cancer screening to help identify cancer at an early stage when it's more treatable.

What can I do to reduce my risk of cancer?

Screening: take up the offer of cancer screening. By regularly attending appointments for cervical, bowel, and breast cancer screening, you have the best chance of spotting signs early when it’s more treatable or prevent cancer from developing at all.

Check yourself: Make sure you know the key symptoms of the main cancers and regularly check yourself for any changes. It's important to know your body and recognise any potential symptoms of cancer, such as lumps, change in bowel habit, unexplained weight loss, pain or bleeding. Get advice from your GP early about whether they might be serious. Find out more information on signs and symptoms of cancer.

Cervical Screening

Cervical screening (a smear test) is a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix. From the age of 25 all women registered with a GP will be invited for a cervical screening every three years. Between the age of 50 and 64, women will be invited every five years. Women over 65 will be invited to be screened if they haven’t been screened since 50 or have recently had an abnormal test result. Each year cervical screening saves 5,000 lives in the UK. Not going for cervical screening is one of the biggest risk factors for developing cervical cancer.

Bowel Cancer Screening

Taking part in bowel cancer screening reduces your chances of dying from bowel cancer, and removing polyps in bowel scope screening can prevent cancer. If bowel cancer is detected at an early stage, before symptoms appear, it's easier to treat and there's a better chance of surviving it. If you’re aged between 60 and 74, you will be invited to take part in bowel cancer screening every two years. If you’re aged 75 or over, you can request a screening test by calling the bowel cancer screening helpline on 0800 707 60 60.

Breast Cancer Screening

About one in eight women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. There's a good chance of recovery if it's detected in its early stages. Women aged 50 to 70 are invited for a breast screening every three years. Women over the age of 70 can ask for an appointment.

Active in younger years helps you age well

Living healthily in middle age can double your chances of being healthy when you are 70.  Being active is critical to maintain a healthy body and mind for later years, and poorer health in later life is not inevitable.

Older age can mean living as well as young people by making relatively small changes to our habits and lifestyles now.  Not being active increases our risk of many conditions that will impact on future quality of life, including dementia, osteoarthritis and general physical limitations in older age. 

Older adults can be more at risk of falling, and should do exercises to improve balance and co-ordination on at least two days a week, such as yoga, tai chi and dancing. 

Being active slows the natural breakdown of your bones and muscles, and helps us maintain a healthy weight and good circulation. It also helps maintain our brains. 

If you’re looking to be active with the children or grandchildren, there are over 200 play areas for families of all ages in and around PeterboroughFacilities at some of the parks such as Central Park include a paddling pool, sensory garden, an aviary, a cafe and sports playing grounds.  The Embankment is within easy walking distance of the city centre and runs along the picturesque views of the River Nene, Bretton Park boasts one of the largest green open spaces whilst Itter Park in Paston has a bowling green and a putting green.

Workplace health

Creating a Healthy Workplace

Promoting good health is important in the workplace because, in business, people are the most valuable asset. Healthy, engaged employees show improved job performance and productivity and taking care of staff can help reduce sickness absence, high turnover levels and low morale. Healthy employees can be up to three times more productive than those in poor health.

The average employee spends over a third of their waking hours at work, making the workplace an ideal place to help people make positive lifestyle changes and create a more engaged and productive workforce.

There are many simple and easy ways you can support your employees to improve their health and the health of your business.

Healthy Peterborough’s Workplace Health Service helps employers to develop a co-ordinated, planned and sustained programme to improve the health and wellbeing of their workforce.  Public Health in Peterborough work in partnership with Living Sport, the local County Sport Partnership to deliver our funded workplace health Service for Peterborough employers.

We can help you with the following:

  • Training and supporting Workplace Health Champions who will develop and support health and wellbeing activities
  • Support to identify and train Workplace health champions who are then able to drive in-house health campaigns
  • Provide mental health training and ongoing support through our networks
  • Provide support for policy development and its implementation
  • Sign post employers to health partners who can support on-site health and wellbeing events
  • Access to the WorkHealthy website, which will have up-to-date information on staying healthy at work and is also a great way to find out about local services that can support you and your employees
  • Provide free access to ongoing wellbeing networks to support employer wellbeing leads and health champions to keep them updated on the latest good practice
  • To provide free access to the workplace challenge web portal to support employees physical wellbeing

 

The benefits of a healthy workforce

  • Inactive employees are less productive by 5 to 6 hours per week than active employees (Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine 2007)

  • 26% of the workforce are living with a health condition or disability

  • 24% of the adult population are obese and this is set to rise to 40% in 2025 (www.ic.nhs.uk)

  • Research shows that the implementation of a structured workplace health and wellbeing programme can decrease sickness absence by up to 30% and improve job satisfaction by 10–25% (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2008)

  • On average, smokers take 4.4 more days off work each year than non-smokers

  • Right now, 1 in 6 of the workforce is dealing with a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or stress

  • Work is the biggest cause of stress in people’s lives, more so than debt or financial problems

What will you gain as an organisation?

Reduce the cost of workplace absence through sickness, increasing productivity:

  • Physically active employees take 27% fewer sick days

  • Several programmes have seen rates lower by 12–36% and a reduction in absenteeism costs of 35% (Kreis J and Bodeker W, 2004)

  • Well-designed wellness programmes can increase employee job satisfaction and reduce staff turnover by 10–25% (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2008)

Benefits for your workforce

Introducing a workplace health and wellbeing programme will show your employees that they are valued and respected. Because people spend so much time at work it’s the ideal place to give advice on ways they can become healthier, happier and fitter.

What drives investment in employee health and wellbeing?

  • An ageing and increasingly diversified workforce requiring greater support to remain productive at work

  • Increasing levels of chronic disease in the general population

  • Rising costs of ill-health in the workplace associated with increased absenteeism and reduced performance

 

Workplace Health Champions

What does a Workplace Health Champion do?

A Health Champion within a workplace is a volunteer who acts as a point of contact within the organisation for employers who want to promote the health of their employees.

They are trained to have a basic understanding of the principles of health and wellbeing and how best to promote them with their colleagues.

A Health Champion might initiate, for example, walking groups or events where information and activities to improve health are available.

 What does Health Champion training involve?

The training takes place over one day with a short, multiple choice test at the end. It outlines key health and wellbeing challenges and covers areas such as physical activity, healthy eating and stopping smoking. Participants gain the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) Level 2 award in Understanding Health Improvement, which is an accredited qualification.

Who is it for?

The course is suitable for anyone interested in the health of employees, but it could be particularly useful for human resource teams, health and safety officers, line managers or union representatives. If organisations want more than one person to undertake the training we recommend that they are from different sites, divisions or departments within the business.

What next?

Training is delivered through open sessions which run mid-county throughout the year at no cost to employers. In-house sessions are available subject to a course fee. Trained health champions will receive regular and ongoing updates through twice yearly funded health champion networks.

 

For more information on the next training session/network contact Living Sport’s programme manager Debbie.longhurst@livingsport.co.uk or call 07921 832514.
www.livingsport.co.uk 

 

 

What businesses can do

In order to ensure your workplace health programme meets the needs of your business it is important to develop and implement plans which make use of resources as effectively as possible. A simple workplace health strategy can also assist with evaluating and measuring the impact of health and wellbeing initiatives on staff and the wider business.

The World Health Organisation has developed an easily adaptable, eight-step tool for organisations developing a healthy workplace strategy:

Mobilise

Key stakeholders need to be engaged. Employees’ and representative groups’ needs inform the health and wellbeing strategy or plan.

Assemble

At this point the team of potential Workplace Health Champions should be identified. The champion group should include people from all sectors and levels of the business. This is a good time to approach our partners Living Sport for advice and support and contacnt their programme manager. 

Living Sport’s programme manager: email Debbie.longhurst@livingsport.co.uk
call 07921 832514.

 Assess

Once Workplace Health Champions have been trained it is important to measure the current situation. Organisations may wish to gather baseline data on sickness absence, staff turnover and any issues that have arisen from workplace inspections and risk assessments. This is also the time to carry out a staff survey to assess the health and wellbeing concerns of staff.

Wellbeing leads for workplaces can access the funded Practitioner networks, led by our partners Living Sport which allow employers to share good practice and keep updated on the latest wellbeing initiatives/toolkits from Public health and associated partners.

Prioritise

Workplace Health Champions now need to prioritise which health areas to focus on.

Plan

Workplace Health Champions should then put together a plan of general activities (e.g. stop smoking advisor visit) and broad timescales. Budget, facilities and resources need to be included.

Do

Implement the action plan!

Evaluate

It is important to examine what is working and what isn’t. For example, an additional staff survey can be run a year into a wellbeing programme to measure the positive impact upon staff health. Sickness absence rates before and after implementation of a programme can provide useful evaluation data.

Improve

Make changes based on evaluation results to improve the health and wellbeing programme. Also ensure successes are acknowledged!

Healthy Workplace Training and Networking

There are a number of free wellbeing training sessions and supporting networks to help the wellbeing lead develop and maintain their in-house wellbeing programme. This includes the training of health champions and training to reduce stigma around mental wellbeing.

Accredited Mental Health First Aid Lite training 

This Mental health first aid lite session is MHFA England accredited. The training is provided at no cost to Peterborough workplaces. This half day training is delivered by our partners Living Sport whose accredited MHFA trainers deliver the training through regular open sessions held mid- county in Cambridgeshire.

Target audience: Employers based in Peterborough aimed at workplace health champions, line managers, Health and Safety and HR professionals.

Course aims: To give you and others within your organisation a wider understanding of some of the issues associated with mental health; to help you work more effectively with people living with mental health issues; to understand the aims of the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course; and allow you to experience a taste of the content of the full 2 day MHFA course.

Course outputs: Participants should be able to identify the discrimination surrounding mental health problems; define mental health and some mental health problems; relate to other people’s experience; help support people with mental health problems; look after their own mental health; and be a point of contact for people who want to engage in wellbeing activities (health issues, involvement in health campaigns etc.) 

Cost:  Free to workplaces in Peterborough, who can access the training through our partners Living Sport 

Living Sport’s programme manager: email Debbie.longhurst@livingsport.co.uk
call 07921 832514.


Workplace Health Champions training


Since 2009 workplace wellbeing has been supported by a number of Public Health partners in the East of England with some 350 trained champions supporting their organisations to improve employee wellbeing. Each champion has been trained in the Royal Society of Public Health workplace champions training, ‘Understanding Health Improvement’ trained by an experienced workplace RSPH accredited trainer. The training has allowed them to build capacity and sustain the momentum of their workplace wellbeing strategy.

The training: RSPH Workplace health champions training-‘Understanding Health improvement’. This one day training course, which leads to an accredited Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) Level 2 Award in Understanding Health Improvement, covers examples of inequalities in health within the UK, how individuals can help others improve their health through effective communication and some of the lifestyle factors that can impact on health and well-being. The course is assessed by a multiple-choice test consisting of 30 questions.

Target audience: Available only to workplaces based in Cambridgeshire, aimed at wellbeing leads and staff within an organisation.

Course aims: To give you and others within your organisation a wider understanding of health inequalities within the workplace, to enable champions to sign post staff to health support locally and support the wider organisational wellbeing strategy.

Course outputs: Participants should be able to improve their understanding of national health inequalities and local support for employees; Improved their communication skills and ability to listen and sign post to wellbeing support

Cost: FREE training funded through the Public Health workplace offer. For more information or book a place contact Living Sport

Living Sport’s programme manager: email Debbie.longhurst@livingsport.co.uk
call 07921 832514.


Wellbeing Practitioners Network

This employer led strategic health network runs quarterly at no cost for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire’s wellbeing leads to enable them to keep abreast of the latest health initiatives/toolkits and share good practice with like-minded employers.


Workplace Health Champions Network

This free twice yearly practical network runs to support our trained health champions to upskill them on the latest wellbeing toolkits and campaigns, and to share good practice. This is closed session is invite only through our partners living sport.

Free to workplaces in Peterborough, who can access these networks through our partners Living Sport.

Living Sport’s programme manager: email Debbie.longhurst@livingsport.co.uk
call 07921 832514.

 

Workplace Health Partners 

Living Sport can also signpost you to other partners health offers for workplaces including on-site NHS health checks/mini MOTs and lunch bites; and health themed lunch sessions.

Living Sport works alongside a number of other health and wellbeing partners so can sign post employers to other local wellbeing initiatives including on-site NHS health checks/mini mots, Be Active Be Health lunch bites, Stop Smoking initiatives to name but a few.

Living Sport’s programme manager: email Debbie.longhurst@livingsport.co.uk
call 07921 832514.

 

 

Slideshow

Healthy Lifestyle Service

What is the new Healthy Peterborough Service and what does it include?

The Healthy Peterborough Service is an integrated service launching on 1 April 2017, designed to provide holistic lifestyle support to the residents of Peterborough through a single point of access, using a targeted approach. This will include:

  • Stop smoking
  • Adult Weight Management (Tier 2 and 3)
  • Child Weight Management (Tier 2)
  • Wellness coaches
  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • NHS Health Checks (Outreach only)
  • Digital self care

 

Phone: 0800 376 5655 / 01733 590 064 

Email: healthy.peterborough@nhs.net

eFax: 01733 286835

Website: www.healthypeterborough.org.uk

 

 

MyHealth app

Need to find local health services quickly? New ‘MyHealth’ app for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

A new app to help Cambridgeshire and Peterborough residents find local NHS services available to them has been launched.

Quick and easy to use, the ‘MyHealth Cambridgeshire & Peterborough’ app will direct you to your nearest appropriate NHS service. This includes local GPs, pharmacies, minor injury units, and dentists, based on your location or postcode.

Free to download and available in five other languages, including Polish, Latvian, and Lithuanian, MyHealth provides up to date information on current services including directions, opening hours, and contact details.

The app is available to download for iOS via Apple Store and Android via Google Play by searching for 'MyHealth C&P CCG'.

Race for Life

Find out more about the 5k or 10k on
Sunday 2 July 2017, Ferry Meadows Country Park

Active10 app

Get walking briskly every day in bursts of ten minutes or more.

Just ten continuous minutes of brisk walking every day gets the heart pumping and can make you feel better, more energetic and improve your mood.

Over time, it can lower the risk of serious illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Whether you're walking to work, stepping out at lunchtime, walking to the shops or local park or taking the dog for a walk, there are lots of ways you can fit ten minutes of brisk walking into your life. You don’t have to go to the gym, wear sportswear or start expensive fitness programmes to get the benefits of an active lifestyle, walking counts too!

There is a free Active 10 app which shows how much brisk walking you are doing and where you can fit ten minute bursts of brisk walking into your day. The app also sets you brisk walking goals and provides hints and tips to keep you going. Search ‘Active 10’ online to find out more or to download the app.

Apple/iTunes

Google Play

 

 

Look after your mental health

Do you know how to look after your mental health and wellbeing and how to support your children to do the same? There are lots of things we can do in our everyday lives to look after our mind and body.
 
This next month, Healthy Peterborough will be promoting mental health awareness and the local support available.
 
We all know that getting physically fitter helps our bodies, but what keeps our minds healthy? Like physical health, we all have mental health too. It is very common to experience problems with your mental health and it’s important to look after it, but how?
 
There are many things that impact on our wellbeing, or mental health, including our relationships, levels of stress, quality of sleep, diet and our physical health.
 
Relationships
Our relationships, friendships and connections with other people are all important. They keep us connected, give us a sense of belonging and provide us with networks and support during challenging times in our lives.
 
Managing Stress
We all experience stress to varying degrees, so we need to find the best way of managing this. It’s important to make sure we take breaks, find activities that we enjoy and get support when we need it to sort out our worries.
 
Sleep
The quality of our sleep is also fundamental to how we cope with everyday life. It is important to adopt a good sleep routine to maintain good wellbeing. This means switching off devices like mobile phones and tablets an hour before we go to bed, going to sleep and waking up around the same time and considering our sleeping environment.
 
Getting Active
We know that being physically active is good for our bodies, but it can also help our minds. Exercise can help to relieve stress and in some cases will help people to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Exercising can also help you to get a better night’s sleep, so try building an activity you enjoy into your day to see if you can feel better.
 
For more information on how to manage stress, improve your sleep and make lifestyle changes visit www.nhs.uk/OneYou which has a range of apps, like ‘Couch to 5k’, a walking tracker and ‘easy meals’, to help you make the changes that can help improve your wellbeing.
 
For information specifically on children’s mental health including how to look after their wellbeing, advice on bullying, sleep and stress busting, as well as local services when extra help is needed, visit www.keep-your-head.com.
 
Click here for support contacts 

Helping children be healthy and happy

 

With 1 in 5 reception children being an unhealthy weight, Healthy Peterborough is highlighting how small changes in diet and moving more will have huge benefits.

  1. Babies and children should be encouraged to eat healthily from the very start. From 0-6 months it is recommended babies are exclusively breastfed to protect against illness and infection. At around 6 months you should start to introduce your baby to solid foods.Visit the www.nhsuk/start4life for further guidance.

  2. As a parent, you may not like seeing your baby or child being given an injection. However, vaccinations will help protect them against a range of serious and potentially fatal diseases. Routine free vaccines are offered at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 1 year, 3 years, and 14 years of age.  Children aged 2-7 receive the flu vaccine and 12 year old girls also receive HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer.  . If you’re not sure whether your child has had all of their vaccinations ask your GP. Find out about the vaccines at http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations.

  3. Children under 5 should do 3 hours of activity each day.  For babies this means wiggling and kicking, and as they get older, crawling, dancing and playing. Make use of Vivacity Peterborough’s free swimming for under 5s. Find out more atwww.vivacity-peterborough.com/sport.

  4. Children and young people (aged 5-16 years) should enjoy at least an hour of physical activity each day. Activity helps to strengthen muscles and bones, and improves fitness. It builds confidence and improves concentration and learning at school. Visit www.nhs.uk/Change4Life for fun ideas on how to get active and to find local activities.

  5. Sitting still for too long can put us more at risk of poor health. This may be time spent sitting at the TV or computer. Break up long periods of sitting with just one or two minutes of movement every half hour. You could do the 10 Minute Shakeup Disney inspired games at www.nhs.uk/10-minute-shake-up.

  6. Eat a healthy balanced diet. Aim to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables varieties every day. It can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced. Make sure children have breakfast each morning and limit high fat, salt and sugar in food and drinks. Find out how to achieve a healthy, nutritious diet at www.nhs.uk/livewell/healthy-eating.

  7. Children are consuming three times as much sugar as recommended. Give smaller portions or swap high sugar items for similar choices with less sugar.  Get the new Be Food Smart app at www.nhs.uk/change4life to find out how much sugar is in food and drink.

  8. It's easy to overlook, but choosing healthier drinks is a key part of getting a balanced diet. Keep children hydrated with 6-8 glasses of fluid each day. Water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks all count. Avoid drinks with high sugar content like fizzy drinks and squashes. If you or your children like fizzy drinks, try diluting fruit juice with sparkling water instead. 

  9. Keep dentist trips to a minimum by getting into a regular teeth-cleaning routine by brushing teeth twice a day. Children don't need to use special "children's toothpaste". In fact, some of them don’t have enough fluoride in them to help prevent tooth decay.  Children of all ages can use family toothpaste, as long as it contains 1,350-1,500ppm fluoride. Brush up your teeth cleaning knowledge at www.nhs.uk/Livewell/dentalhealth.

  10. Growing up can be a challenge. Half of all mental health problems start before the age of 14.  If you are worried about a child then encouraging them to talk about their feelings.  Check out www.keep-your-head.com for guidance and local support. 

 

 

 

ShapeUp4Life

A ten week structured programme concerning nutrition and exercise, for adults looking for weight management. Find more details below or view our leaflet by clicking here!

 

SHAPE UP FOR LIFE

(Adult weight management programme)

Date

Location

Time

 

To be arranged

Gladstone Park Community Centre

6.00pm- 7.30pm

 

To be arranged

Millfield Community Centre, New England Complex, Lincoln Road, PE1 2PE

11.00am- 12.30pm

 

To be arranged

Millfield Community Centre, New England Complex, Lincoln Road, PE1 2PE

10.30am- 12.00pm

 

To be arranged

Gladstone Park Community Centre

12.00pm- 1.30pm

 

To be arranged

Gladstone Park Community Centre

2.00pm- 3.30pm

 

 

To apply: 

Email healthy.peterborough@nhs.net. or call direct on 01733 894540. If you have a long-term condition, we may need consent from your GP.

Healthy Lifestyle Club (4-12 year olds)

Our free healthy lifestyles club running in schools and community settings - currently Gladstone Park Community Centre.

The club is six weeks for children aged 4-6 (beginning Tues 16th, 4pm-5:15pm) , and ten weeks for children aged 7-12 (beginning Weds17th, 4pm-5:15pm). They are interactive and fun sessions, with parents attending the entire session for the younger group, and only the last 20 minutes of the sessions for the older group.

Workshops include learning about sugary drinks and food swapping for healthier snacks, making smoothies, and blindfold fruit & veg taste testing, and also activities and games such as parachute games and shuttle races.

 View our leaflet by clicking here!

 

LET’S GET HEALTHY

(Children’s Healthy Lifestyle Club)

Date

Location

Time

Tuesday 16th May

6 week programme for 4- 6 years

Gladstone Park Community Centre

4.00pm- 5.30pm

Wednesday 17th May

10 week programme for 7- 12 years

 

Gladstone Park Community Centre

4.00pm- 5.30pm

Email healthy.peterborough@nhs.net. or call direct on 01733 894540. If you have a long-term condition, we may need consent from your GP.

 

 

 

Local Health Checks

The 'Wellness on Wheels' van will be outside the Town Hall, in Bridge Street, most Saturdays offering FREE Health Checks and advice between 9am-5pm.

Saturday 15th July
Saturday 22nd July
Saturday 29th July
Saturday 5th August
Saturday 12th August
Saturday 19th August
Saturday 26th August
Saturday 9th September
Saturday 23rd September
Saturday 30th September
Saturday 7th October
Saturday 14th October
Saturday 21st October
Saturday 28th October
Saturday 4th November
Saturday 11th November
Saturday 18th November
Saturday 25th November
Saturday 2nd December
Saturday 9th December
Saturday 16th December
Saturday 23rd December
Saturday 30th December

 

 

Let's get moving

An eight week exercise-only programme for adults who want to increase their physical activity - can be mixed gender or ladies-only. Find out more by view our leaflet here!

 LGM 1 LGM 2

 

Date/ Group/ Instructor

Location

Time

Monday 11th September

Ladies only

TruGym

1:30pm- 2:30pm

Monday 11th September

Mixed Sessions

TruGym

2:45pm- 3:45pm

Monday 11th September

Ladies only

Millfield Community Centre

11:00am- 12:00pm

Wednesday 13th September

Ladies only

Gladstone Park Community Centre

11:00am- 12:00pm

Wednesday 13th September

Mixed Sessions

Gladstone Park Communtiy Centre

12:30pm- 1:30pm


To apply:
 

Email healthy.peterborough@nhsnet. or call direct on 01733 894540 to book on the dates above or to enquire about future dates. If you have a long-term condition, we may need consent from your GP.

Stoptober 28 day stop smoking challenge

Did you know that if you stop smoking for 28 days you're five times more likely to stop for good?

Stoptober is the biggest stop smoking event of the year. Stoptober is a pledge to not smoke during 28 days of October. It has driven over 1 million quit attempts to date and is the biggest mass quit attempt in the country.

Why not join all the people who have succeeded in becoming smokefree and join in this year's challenge.

The Healthy Peterborough Lifestyle Service provides a free and confidential stop smoking service with fully qualified advisors giving practical help and support for your quitting journey. They can advise you of all the treatments out there that can give you the extra support you need to kick the habit for good. Come along to one of the roadshows listed below for face to face advice.

  • Friday 15 September, 12noon to 3pm, Ghousia Mosque 
  • Wednesday 20 September, 10am - 2pm, Regional College
  • Thursday 21 September, City Hospital (Mother & Child Unit)
  • Friday 22 September, Lincoln Road
  • Saturday 23 September, outside the Town Hall, Bridge Street
  • Tuesday 26 September, Werrington Shopping Centre
  • Wednesday 27 September, Serpentine Green Shopping Centre
  • Thursday 28 September, 1pm - 5pm, Marriott Hotel
  • Friday 29 September, 12noon - 3pm, Faizan-e-Madina Mosque
  • Saturday 30 September, outside the Town Hall, Bridge Street
  • Sunday 1 October, outside the Town Hall, Bridge Street
  • Tuesday 3 October, outside Asda, Rivergate
  • Tuesday 17 October, 10am - 1pm, Voyager Academy 

Alternatively contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 5655.

Everyone’s quitting journey is different, but with Stoptober, you won’t be on your own. Join the thousands quitting smoking with Stoptober and get all the support you need to help you on your quit jouney.

There a lots of ways to quit and Stoptober can help you choose what works for you. You can quit using medication (including nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gum) or e-cigarettes. Stoptober offers a range of free support to help you including an app, daily emails, Facebook Messenger and lots of encouragement from the Stoptober online community on Facebook. In addition, you can get expert face-to-face advice from local stop smoking services.

Those who use stop smoking aids and who get face-to-face support from their local stop smoking service are up to four times more likely to quit successfully.

Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your health and the health of those around you. If you can make it to 28 days smokefree, you’re 5 times more likely to stay quit for good. 

Visit our Stop Smoking pages for more advice.

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