Living with your condition
Living with a long term condition such as diabetes or cancer, can at times be challenging, but there are lots of steps you can take to minimise the effects and live life to the full. In many cases increasing your knowledge about the disease and gaining new skills will increase your confidence and allow you to take more control of your life. Some things to consider are:
It is important for everyone to follow a healthy balanced diet. This should include a variety of foods, including plenty of fruit and vegetables, plenty of starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice, some protein rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs and lentils and some dairy foods. It should also be low in fat (especially saturated fat), salt and sugar. This will help to provide you with the energy and motivation to support you in the management of your condition. 7 tips for eating well:
- Base your meals on starchy foods such as bread, cereals, rise, pasta and potatoes
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
- Eat more fish
- Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
- Try to eat less salt
- Drink plenty of water – 6 to 8 glasses or 1.2 litres a day
- Don’t skip breakfast
Some people may have special dietary needs and this may not be appropriate.
By taking some form of physical activity, you will very quickly see improvements such as increased levels of energy, weight loss and improved sleep. It is now recommended that everyone aims to have 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 times a week. Your half hour could be made up of three 10 minute bursts of activity spread out through the day. This can include a lifestyle activity (e.g. walking to the shops or taking the dog out), a structured exercise, sport or a combination of these. There are lots of ways of achieving this including:
- Gardening or DIY
- Attending an exercise class
- Walking or cycling part of your journey to work
- Using the stairs
- Sporting activities (e.g. tennis, golf)
It is not just the body that benefits from increased activity, studies have shown that it also improves mood. Taking some form of exercise will also provide some time for you to put yourself first and unwind from the daily stresses of live. If you are concerned about starting any physical speak to a member of your healthcare team.
Your rights at work
If you have a long-term health condition, it’s usually a good idea to tell your employer. You’re not alone. One in six people of working age has a long term condition or disability. Continuing to work will help your confidence and is an important way of keeping life going as normally as possible.
The benefits of telling your employer
- It will be easier to get time off for check ups and treatment during office hours.
- Your employer has a duty to take reasonable steps to help you do your job. For example – if you have a kidney condition, your employer may have to allow you to work flexible hours so you can receive dialysis treatment.
- Your co-workers will know what to do if you have a medical emergency.
- Your employer can make small but important changes to make life at work easier for you.
- You may be eligible for more sick days than usual.
Healthy Working Lives provides specialist free and confidential services to all employers, employees and workers by supporting them to improve the health, safety and wellbeing in the workplace.
Healthy Working Lives advisors are on hand to provide specialist advice, guidance and support with;
- Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing
- Health and Safety needs visits (small to medium sized enterprises only)
- Health and Wellbeing policy
- Health Improvement information and resources
- Health and Wellbeing needs assessment
- Workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing training
- Employability Initiatives
- Attendance Management policy and procedures
- Workplace environmental and community initiatives.
- Healthy Working Lives Award Programme
You can contact the Fife team on 01592 226486 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively you can talk to the Healthy Working Lives experts FREE 0800 019 2211 or at www.healthyworkinglives.com