Why You Should Focus On Fitness (Beyond The Perfect Bod)

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You want people to turn their heads when they see you on the high street. You want your clothes to fit within an inch of their life. You want to be healthier and fitter than ever before.

Okay, so the usual reasons for focusing on fitness revolve around obtaining a perfect body. Let’s face it – the idea of hitting the beach with a toned stomach is appealing. Still, vanity alone isn’t the only reason to get fit. It’s a good start, but it’s only the beginning. You see, it’s easy to quit once the results don’t show within a short space of time.

No, what you need is something long-term that will drive you to stay fit forever. Maybe not forever, but you get the drift! So, here is a selection of reasons to focus on fitness that doesn’t include toned arms and a washboard stomach.

Enjoy, if that is physically possible!

Mental Fitness

Don’t forget that the mind is just as important as the body. In fact, a quote by Arnold Schwarzenegger on azquotes.com says that the brain is the key. And, that comes from a guy who made a living out of bulging pecs. If he understands the distinction, then you can too. Without a healthy mind, it isn’t possible to maintain a robust body. Even though you would love to, the negative thoughts in your brain prevent it from happening. By hitting the treadmill or retreating to the weights room, the negative attitude turns into a positive one. It’s down to a healthier chemical balance which is a result of increased hormone activity from exercise. Of course, there are alternative ways to blow off steam, which is essentially what happens in the gym. But, none are as accessible and wide-ranging as working out two to three times per week.

Heightened Concentration

Once the brain goes into training, the body begins to experience the benefits. For example, blowing off steam keeps cortisol levels low and stops the buildup of stress. Or, it boosts adrenaline and oestrogen and testosterone creation and keeps you feeling happy and content. But, probably the principal benefit of increased mental health is a sense of heightened concentration. When you can focus more, it affects nearly every aspect of your life. From work to relationships, it is easier to spot the small things and solve problems. Add the fact that you are no longer tired or stressed and the effect is multiplied by ten. For all you goldfish out there, this is reason enough.

Ability To Say Yes

How many times have you wanted to say yes but said no? For most people, it’s too many times to count and it’s because of their health and fitness. Say someone asks you on a hike, the odds are you will say no if you’re not in shape. Even if it’s only a short trip, people don’t like to go out of their physical comfort zone. So, instead of saying “Hell yes,” lots of us will respond with a “no thank you.” The effects of this are not just physical, but, yep you guessed it, mental. FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out, is real and occurs every time you decline an invite you would love to experience. Would you like to go on an adventure holiday? Or, would you like to backpack across a continent of your choosing? Believe it or not, the key to ticking your dreams of a bucket list is a foundation of mental and physical health. It’s only three letters, yet they’re hard to say when you’re unfit.

The Joy

Flogging your body up a mountain never seems like a good idea. Indeed, it’s one of the worst ideas in history when you’re halfway up and about to suffer a cardiac arrest. Then, something miraculous and inconceivable happens when you reach the summit. Yep, a smile stretches across your face. As weird as it sounds, it’s scientifically sound according to the boffins at webmd.com. To begin with, the majority of folks on this planet only do the things which they find enjoyable. Running a marathon might not appeal to you, but some people find it exhilarating. Plus, there are the hormonal changes which occur when a person exercises. Dailyburn.com points out that there is a flood of endorphins after the fact which leads to a “runner’s high.” If that isn’t enough, everyone experiences a feeling of achievement when they complete a difficult task.

Addiction Aid

When you hear the word, it makes you think of heroin and hardcore drugs, yet that isn’t the case. There is a good chance you know someone with an addiction. Does a family member or close friend smoke? Do you like an occasional crafty fag? If so, you are both hooked on nicotine and can’t go a day without a hit. Okay, the impact on lifestyle might not be as harsh, but cigarettes are just as dangerous from a physical perspective. The good news is that focusing on fitness can help get the monkey off your back as working out helps you to forget. When you don’t think about smoking, there is no reason to fill your lungs with tar. In conjunction with quitting alternatives, there is an excellent chance of stopping. Ecigwizard.com has an array or e-cigs to help cut down, and smokefree.gov has tips on nicotine replacement. Nhs.uk has the “Smokefree” app, too. Use them together and the odds of cutting down and quitting are much higher.

Feeling Of Accomplishment

Smokers, drinkers and junk food eaters want to cut down but never think it will happen. Then, the results come in thick and fast and they can’t believe their eyes. Aside from the obvious health benefits, there is a feeling of accomplishment which shouldn’t be understated. For one thing, cutting down on the things that harm your health is a big deal and deserves praise. Some might say you should never take health for granted, but don’t let them get you down! An achievement is an achievement regardless. Then, there is the knock-on effect in every other aspect of your life. Once you realise you can exorcise your demons, no task seems too daunting. After fighting an addiction and winning, the world is at your feet. And, you can say yes when someone asks you to explore it this time around.

Confidence Shot

We are all plagued by doubt and self-confidence issues. Whether it’s the way we look or out skill set, no one is cock-sure of themselves. They might appear that way, but they need a confidence boost as much as anyone. Quite simply, everyone needs to feel good about themselves and their body to function. Sometimes, a person will make eye contact with you on the tube, or your boss will praise you in front of the office. But, on the rare occasions it doesn’t happen, a contingency is essential. As you can see from the above, working out has a plethora of advantages which are easy to quantify. But, just looking at the results in a mirror is enough to encourage your best Ron Burgundy impression. “I look good. I mean, I look really good. Hey, everyone, come see how good I look!”

The Social Network

The truth is that working out is not about the exercise for many people. It’s a means to an end, but they hit the gym and pound the pavement for different reasons. The leading one is meeting up with friends and socialising. Human beings – that’s men and women – love to gossip and chew the fat. “What have you been doing?” “How’s work going?” “What’s new?” These aren’t questions you only hear at the dinner table because friends want to engage and interact in your life, too. And, they often have a role which is impossible for your family to replicate. Sure, you can tell your partner anything, within reason! Some things are better left to the wise sages who you call your BFFs. The truth is that lots of people would stop exercising altogether if it wasn’t for the company they keep. Come on – everyone needs a break from reality now and again.

Lead By Example

Mothers understand the importance of setting an excellent example for their kids. After all, a child’s parents are their heroes in the early stages of their lives. So, whatever mums and dads do, kids imitate on a regular basis. From a health and fitness point of view, this is a positive as it encourages kids to exercise. In a world where childhood obesity is rising, more children need to grasp the value of exercise. Non-mothers might think this is a paragraph they can skip, but you’d be wrong. Every woman has a female figure in their life that needs guidance. From a younger sister to a niece of a work colleague, they can be as impressionable as children. Hopefully, your lifestyle will rub off on them and encourage them to respect their bodies.

A six pack is nice, but it isn’t the be all and end all. Essentially, keeping fit has an array of positives which have nothing to do with the body.

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DIY Ways to Diminish Your Depression

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While, if you’re struggling with depression, you should certainly make seeing your GP a priority because a combination of medication and therapy has shown to be the most effective treatment for depression, there are a number of things you can also do for yourself to help you recover faster.

Here are some simple  DIY ways to diminish your depression that you might want to try:

Take Some Time Off

Work can be stressful at the best of times, but when you’re depressed, it can be torture. So, if you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to ask time off, it could make all the difference, especially if work is a contributing factor to your depression.

If you’re worried about the money side of things, remember you should be entitled to sick pay, and take a look at this statutory sick pay guide to put your mind at ease. Getting your depression under control should be your first consideration, and it may be harder to do that when you’re working.

Exercise

Believe me, I know it’s the last thing you feel like doing when you’re suffering from clinical depression and just getting out of bed in the morning is a cause for celebration sometimes. However, on your better days, when you’re able to get up and about, doing a little exercise, even if it’s only walking around the block, will do you the world of good. It’ll get your endorphins pumping, and if you exercise in nature, it will sooth your stress too.

A Little Ray of Light

If you get depressed in the winter months when the days are short and the nights are long, it could be that the lack of sunlight and the lack of vitamin D that it results in could be causing your depression. If that’s likely, investing in a light therapy box and sitting in front of it for 15-20 minutes each morning might help to diminish your depression.

Keep a Mood Diary

Keeping a mood diary is another one of those things, like exercise, that you scoff at when it’s suggested to you, but which really can make a big difference and ease your depression more quickly than medication and therapy alone.

To keep a mood diary, all you have to do is keep track of your positive moods, writing down as many positives as you can find. You might also want to write down negative thoughts and issues and then look at ways of reframing them so that they aren’t quite as troubling to you. If this sound like something that could be helpful to you, you might want to look into CBT. You can also find mood diary apps online and via your smartphone.

Acupuncture

There is some controversy surrounding acupuncture and whether it’s effective for treating anything, let alone depression, but there is one study from the University of Arizona that seems to suggest that acupuncture can lead to remission in depression symptoms 64 percent of the time, in women at least. This was a small study, but you have nothing to lose and if nothing else I can guarantee you’ll come out of your session feeling a lot more relaxed, which is great for depression in itself.

Join a Support Group

Again, please don’t throw anything at me! I understand the idea of spending an hour every week in a room with other depression sufferers spilling your guts sounds like a nightmare right here on earth to a lot of people, but going to a support group – check out this support group guide for more info-  is actually a really good way to get support from people who really do know what you’re going to. The social aspects of support groups are great for depression sufferers who often tend to isolate too.

Omega-3

Omega-3 oils, which are most commonly found in fish oils, but which veggies can get from flax and algae supplements, may be able to prevent mood swings and low moods. If you add them to your diet, it may give you the boost that you need to take on your depression with gusto, but you may have to wait a week or two before you start feeling the effects.

Meditation

There is a lot of promising research around meditation, specifically mindfulness, and its ability to help people suffering from depression. A technique called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy has helped countless people to tackle their negative thought patterns, stop ruminating and reach somewhere approaching equilibrium AND it has been shown to be as successful as antidepressants in some studies at least.

Yoga

I didn’t include this with exercise because, although yoga is certainly a good way to keep fit, that doesn’t have to be the main focus of this ancient technique. In fact, yoga’s combination of long slow stretches and calming breathing techniques are perfect for relieving stress, getting more in tune with yourself, sleeping better at night and, yes, managing your depression more effectively, according to many people who have tried it.

Arts and Crafts

When you’re depressed, as you will probably know, you can be prone to rumination. You can spend hours and hours thinking about that stupid thing you did five years ago, or telling yourself that you’re worthless. It’s a symptom of the illness and something that can cause your efforts to get better fail.

One thing that is pretty effective at taking your mind off the constant barrage of negative thoughts your brain is subjecting to you is arts and crafts. Things that require a little focus, like crocheting and painting, which also give you something physical to do provide a great distraction which will give you the space you need to start getting well.

St. John’s Wort

If you’re the kind of person who only ever takes prescribed medication as a last resort, try St John’s Wort. It’s a natural supplement that is actually prescribed for depression in Germany, and which has been found to benefit sufferers of mild depression without any nasty side effects.

If you’re interested in taking St John’s Wort, you should always see your doctor first because, although it’s pretty safe, it can react with other medications.

Fighting your way out of depression is rarely easy, but if you see your doctor, take their advice and try out some of the DIY suggestions above, you may find that your depression starts to diminish faster than you thought it would, or could.

Amazing Benefits of Adding Lemon Water to Your Diet

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We all know the importance of drinking a substantial amount of water on a daily basis. But have you considered adding a few slices of lemon to the mix? Not only will this make it easier for you to consume your required eight glasses per day, but also there are many health benefits associated with drinking lemon water:

  • Help fight viral infections – Warm lemon water is one of the most successful methods for getting rid of viral infections and the subsequent sore throats that follow.
  • Helps to cut out the caffeine – Are you guilty of indulging in one too many cups of coffee while at work to get through the day? If so, you should consider replacing your morning coffee with a cup of hot lemon water instead. A lot of people aren’t optimistic about this switch, until they try it. Not only will you feel refreshed, but you won’t experience the jittery nerves that are associated with caffeine, and you will avoid the pesky afternoon crash that happens way too often.
  • Energy boost – When lemon juice enters your digestive tract, it provides your body with energy, which is great for getting through the day ahead. Not only this, but it helps to reduce depression and anxiety too.
  • Reduces inflammation – The acidity in your body will decrease if you drink lemon water on a frequent basis. This is where disease states occur. In fact, one of the main causes of inflammation is uric acid in your joints, and this is something that lemon juice will remove.
  • Gives your immune system a boost – Lemons are full of Vitamin C, which are like jumper cables to your immune system. If you are feeling stressed, extra vitamin C can help to improve your mood.
  • Lose weight – Adding lemon water can help you to lose weight in a number of different ways. Of course, by drinking lemon juice it means you are drinking less fizzy drinks and other drinks that are bad for you. Not only this, but you are likely to experience less hunger cravings by adding lemon water to your diet. This is because lemon water contains pectin fibre.
  • Excellent potassium source – Lemons are also an amazing source of potassium, which is good for nerve and brain function, as well as heart health.
  • Keeps your skin blemish-free – Lemon water can reduce wrinkles and decrease blemishes thanks to the antioxidants that are present. Your skin’s radiance will be maintained because lemon water detoxifies the blood.
  • Freshens your breath – When giving up smoking, lemon water is a must. While an e cigarette starter kit is widely considered the best way to stop smoking, it can not eradicate the negative effects of smoking that have already taken hold, for example, a smoker’s breath. This is where lemon water comes into place, as it will help to freshen your breath.
  • Cleanses your system – Last but not least, lemon water will enhance your enzyme function, which stimulates your liver to help flush out the toxins in your body.

Caring For Your Mental Health: A Complete Guide

Whenever we talk about health, it’s usually centred around physical issues. We talk about ensuring we remain healthy, and it’s normally accompanied by advice such as exercise a lot and eat foods that are good for you.

The problem is, we focus so much on our physical health, we end up neglecting our mental health. This is a real issue as mental health problems affect millions of people up and down the country, and billions all over the world. They’re serious issues too, and many people die because of mental health problems every year. In the UK alone, around 6,000 people commit suicide every year as the result of deep mental health issues. So many of these deaths could’ve been prevented if individuals cared more about their mental health and understood how to handle any problems.

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That’s what this post is going to talk about today. I want to help you learn how to keep your mind healthy, which will ultimately lead to a much healthier you in general. If you feel like you have some issues going on up there, then I implore you to carry on reading this guide. It will help you understand what your problems are, and the best course of action to keep yourself healthy. Even if you don’t have issues, it’s important to know all of this in case you start to develop them one day or you have friends/family suffering that need your help.

So, without further ado, here’s a complete guide to caring for your mental health:

Accept That You Have An Issue

I think the biggest problem with mental health issues is that no one likes to admit they have one. We can talk all day about the stigma of mental health that’s really been created by the media and mainstream TV. We’ve almost been led to believe that if you have a problem with your mind, you are insane and will be crazy.

No. This is not true at all. There are multiple issues that develop over time and are common in so many people. Things like anxiety, depression, split personality disorder are all common problems and don’t turn you insane. They’re health issues just like a dodgy knee or obesity, the only difference is they affect your psyche rather than your physicality.

So, the first step in caring for your problems is accepting you have one. Realise that you’re depressed, that you’re suffering in some way, and make a commitment to improving your life and dealing with it. Don’t be afraid of acceptance, things are a lot worse if you’re in denial.

Try And Find The Cause Of Your Problems

If you have a physical problem that’s causing you pain, what do you do? You try and figure out what’s causing your pain, and it will help you solve the issue and return to full health. It’s the same with mental health problems. A lot of them are triggered by an event or circumstances in your life.

The issue is, it’s sometimes a lot harder to pinpoint the cause of mental health problem compared to a physical one. But, there are some examples of common causes. I think one of the top causes has to be divorce. If your parents split up when you’re quite young, it could have an effect on your mind and lead to mental health issues down the line. Mainly, this is because you bottle up your emotions and never speak to them about how you feel. As is the case with a lot of the causes, such as feeling left out of your friend group. You feel left out, you get lonely, and you retreat into your shell which causes anxiety and depression.

A big cause of mental health problems is a severe or critical event that happens to you or that you witness. The best example of this is an army veteran that saw horrible things when in the service, and it plays with their head. But, you could also develop mental health issues after a car crash or if you’re mugged, etc.

It’s important to try and trace back the start of your mental health problems to the main cause. In doing so, you can maybe confront it and help figure out ways to cure yourself.

Get Professional Help

As I’ve already mentioned, there are parallels between mental and physical health problems. When you’re physically in bad shape, what do you do? You call up your doctor and book a consultation right away. Often, they help you in ways you couldn’t yourself, and you recover quicker.

Again, it’s the same with mental health problems, you need to get professional help. Sometimes, this means calling your doctor, and they’ll refer you to a psychologist or another qualified professional with experience in this field. You should also speak to your bosses at work if you’re suffering as they may provide you with a professional service to help you cope. I know there are companies like Health Assured that some businesses work with for this exact reason. It’s especially important if some of your stress and anxiety comes from work too. You need the professional help and guidance to help get through it and combat your issues.

Looking for help doesn’t make you weak, it makes you strong. It shows you’re facing up to your demons and really want to change the way you are.

Talk

My final tip is simple; just talk. Talk about your problems with a professional counsellor or with friends and family. Write about your journey in a blog or film it and upload it to YouTube. Just make sure you speak about it as much as possible, it will really help you.

Most mental health problems are aggravated when you bottle everything up and don’t express your feelings and talk about what’s wrong. Don’t let this happen to you, speak out, and speak loudly too, it will help you as well as others too.

I really hope this guide helps many people out there suffering from anxiety, depression, or any other mental health problems. Take my advice on board, and you can start breaking free and feeling more healthy.

Sure Signs You Need To Make Some Changes

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We all want to b perfectly healthy, and yet achieving that can be incredibly difficult. Partly what it so tricky about it is keeping up with our own bodies. Trying to stay in tune with your body is one of the most difficult things you need to do – but it is likely essential if you want to improve your health. In this post, we are going to look through some of the most common telltale signs that you are in need of some health-related changes in your life. As long as you are looking out for the following, you should stay on the right track for as long as you need to, or would like to.

Aches & Pains

We all get aches and pains from time to time, but if you are getting any that seem to be unexplained, or they persist for a long time, then you will want to have it checked out. Although they can be benign and nothing to worry about, it is also always possible for aches and pains to be symbols and indicators of something more serious. Aching limbs could mean the start of a flu, for example. Or worse, if you have chronically aching limbs, it might be that you are developing a serious illness like meningitis or something similar. Make sure you keep an eye out for any aches and pains, no matter where they might crop up in your body. You need to ensure that you are doing everything you can to keep illnesses at bay, so this is hugely important.

Tiredness & Lethargy

Being tired is quite common these days, especially in our culture. However, this doesn’t mean that it is a healthy state to be in. As it happens, we are all far too tired far too often these days. Mostly this is down to the nature of our work, which often seems to be designed to make us as sleepless as possible. If you find that you are excessively tired, however, you should consider taking some steps towards fixing that.

There is fortunately a lot you can do to improve your overall sense of tiredness. For a start, you should stop relying on caffeine to get you through the days. Caffeine can affect your ability to sleep up to twelve hours after taking it, so if you want to sleep better you should cut it out immediately, or at least cut down on how much you have. It is also true that screens affect our ability to sleep. This happens because the light from screens inhibits the body’s production of melatonin, the chemical which informs your body clock that it is time to sleep. So if you want to sleep better, you should seriously think about reducing the amount of time you spend looking at screens throughout the day, and particularly in the evening.

Another common problem is that the bed is simply not comfortable enough. There is no reason not to have a comfortable bed, so you should make sure to treat yourself to only the very best that you can afford in bedding. That way, you are much more likely to get a decent amount of sleep each night, and that will hugely affect your overall health in a number of positive ways, as well as ensuring that you feel much less tired on the whole. Sleep is an essential – make sure you get enough.

Addiction

The number of things which are potentially addicting is incredibly high. In a way, you can say that anything which relies upon or provides a dopamine rush can be potentially addictive. The quality of addiction is not necessarily anything to do with the substance or habit itself, but the dependence that the person feels upon it. If you ever start to notice that you are developing a dependence for something, it is a good idea to nip it in the bud as soon as you can.

Some addictions are arguably more damaging than others, and often these are the most common ones, simply because they are the most addictive. A good example in our culture is nicotine. This is the second most commonly addicted-to substance in the world (sugar being the first) and it is also incredibly dangerous when smoked in tobacco. If you notice yourself beginning to smoke more and more, you should think about curtailing it in order to get your health back on track as soon as possible. You might find it difficult, so using discount vape juice or nicotine patches is likely to make the transition easier on you. However you do it, you should aim to be rid of your addiction as soon as possible.

If you find yourself becoming addicted to something other than a substance, you still might want to think about kicking it. You might be addicted to social media, for example, and even this can negatively affect your health and your life as a whole. Remember: anything can b addictive, and it is up to you to decide whether something is becoming a problem or not.

Depression

It is often said that depression is the most commonly widespread mental illness in the world. If we think about the worst possible outcome of this affliction (death) we can see why it might be such a serious concern, and something which we should all learn as much about as possible. Depression kills people, and it is so important that you keep an eye out for any early signs of it in yourself and in your loved ones.

Depression is usually marked by a flattened affect, meaning a lack or loss of ability to feel emotions deeply. It is also usually accompanied by an intense sadness, but it can also just be a numbness. Sometimes, it comes hand in hand with a heavy dose of anxiety, and this can confuse the situation greatly. If you notice depression in yourself or anyone else, you should ensure that the proper medical treatment is sought immediately. It could be a life or death decision.

Easy Ways To Have Your Healthiest Summer Ever

Summer is a fun and celebratory time for many people. It can make us all feel more festive, happy, and hopeful. Schools are out, and the weather hots up (here’s to hoping anyway). So it is worth making our summertime be the happiest and best yet, by making sure that we are the happiest and healthiest yet too. Setting yourself some small goals to get yourself ready for summer can one the best things to do. It could also be time to make a few changes, in order to be healthier in time for the summer months. We haven’t got long! So here are some suggestions to make sure that your summer is the healthiest and best yet.

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Sort Out Your Sleep Routine

There is nothing worse than when it comes to summer and longer days, meaning it can be harder to get to sleep. So now is the time to think about your sleeping routine and if there is anything you should be doing to improve it. It might just be the case of getting blackout blinds. It might just be the case that you need to focus on getting to bed one hour earlier than you normally do. It might be getting out of the habit of checking your phone in bed. Whatever it is for you, it is time to make some changes.

Shift Some Weight

In order to be at your healthiest, then for many of us, losing some weight will help us get to our optimum weight. When we are lighter, we will be looking better, but more importantly, improving our internal health. So we can run, play, swim, and enjoy the sun of the summer all day long when you’re feeling much healthier and fitter.

Kick Bad Habits

All of us have some kind of vice that we lean on a little. It might just be that you’re a bit of a Diet Coke girl and love to have a can regularly. It might be other things that could be detrimental to your health like having too much wine on a daily basis, or you smoke a few too many cigarettes. If you want to be at your healthiest, then habits like this need to be kicked to the kerb. Otherwise, you might find that you are spending summer at an in patient alcohol rehab centre. So think about what makes you reach for your vices and then you can go from there.

Go with Grains

Whole grains are packed with goodness that we all need. They have protein and fiber, as well as vitamins and even antioxidants. When they are included as part of a healthy balanced diet, it could even help to reduce your risk of things like diabetes and coronary heart disease. So they sound like a no-brainer to add to your diet, don’t they? They can be eaten hot or cold once cooked, and work well with lots of fresh veggies. So they make a perfect option for eating over summer!

Operation Preparation: How To Get Ready For Hospital Procedures

 

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Whether you have a medical or cosmetic treatment, surgery and operational procedures can be an incredibly scary experience. There will be a lot that is racing through your mind but taking a few small, smart steps before your operation can help you approach the big day with confidence – and ensure a smooth recovery. Here are a few tips that will help you deal with and prepare for surgery.

Read the instructions!

All surgical procedures need you to do a few specific things before the big day. Your consultant or doctor will give you all the information you need to prepare properly, and it’s vital that you read it all and take it in. Many people turn up on the day of the op without giving their info leaflet a second glance, and it will just end up as a waste of your time – and the hospital’s resources.

Quit smoking

Every doctor will tell you to quit smoking, of course, but it’s even more important to do so – even if only temporarily – at least a few weeks before the big day. Patients that smoke are more complicated to deal with when they go under the knife, and if you want to avoid the prospect of complications, you’ll need to kick the habit.

Overcome your fears

Fear of surgery is a common issue, but it’s essential that you don’t let your anxiety cause you to cancel or postpone your procedure. Putting it off will just delay the inevitable, and if you are suffering from an illness, you will only be allowing it to worsen. Timing can be critical in some cases, and sometimes only surgery can reveal the full extent of your disease. So, if you have concerns about the op, speak to your doctor. They will be able to point you in the right direction for help, and ensure that you approach the big day with confidence rather than fear.

Be active

Be as active as you possibly can before your operation – but always chat to your doctor beforehand to ensure you are doing the right type of exercise. Going into a surgical procedure when you are fit and healthy will reduce your recovery time and have a positive impact on your outcome. Also, you might be spending a long period recovering on healthcare furniture and beds while you are in a hospital, and could be unable to exercise for a few weeks after the procedure. The fitter you are beforehand, the least impact your inactivity will have.

Arrange your follow-up care

Finally, make sure that your loved ones, family, and friends are all aware of your needs after the operation. Give the people in your life the time to learn new skills – maybe they will need to put dressings on or change your bandages, for example. Some people don’t like to make a fuss, and won’t ask for help – but a speedy recovery might rely on others giving you assistance.

The vast majority of surgical procedures occur without a hitch. And much of the success is due to how you prepare for your big day and plan for your recovery. Get these simple things right, and with a little luck – and a lot of skill from the surgeon – your op has every chance of success.