This article is sponsored by LloydsPharmacy.
An eight-week programme from LloydsPharmacy is set to change how we view health and fitness in 2019
It’s the new year and that time when people typically make resolutions as the guilt of overindulgence over the Christmas season sets in. I have been talking to a lot of my patients, the majority of whom feel that the run up to Christmas this year was particularly long. As a result, many burned the candle at both ends and feel that their bodies and minds need a bit of a servicing!
Change Your Health Direction
When a person decides to make a positive lifestyle change, they are more likely to achieve their goal if they have guidance and support. The good news is that help is at hand. All 91 LloydsPharmacy stores, located the length and breadth of Ireland, provide a free of charge, 8-week programme called Change Your Health Direction. Each store has a trained and qualified health coach who can tailor the programme to your individual needs.
If you need help with weight loss, they are are on it! With free weekly weigh-ins and BMI checks combined with a personalised diary choc-full (excuse the pun!) of delicious, wholesome recipes from nutritional therapist Elsa Jones, LloydsPharmacy make it easy for you to become a healthier you. The diary is downloadable here. Every pharmacy has a private care room which provides a comfortable and discrete area for your consultations.
LloydsPharmacy can also keep an eye on your blood pressure for you. High blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke so knowing your blood pressure is a great way to take control of your health. Each store always has a pharmacist available to talk to you about any drug or health related issues. LloydsPharmacy pharmacists are medicine experts and will deal with any query with compassion and confidentiality. They can also advise on the various smoking cessation products that are available and help you to come up with a quit smoking plan that suits your lifestyle.
Unfortunately, January can be a tough month for even the most positive of individuals. Cold, dark days and a post-Christmas annihilated bank balance can lead to a lack of energy and low mood. It’s important to mind your mind. Having an exercise routine is an easy and cheap way of improving your overall health and wellbeing. Expensive gym memberships are unnecessary as walking, running and even YouTube yoga sessions cost nothing! However, if you like the idea of joining a gym there are good value options out there, you just need to shop around. Exercising releases endorphins, our bodies ‘feel good’ hormones and give us a feeling of wellness. Exercising will also contribute to a good nights’ sleep which will benefit your mental health immeasurably.
LloydsPharmacy health coaches and pharmacy staff can also advise on supplements that you can take to improve your health. LloydsPharmacy stock a wide range of vitamins, minerals, probiotics and omega oils. Revive Active can be taken to help boost energy and immunity. Active Iron, an iron supplement with a novel delivery system can help to reduce tiredness and fatigue without causing constipation. Microbiotics such as Udo’s Super 8 and Alflorex can greatly improve gut heath and decrease irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. LloydsPharmacy have ample varieties of omega oils to choose from too, too help to boost heart health and brain function. Morepa is a high quality fish oil and Udo’s is an oil high in omegas and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
It is also important that in this era of social media and Instagram selfies that you try to not compare yourself to others. Be mindful that seemingly ‘perfect’ bodies are often filtered and airbrushed within an inch of their lives. Be kind to yourself. We are often our own worst critics. Take baby steps towards your health journey. Make a plan. Remember that life is a marathon, not a sprint and that sometimes all that you need is a little help along the way.
Laura Dowling has practised as a pharmacist for 15 years. She currently works in LloydsPharmacy, Stillorgan. She has three young boys and a keen interest in nutrition, exercise and wellbeing. She is available on Instagram and Facebook.