Getting some exercise can really help clear your mind after a day at uni as well as keeping your body healthy. You can achieve the national recommendation by being active for just 20-30 minutes each day in bursts of 10 minutes or more.
This doesn’t have to involve getting down the gym if that isn’t your cup of tea. You can build physical activity into your everyday routine. You could walk/ cycle to uni or the shops or get on your feet to cook a meal for friends or have a tidy up at home.
Getting active can be a great excuse to get together with friends. Cardiff has some incredible parks and coastal areas to explore. Your Student Union can connect you with other students that have similar interests through clubs, societies or even volunteering.
There is often temptation to reach for convenience foods but preparing your own meals will save you money and give you control of the ingredients in your food. If you are new to cooking and need some inspiration, Change 4 Life from the NHS have plenty of recipe ideas for nutritionally balanced meals.
It is important to eat plenty of fruit and veg, at least 5 portions a day. You can add flavour and interest to your meals by eating “the rainbow” – or including a wide range of different colours when choosing your fruit and vegetables.
Food labels can tell you a lot about the nutritional value of the food you are buying. Look for the traffic light system when making your food choices – you might be surprised at how healthy, or unhealthy some of your foodie favourites are.
Good food hygiene is important in staying healthy. Food poisoning is a preventable illness and there are several steps that you can take to protect yourself and others.
Have a look at this quick guide to prevent food poisoning.
Food poisoning symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fever. If you experience these symptoms and believe you have food poisoning, visit your GP and report the case to Shared Regulatory Services.
Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink can have significant health benefits. The UK Chief Medical Officer recommends that both men and women should not exceed 14 units of alcohol each week. You can use this calculator to find out how much you are really drinking.
The important thing to remember when drinking alcohol is to know your limit and don’t feel pressure to surpass it. Excessive drinking can increase your vulnerability, so take care of yourself and your friends.
Tips for Staying Safe and In Control
- Have a full stomach – eat before and while you are drinking
- Drink water or soft drinks before and in-between alcoholic drinks
- Pace yourself – Avoid rounds
- Drink no more than the recommended levels
- Set a limit and count your drinks
- Plan your transport home prior to drinking to ensure you get home safely and tell someone where you are and when you plan to leave
- You may still be over the limit the next morning -think about what time you had your last alcoholic drink
- You don’t have to be drunk to be affected by alcohol
- Say ‘No’ if you have had enough or don’t want to drink
- Know your limits, drink sensibly and stay safe
- Never leave your drink unattended
- Never accept drinks from strangers
- Watch your drink being poured
If someone is drinking and passes out or becomes unable to speak, call an ambulance immediately – dial 999. To reduce the risk of an unconscious person vomiting and choking to death, turn them on their side in the safety position, make sure their airways are clear, and do not leave them alone.
Did you know that if you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, you could save on average £3800 a year by giving up? Just imagine what that can buy…
Your body experiences health benefits within days after you stop smoking.
If you or a friend would like to quit smoking, the NHS can offer support, increasing the likelihood of success fourfold! For more information and details of local services, visit Help Me Quit.
Issues with drugs and alcohol are not standardised, different amounts and different substances affect different people in different ways. This can be dependent on your physiology and other factors.
Drugs and alcohol affect judgement and behaviour; this can in turn impact on other areas of your life. You don’t have to be physically dependent on drugs or alcohol for either to have an adverse affect you. Your relationships may suffer, your financial situation could worsen, or you could be affected physically, emotionally or psychologically. Substance misuse can result in you becoming a victim of crime or committing an offence, resulting in the potential to get a criminal record which could affect your ability to get a job in the future. A criminal record can even impact on your ability travel abroad in the future.
If you feel that using drugs or alcohol has impacted on your life, or whether you would just to get some support and advice in the Cardiff area, call E-DAS on 0300 3007000 or visit e-das.wales.nhs.uk E-DAS offer a full assessment of need and, as the single point of engagement for substance misuse services, will be able to direct you to the most appropriate service for your needs. You can also call E-DAS if you have been affected by a loved one’s substance use.
If you would like support or information about services elsewhere, you can call DAN 24/7 on 0808 808 2234 or visit dan247.org.uk for information on specific substances.