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He althy

September 2012

Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest, smile.”


William Cullen Bryant

Inside HAS: l National Eye Health Week? l What’s in your Lunchbox? l No Time to Exercise? l Let’s get Europe moving! l Know Your Numbers

About Healthy Ambitions Healthy Ambitions Suffolk is an exciting project to make Suffolk the healthiest county by 2028. Launched in November 2008, it brought together all of the county’s leading public services to work alongside the private and independent sectors, community groups and individuals to help everyone in the county enjoy longer, happier, healthier lives. Since then, we have made some good progress. For example, the rate at which our children were becoming obese has lessened. But, if we are to reach our aims we still have a lot to do. Not only do we need to improve our health – we need to do so in a climate of financial challenges.

Better Health Healthy Ambitions Suffolk is concentrating upon the area where we can all make the biggest impact – the health of our hearts.

A better Organisation To meet the financial challenges – and to make the most of opportunities – we have changed the way Healthy Ambitions Suffolk works. Healthy Ambitions Suffolk is now a social enterprise. We still work with all of our partners in the public, voluntary and business sectors, but we now do so as a charity. This means that we can attract more funds from a wider variety of sources. We can also earn money through our wholly owned commercial company - ‘HASfutures Ltd’. All profits from HASfutures Ltd will be used for charitable purposes to help the health of people in Suffolk.

A better County To be successful in making Suffolk the healthiest county we need to inspire individuals, businesses and our local communities to take responsibility for their health and to make positive changes to their lifestyle. We’ll provide a clear, single direction which will bring organisations and individuals together to get results, while celebrating their achievements at the same time. We still need everyone in the county to get involved with the project – from large public or private sector organisations to small businesses, community groups and individuals.

During the next 18 months be on our focus will Duringour thefocus next will 18 months identifyingon specific areasspecific of activity be identifying areas of activity and and associated products and associated products and services that services thatLtd HASfutures HASfutures can develop. Ltd can develop. Alongside this we will be Alongside this will developing newwe collaborations be developing and exploring new sources of collaborations and work ex- will be funding. All of this ploring new sources informed by Healthy of funding. Suffolk’s focus Ambitions All ‘heart of thishealth’. work will be on informed by Healthy Ambitions Suffolk’s focus on ‘heart health’.

That’s why we’re inviting you to join in today and help make Suffolk’s healthy ambitions a reality.


Know your Numbers! is the Blood Pressure Association’s flagship awareness campaign. It encourages adults across the UK to know their blood pressure numbers and take the necessary action to reach and maintain a healthy blood pressure.



Blood pressure is the pressure of blood in the arteries; if your blood pressure is too high it can narrow the arteries and blood vessels in your body and this can lead to damage to the brain or heart. If it is too high over a period of time and not treated, then you will be at increased risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure. High blood pressure is also a risk factor for kidney disease, dementia and some eye conditions.  

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Cut down on salt - This means eating more natural foods and fewer processed ones and not adding any extra salt to foods or in anything you cook. Increase your level of activity - Build in 30 minutes of moderate activity at least five times per week.

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High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, which is why many people do not know they have it. That is why it is often called the ‘silent killer’. The good news is that high blood pressure can be treated and often prevented. Below is a list of the six main lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce your blood pressure. Some will lower your blood pressure in a matter of weeks while others will take a little longer; they are listed in order of speed of effect:-

Increase your fresh fruit and vegetables - Aim to eat at least five, or better still, seven to nine different portions a day.

Lose weight if you need to Your doctor or nurse will be able to tell you what your ideal weight is; excess weight puts extra strain on your heart and your arteries.

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Drink alcohol in moderation - No more than 3-4 units per day for men and no more than 2-3 units per day for women.

If you smoke, attempt to quit - Smoking damages the lining of your arteries, leading to a build-up of fatty material which narrows the artery.

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o t e m i t No ? e s i c r e ex l Is yours one of those lower backs that niggles you and plays up? l Do your shoulders feel tight and restricted?

l Do you find you get headaches frequently, is your neck stiff? l Does your energy level deteriorate in the mid-afternoon? l Do you feel you could improve your posture and breathing?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you must try Desk Yoga!! Did you know that the average person spends over 13 hours a day seated whether it is at a desk, in the car or sitting on the sofa?!! Other cultures in the world choose to squat or sit cross - legged which in turn benefits the body much more. We only have to look at our children to see how naturally they move and how they squat, sit cross legged and in the lotus position with ease. There is now a lot of evidence now proving that the more we sit on chairs the tighter our hips become and this leads to more compression and tightness in the lower back, causing us all sorts of issues. If you add on to this the fact that everything we do involves our arms being in front of us (think: computers, driving, most daily tasks!) then we find our posture becomes stooped and this affects our breathing and energy levels. If you struggle to get outside to take exercise then try some desk yoga - there are many easy to follow videos available on-line or apps for your phone, so pick and choose which ones you feel will benefit you most! Available from the App store for Iphone and Ipad and from for PC.


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Open s tigh t sho ulder s Improves energy levels

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Be surprised and amazed at how you can regain flexibility and have more energy!

Don’t allow feeling stressed tired, tight or tense, lead onto various health issues. 4


Diet - Studies show that what we eat can affect our vision. Antioxidants can help to prevent retinal damage. Foods recommended for eye health include:  Broad leaf greens such as kale and spinach, brightly coloured fruit and veg such as corn, carrots, orange sweet peppers and oranges, oily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, broccoli and eggs.   Exercise - Lack of exercise contributes significantly to several eye conditions, particularly amongst people aged 60 and over. Exercise may reduce the risk of sight loss from narrowing or hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and diabetes.   Alcohol - Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to serious health conditions which can have a detrimental effect on your eye health.   Smoking - After ageing, smoking is the biggest risk factor for developing macular degeneration. Smoking also increases your risk of developing cataract. Sun - Protecting your eyes from the sun is very important and should not be underestimated. Under no circumstances should you ever look at the sun directly.  

Vision really matters. Sight is the sense people fear losing the most, yet many of us don’t know the best way to look after our eyes.

National Eye Health Week aims to change all that. The week, which has been established to communicate the importance of good eye health under the banner, ‘Vision Matters’, encourages people from every walk of life to take better care of their eyes and have regular sight tests. Regular sight tests are essential for maintaining healthy eyes but there are other things you can do to look after your eyes:

For further information visit:


lunchbox? What’s in your

Finding excuses to take a packed lunch to work can be easily done, but relying on the sandwich shop, take away or restaurant can be very expensive and not always the healthiest option. If you find yourself with the daily dilemma of not knowing what to put in your lunchbox, here are some practical, healthy tips:

Get the right balance The key for a healthy packed lunch is getting the right balance and try to keep all food groups in mind when preparing your meal. l Add a portion of starchy, whole grain foods as they provide the energy necessary to get through the day. Try a variety of bread such as brown rolls, pitta pockets, tortilla/wraps. Couscous, brown rice or pasta are also good options. l Add a portion of lean meat such as tuna fish and chicken and/or other sources of protein such as beans, eggs and tofu. Protein will make you feel fuller for longer, and you will be less likely to snack on unhealthy foods. l Add fruit and vegetables as they not only look beautiful

and colourful in the lunchbox, but the orange, yellow, red fruits as well as the green veg contain beta-carotene, which are necessary for healthy vision and skin as well as vitamin C, which ensures the absorption of iron. Try adding fruit salad, a handful of raisins, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, celery or carrots sticks to your packed lunch.

l Cut down on foods that are high in saturated fat and

choose reduced fat dairy options such as cheese or yogurt. Use spread sparingly and use reduced calorie mayonnaise and reduced fat hummus. Add mustard, chutney or pickle to liven up your usual sandwich or wrap.

l Try to avoid fatty and sugar-containing foods, such as chips, sweets, crisps, sausage rolls or pastries. l Include a variety of different drinks such as fruit juice, sparkling or still water, fruit juice, yogurt or smoothies. l Seek out healthier versions, lower in salt, fat and

sugar, of your favourite snacks.

Variety is key Avoid falling in the trap of eating the same foods every day, even if it seems healthy. Having a varied diet not only provides a wide range of vitamins and minerals but also keeps you motivated and more likely to be on a healthy eating track. After all, who wants to eat the same sandwich every day? l Plan your packed lunch meals in advance l Make a shopping list based on meals you are going

to eat in the new few days. By planning your packed lunch in advance, you are more likely to stick to a healthy eating plan and save money. Plus you’ll be able to look forward to your meals more too!

l Recycle leftovers

When making dinner, prepare an extra portion to use for lunch the next day or put it in the freezer. That way you can have a healthy lunch waiting for you, or the next time you’re pressed for time and need a quick meal, there’ll be something ready in the freezer. Having a healthy packed lunch does not mean that you have to give up all the foods you love and secretly know that have no nutritional value. Food is to be enjoyed and things like small packets of crisps, a small chocolate bar or a fruit scone can be added from time to time for variety and appeal. Remember, no matter how balanced and healthy your packed lunch is, it will have no nutritional value if it remains uneaten. Bon appetit!



‘Stoptober’ is a new campaign from NHS Smokefree which will encourage smokers across England to stop smoking for 28 days during October. If smokers can stay smokefree for this time, they are five times more likely to stop for good. During Stoptober there will be lots of support to help people on their quitting journey including a Stoptober pack, a text support service and even an app for real-time support. If you would like to receive further information about the campaign and how to order a Stoptober Support Pack go to:

Let’s Get

Europe Moving!

Monday 1st of October is the start of a European - wide week of sport and physical campaign – ‘MOVE WEEK’ - is fast approaching! This annual campaign promotes sport and physical activity across Europe and aims to make 100 million more Europeans active by 2020. Anyone can attend any of the events planned throughout the week, no matter where you live or what your age is. All you need to do is organise an event in your area or workplace and become a Move Week Agent! Visit for more information on how to organise or attend any of the activities planned in your area.

Healthy Ambitions Suffolk, Felaw Maltings, South Kiln, 42 Felaw Street, Ipswich, Suffolk IP2 8SQ

For further information contact Anne Gartley on 01473 786671 or

Healthy Ambitions Suffolk September Newsletter  

Healthy Ambitions Suffolk is an exciting project to make Suffolk the healthiest county by 2028. The biggest contribution we can all make is...

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