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Haughton Thornley Medical Centres - GP services for Hyde and Denton

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Guardian Article - Patients need access and understanding of their electronic health records Royal College of General Practitioners
 

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I know that most of us work very hard to keep as well as we can... Well done us!!

However, in our busy lives, it is sometimes too easy to forget to take care of ourselves and take responsibility for our own health and wellbeing.

Your patient group is still promoting Health Pledge to help support people when they want to make changes.

This year itís Health Pledge 2017 and is a way to focus on putting ourselves first. To take time out from our hectic lives and make some small changes to our lifestyles to make big improvements to our health.

The idea is that we look at the health choices we make. Then we choose something we can improve. Just a small thing to begin with so we can actually do it!

Everyone will want to do something different but some ideas already pledged are

Give up sugar in hot drinks Use the stairs instead of the lift at work
Go swimming with the family Declutter
Only drink alcohol at weekends Stop snacking
Sit in the Peace garden Cut down on take-aways
Join a club Start a new hobby
Do some exercise

We would love you to have a go and support us, so when you doÖÖ..

Make sure that your pledge is simple and SMART

Making your health pledge "SMART"

Make sure that your pledge is personal to you and is about something you really want to do to improve your health. It wonít work as well if youíre being told what to do by someone else and you donít agree with them. It wonít work if you donít understand why you need to make this change. It certainly wonít work if your heartís not in it. It must be do-able. Youíre more likely to stick to your pledge if itís supported by one or more SMART targets. Pledges such as lose weight, eat better, or reduce stress are too vague by themselves to help very much. SMART targets will help you put more detail into your pledge.

SMART means:

S - Specific (clear, detailed)

M - Measurable (uses numbers... How will I know I've done it?)

A - Achievable (Can you do it? Is it realistic or possible?)

R - Right for you (Is it important to you?)

T - Timed (Includes a time scale. How long are you doing it for? When are you doing it?)

One woman I met wanted to do more exercise so she got all enthusiastic and said she was going to walk a mile every evening when she got in from work. I said that perhaps that wasnít the best pledge because it may be too hard and she would feel fed up if she failed and probably give up. She decided to pledge to walk a mile on 3 days a week. She is managing that at the moment and thinking she may do 4 days in 2017ÖÖ.

Pledges can be changed or adjusted. Keeping on going is the most important thing!

Examples of helpful and less helpful targets:

Specific: make it clear

Ask yourself "What exactly am I going to do?"

eg I'm going to lose weight

eg I'm going to lose 6 lbs; I'm going to try the 5-2 fasting diet
eg I'm going to drink less
eg I'm going to have three alcohol free days each week

Measurable: where you can, use numbers

Ask yourself "How much, how many, how often?"

eg. I'm going to take the dog for loads of walks
eg I'm going to walk the dog for half an hour twice a week
eg I'm going to eat more fruit and vegetables
eg I'm going to eat five portions of fruit / vegetables at least three days a week

Achievable: Make sure that it's possible

Ask yourself "Am I really going to stick to this?"

eg I'm going to swim every morning before work
eg I'm going to swim for twenty minutes twice a week
eg I'm going to stop putting salt on my meals - and eating crisps
eg I'm going to replace the salt on my meals and a low salt brand; when I buy a ready meal, I'll choose a low salt version; I'm going to eat no more than 2 bags of crisps a week

Right for you: don't do something that isn't right for you, or just because somebody else thinks it is

Ask yourself "Do I think it's really worthwhile?"

eg I'm going to lose weight because my friends are always going on about dieting
eg I'm aiming to lose half a stone because my doctor has told me that losing weight will help me lower my blood pressure - and I'm getting short of breath and uncomfortable when I'm walking up our hill
eg I'm going to do a 5 mile fun run next weekend for a local charity - I hope I'm fit enough because I've never run so far before
eg I'm going to walk the children to school three days a week so that we all get more exercise - and I'd like to use the car less

Timed: think about your times scale

Ask yourself: "How long will I do this for?"

eg I'm going to lose weight this year
eg I'm aiming to lose an average of 1 pound a fortnight for 20 weeks
eg I'm going to go for a 20 minute walk 3 times a week until I'm really fit
eg I'm going to go for a 20 minute walk 3 times a week for at least 3 months

Pledging is very important. It makes it much more powerful.

So what do you think?

Are you going to have a go?

Donít rush unless you know what you want to do. Careful planning will help you succeed!

Health Pledge is open to everyone, the idea is being promoted by us, your patient group. We are not the NHS or doctors or other health professionals. We are ordinary people trying to promote good health. We are keen to encourage groups, families or couples to pledge together to give support.

All you have to do is think of a small change that you can make, write it down and stick to it Ė it is as simple as that.

We would love you to pledge via the health pledge website.

You can be anonymous if you like.

www.healthpledge.co.uk

You can announce it on social media and stick it on your fridge Ėitís entirely up to you.

Why donít you support us and see what a difference you can make to your health?

Please let us know how you get on!

Email us on htmcppg@gmail.com

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