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Health monitoring

Discover our top tech and tips for monitoring your health and tracking your fitness.

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Health monitoring.

What vitamins should I take?

There are so many different vitamins it can be tough keeping track of what’s good for what. So here’s a breakdown of their benefits and where you can find them.

  • Vitamin A – helps your body's natural defences against illness and infection, improves vision and keeps skin healthy.
    Found in – cheese, eggs, oily fish, milk & yoghurt, liver.
  • Vitamin B2 - keeps skin, eyes and nervous system healthy.
    Found in - milk, eggs, mushrooms and plain yoghurt.
  • Vitamin B3 - good for the nervous system and helps the body to break down food.
    Found in - meat, fish, wheat flour and eggs.
  • Vitamin B6 - helps the body to store energy and form haemoglobin.
    Found in - pork, poultry, fish, peanuts, soya beans, wheatgerm, oats, bananas, milk.
  • Vitamin B12 - helps to make red blood cells and releases energy from food.
    Found in - meat, fish, milk, cheese and eggs.
  • Folic acid – helps the body produce red blood cells.
    Found in – broccoli, sprouts, leafy green veg, peas, chickpeas and kidney beans.
  • Vitamin C –maintains health skill, blood cells and bones.
    Found in – citrus fruit, peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, sprouts, potatoes.
  • Vitamin D – keeps bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
    Found in – sunlight, oily fish, red meat, egg yolks, fortified foods (fat spreads and breakfast cereals).
  • Vitamin E – strengthens the immune system and maintains healthy skin and eyes.
    Found in – plant oils, nuts and seeds, wheatgerm (found in cereals).
  • Calcium – helps build strong bones and teeth.
    Found in – dairy, leafy green veg, soya drinks.
  • Iron – helps make red blood cells.
    Found in – liver, red meat, beans, nuts and dried fruit.
  • Magnesium – aids bone health and helps turn food to energy.
    Found in - spinach, nuts and wholemeal bread.
  • Potassium – helps control balance of fluid in the body and helps the heart to work properly.
    Found in - bananas, beans, pulses, nuts, seeds, fish, beef, poultry and veg like broccoli, parsnips and sprouts.
  • Zinc – makes new cells and enzymes, aids the process of carbs, fat and protein and helps to heal wounds.
    Found in – meat, shellfish, dairy, bread, cereals.

Sad lamps

S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) is typically experienced during darker months when days are shorter and sunlight is a rare sight. S.A.D can affect mood and motivation levels. A form of light therapy, S.A.D lamps provide you with the vitamins your body absorbs from sunlight. It's a great option to top up your vitamin D that you may be lacking this winter.

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Do you know your heart age?

How healthy is your heart?

How healthy is your heart?

Many things can cause our hearts to age, such as high blood pressure, inactivity, poor diet, smoking and cholesterol. The risks of an ageing heart can include heart attacks, strokes and even dementia. So it's important to take steps to keep our hearts healthy.

The free heart age test won't take long to do. And it'll help you identify the risk factors that might be causing your heart to age faster.

Blood pressure monitors

Your blood pressure is the strength of your blood pressing against your vessels. High blood pressure can put a strain on your arteries but there are some simple ways of lowering your blood pressure and great devices for tracking your progress.

Monitoring your blood pressure.

Monitoring your blood pressure

Blood pressure is measured by 2 numbers and looks something like this: 120/80mmHg. The first number is the highest your blood pressure reaches and the second is the lowest. A healthy blood pressure would have the first number between 90 and 120, and the second number between 60 and 80.

People aged 40 - 74, with no existing cardiovascular disease, can get an NHS check every 5 years. You can also measure it at home with a blood pressure monitor.

Anyone suffering from high or low blood pressure, or cardiovascular conditions, like type 2 diabetes, should have regular checks with their doctor.

Some people become anxious measuring their own blood pressure and take readings far too regularly. If you're worried, it may be best to get your blood pressure taken at the doctors.

Blood pressure monitors.

Blood pressure monitors

There are two types of monitors: ones that measures the blood pressure at your upper arm and one that measures from your wrist.

Many monitors feature a memory function which records your readings over time. Some will even calculate the average of your last few reading

How to check your blood pressure.

How to check your blood pressure

Avoid eating, drinking alcohol, smoking, exercising and bathing for 30 minutes, and rest for another 15 before starting. Avoid taking a measurement during stressful times.

When taking your blood pressure, don't round measurements up or down as this can affect the advice given to you by your doctor.

Don't panic if you get a high reading, simply take the reading again at another time and if it's still high, seek advice from your doctor.

Features to look out for.

Features to look out for

  • Multi user: Some monitors can store readings for up to 6 people. This is really handy if someone-else in your home has high or low blood pressure.
  • Smartphone connection: wireless monitors automatically uploads readings to your smartphone device. This information can then be shown in easy to understand charts and diagrams.
  • Irregular heart detection: this handy feature looks for signs of arrhythmia, an issue with your heartbeats rate or rhythm.

How to lower your blood pressure

High blood pressure can be prevented or reduced by eating healthily, maintaining a healthy weight, taking regular exercise and drinking alcohol in moderation.

Get active & track your progress.

Get active & track your progress

Being active and taking regular exercise lowers blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition. Regular exercise can also help you lose weight, which can also lower your blood pressure.

Adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week.

Wearable technology devices will help you set goals and track your progress.

Healthy diet.

Healthy diet

To reduce high blood pressure, eat a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre, such as wholegrain rice, bread and pasta, and eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Salt raises your blood pressure. The more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure. Aim to eat less than 6g (0.2oz) a day, which is about a teaspoonful.

Scales

Managing your weight can be complex but using the right scale can help you get a picture of your body's health.

Salter clear view mechanical scale.

Mechanical scales

A simple and effective way to monitor your weight. These traditional scales use a dial display to show your weight in kilograms and stone.

Salter black glass electronic scale.

Digital scales

Combining a glass screen with an electronic display, these scales are easy to read. They provide more accurate measurements than mechanical scale, and some come with handy features such as user memory.

Weight Watchers body analysis bathroom scale.

Body analyser scales

Taking accuracy to a new level, these scales don't just measure your weight. They measure your body composition, body fat percentage, muscle mass and more to provide a clearer picture of your health.

Withings Heart health and body composition Wi-Fi Smart scale.

Smart scales

Get a complete picture of your weight trends. These scales provide key metrics including height, body fat and body mass index (BMI) to give you a complete picture of your weight trends. This is then sent wirelessly to an app or smart device that automatically records the data.
They can also be combined with compatible fitness trackers to show how your activities, sleep, and food intake affect your weight.

Glucose monitors

Monitoring your blood sugar is important in managing the treatment of diabetes. You can easily test your blood sugar with a portable electronic glucose metre, which will measure the sugar level in a small drop of your blood.

Monitoring your blood sugar level.

Monitoring your blood sugar level

Your blood sugar level is given as one number and measured in mmol/L. Regularly checking your blood sugar level helps you stay within a healthy range and, if you are type 1 diabetic, adjust your insulin intake accordingly.

Physical activity, eating too much or too little, what you eat, illness and time of day can all affect blood sugar readings, so it’s best to test regularly. A blood sugar monitor is vital for helping you better understand blood sugar levels and planning your diet and when you exercise.

How to check your blood sugar level.

How to check your blood sugar level

Make sure your hands are warm first and wash them with soap.  Slot a test strip into the metre then prick your finger to draw a small amount of blood.  Take your meter with the test strip and hold it against the drop of blood, it’ll alert you once the strip is filled.

Try to avoid pricking thumb or index finger, and don't prick too close to a nail. Use a different finger each time and a different area.

More help

Tried, tested and user recommended

Here to help: advice to keep you healthy

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