With long, dark evenings and cold, wet weather ahead, the winter months can leave many of us feeling down in the dumps. But from eating a balanced diet to doing some gentle exercise, there are simple measures you can take that will help see you through to spring with a smile. Around 1 in 5 people in the UK suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during winter – more commonly known as the ‘winter blues’. Doctors think that a lack of sunlight can cause some people’s bodies to produce more of the sleep hormone, melatonin, making you feel tired and irritable throughout the day. Cold weather and short days can also make some people depressed, and cause them to want to shut themselves away indoors, and sometimes overeat.
Diabetes is one of the most common health problems in the UK, affecting over 2.5 million people. And, as we age, the more likely we are to get it. But the good news is, by making some simple diet and lifestyle changes you can reduce your risk – without missing out on your favourite meals. Diabetes is caused when your body stops being able to produce insulin – a natural chemical that helps glucose move from your blood into your body cells, which then convert it into energy. There are two different types, with Type 2 being the most common, particularly among older people. Fortunately, unlike Type 1 diabetes, which cannot be prevented (and usually affects children or young adults), Type 2 diabetes is tied to conditions such as high blood pressure and obesity, which may be avoided by following a healthy lifestyle.