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10 MORE Great and Easy Health Tips

  • Eat more fruit and vegetables that have high water content such as tomatoes,watermelons, kiwi and grapes.These foods contain about 90 to 95% water, so you can eat a lot of these and they will fill you up without adding on the pounds.
  • Cut out the fried food and switch to baked. Fried foods are immersed in fat and oil which gets absorbed into the food itself and is retained even after it has been drained.
  • Try to set a meal pattern to help you to control what you eat and when you eat it. It is also better to have 5 small meals a day rather than just one or two huge meals. Having a small snack in the morning and afternoon stops you getting over hungry and then wolfing down an extra large portion at dinner time.
  • Is your energy lagging? Though it may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re tired, exercise — even a brisk walk — can be more effective than a nap or cup of coffee at fighting fatigue.
  • To remove excess fat from soups, stews or sauces, drop in 3 or 4 ice cubes. The fat will congeal around them as they melt. You can then remove the fat and reheat if necessary to re-thicken.
  • Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but still go without it. Breakfast is what gets the metabolism going and keep it going throughout the day. After sleeping all night, your body is no longer full so the best thing for it is food. Retain your focus and energy with a healthy and nutritious meal.
  • What door? What stairs? Any door, any stairs. When you get to the grocery store, the hardware store, or wherever you are going, let everybody else compete for the front parking spaces, while you park farther away. If you have to go up a couple of stories in a building, take the stairs, instead of an escalator or elevator. Every step in a day makes a positive contribution to your health. Unless you are disabled, there is no good reason to park close or use a people-mover. Get used to the back of the lot and the stairwell, and you’ll find yourself a lot closer to the front of the pack in terms of fitness.
  • Vigorous work-outs – when you’re breathing hard and sweating – help your heart pump better, give you more energy and help you look and feel best. Start with a warm-up that stretches your muscles. Include 20 minutes of aerobic activity, such as running, jogging, or dancing. Follow-up with activities that help make you stronger such as push-ups or lifting weights. Then cool-down with more stretching and deep breathing.
  • Preparing for sleep at night begins during the daytime. Engage in some sort of aerobic exercise such as brisk walking in the afternoon or early evening. Daily exercise is one of the best ways to improve the quality of sleep because it helps you fall asleep faster and longer. People who exercise spend a greater amount of time in stage three and four sleep, the most restorative and repairing stages of sleep.
  • Crummy weather? Take a mall walk. Check your mall to see if they offer a mall-walking program or early morning hours for walkers. If it doesn’t, you can still get there first thing in the morning — hours before the teens get out of bed — do a few laps, and then treat yourself to a skim milk latte. Invite a friend along, and agree to do one quick lap for some harder exercise, and then one moderate lap for a little bit of window shopping — then repeat, one fast lap/one relaxed, on the upper level.

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Tips To Avoid Overeating

Almost everyone has time periods when they overeat, especially when they are stressed. We often turn to treats for comfort, and then wind up feeling guilty (on top of being stressed) about what we just ate. Here are Health Fitness Revolution’s healthier strategies to reduce your stress and overeating:

  • Talk about what’s stressing you out instead of losing yourself in the fridge or the pantry: Everyone feels better in action than when brooding. While you can’t completely rid your life of the causes of stress, you can take the time to ask yourself how you can make things better, and talking about it often helps. It can help you get in a proactive state to do something about your stress level. Is there some action you can take to minimize your stress? You can get better at controlling how you think, so practice choosing the positive.
  • Choose healthy foods alternatives: When you’re stressed out, you are producing higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can make you crave sweets and salty foods. Instead of trying to fight it, select sweet or salty food that’s healthy for you. Make fruit smoothies instead of eating cookies and try snacking on some healthy nuts instead of chips.
  • Do one thing you love every day: Don’t let too many days go by without doing something you love. In fact, try to do at least one thing that you love daily. Catch up a friend, take a walk under the stars, take a bubble bath, get a full night’s sleep, sip your favorite kind of coffee.
  • Don’t buy foods you have a difficult time avoiding in your house: The easiest way to avoid temptation is to not have it around – and not buy it at the grocery store. Don’t create a will power challenge in your own home. Be kinder to yourself by making it easier for you to stick to healthier items. Make it easy to choose healthy by keep healthy snacks on hand so you can easily turn to healthy options first.
  • Once a week, have a cheat meal/indulgence: We believe in balance and enjoying life – choose one meal or snack where you eat what you want, and get back to healthier eating for your next meal. It’s called planned indulgence and it’s your permission slip to indulge and enjoy – a guilt-free zone you schedule – so you are in control. It makes staying on track the rest of the week easier.
  • Empower yourself with exercise: We preach this constantly, but exercise really is one of the best ways to elevate your mood and alleviate stress. Really sweat the stress out. Aim for those endorphins and watch what they do to reduce your stress, boost your mood and give you some mental clarity.
  • Take a time out: To breathe, compose yourself, and relax.  Whether it’s meditation or yoga or simply sitting in a comfy chair and clearing your mind, focus on your breathing and unplug from technology and the daily hustle and bustle. Zoning out in quiet will help you recharge and lower your stress levels.

 

 

 

Healthy Sleep Tips For Children

Keeping your child to a regular bedtime routine can be difficult, but it can help improve the quality of their sleep.

For some children, irregular sleeping hours can be problematic. Setting a regular bedtime schedule can really help children get the right amount of sleep.

It’s important to devise a routine that works for you and your child and to stick to it.

“Keep regular sleeping hours,” says Jessica Alexander of The Sleep Council, a non-profit organisation that provides advice on good sleep. Follow these sleep tips for children to bring it to the next level.

“A bedtime ritual teaches the brain to become familiar with sleep times and wake times,” she says. “It programmes the brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine.”

 

Relaxation techniques to aid sleep

Winding down is a critical stage in preparing your child for bed. There are many ways for them to relax:

  • A warm (not hot) bath will help their body reach a temperature where it’s most likely to rest.
  • Relaxation exercises, such as light yoga stretches, will help relax their muscles.
  • Relaxation CDs work by relaxing the listener with carefully chosen words and gentle hypnotic music and sound effects.
  • Reading a book or listening to the radio will relax their mind by distracting it from any worries or anxieties.

 

Avoid TVs in the bedroom

The bedroom should be a relaxed environment.

Experts say that bedrooms are strongly associated with sleep, but that certain things weaken the association. These include TVs, mobiles/smartphones and other electronic gadgets, light or noise, and a bad mattress or uncomfortable bed.

Try to keep your child’s bedroom a TV-free zone and get them to charge their phones and other devices downstairs. That way they’ll be out of temptation and won’t disturb them if a text or email comes through.

Read more about how keeping your teen’s bedroom free of electronic contraptions can boost their sleep.

 

Get a comfy bed

“It’s important to create an environment that’s favourable for sleep,” says Alexander. “Keep the bedroom just for sleeping.”

The bedroom needs to be dark, quiet and tidy. It should smell fresh and be kept at a temperature of 18-24°C. Jessica adds: “Fit some thick curtains. If there’s noise outside, consider investing in double glazing or, for a cheaper option, earplugs.”

A comfortable bed is essential. Research by The Sleep Council shows that a good-quality mattress and bed frame will give you an extra hour’s sleep a night.

Dr Chris Izikowski of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, who led the research, says people benefit from changing their bed if it’s uncomfortable. “It’s likely that long-term insomniacs and those with inadequate sleep habits would benefit most,” he says.

 

Keep a sleep diary

One of the first things your GP or sleep expert will get you to do is to keep a sleep diary for your child as part of diagnosing any sleep problems.

“The sleep diary might reveal some underlying conditions that explain sleep problems, such as stress or medication,” says Alexander.

A sleep diary might reveal lifestyle habits or experiences in your child’s day-to-day activities that contribute to sleep problems.

A sleep diary could include answers to the following questions:

  • What were your child’s sleeping times?
  • How long did it take them to get to sleep?
  • How many times did they wake up during the night?
  • How long did each awakening last?
  • How long did they sleep in total?
  • Did they do any exercise shortly before going to bed?
  • Did they take any naps during the day or evening?
  • Has anything made them anxious or upset?

12 Tips To Prevent Bloating

Nobody likes to feel bloated! Unfortunately, most women are familiar with the unpleasant feeling of having a distended belly. It often seems to strike at inopportune times, like when you need to get dressed for a dinner or when you’re about to enjoy a night on the town with your girlfriends.

Bloating usually occurs as a result of too much fermentation in the digestive tract. Some common triggers include: stress, a food sensitivity, a lack of enzymes, uncoordinated peristalsis, or eating too much fiber.

Your best bet is best to prevent bloating, instead of trying to address the issue when it’s already there. This is a lot easier and will save you the trouble of experiencing discomfort. Here’s how to beat the bloat:

1. Eat only when truly hungry.

Try to avoid emotional eating and overeating.

2. Allow your previous meal to digest before eating the next meal.

Wait at least three hours between meals.

3. Chew well and don’t talk while chewing.

If you’re eating with others, put down your folk between bites and let the flavor and the experience of food be your only focus. Don’t eat and speak at the same time. Better yet, meet friends for walks or for a tea and keep social eating to minimum until your gut is healthy and strong.

4. Be careful with your fiber.

Coarse or poorly chewed fiber will delay passage through the digestive system and slow the rate at which the food is digested and absorbed. So if you don’t chew a slice of bread or a piece of potato properly, you’re leaving a lot more work for your stomach and it will take longer.

5. Eat easy-to-digest meals when you’re in a rush, stressed, or anxious.

Focus on soups and warm mono-meals such as kitchari and sautéed vegetables.

6. Eat fruit at least 30 minutes before meals.

Don’t eat fruits after a meal. This habit is gas-forming and leads to bloating.

7. Get hip to ginger.

Try chewing on a slice of ginger with lime juice 20 minutes before a meal.

8. Use digestion-stimulating spices when making your food.

Try black pepper, ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamon, or fennel.

9. Don’t drink anything cold while eating.

Ideally, you’ll limit cold foods as well. Fruits should be room temperature (not straight from the fridge). If you can’t live without your ice cream, have some ginger tea afterward.

10. Avoid drinking 30 minutes after the meal.

It will dilute digestive juices and make it harder to digest food.

11. Reduce salt.

The easiest way? Start cooking your own meals. Restaurant meals are often overly salty.

12. Eliminate caffeine and alcohol.

This is particularly important if you have a leaky gut or inflammation.

If you feel bloated, try these remedies:

1. Chew on fennel seeds or sip a hot fennel and ginger tea.

Prepare fennel tea by crushing one teaspoon of fennel seeds and adding it to one cup of water in a pot. Bring the water to a boil, cover and steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool and strain.

A traditional dose of fennel tea is about two to three cups daily. If you’re at a restaurant or don’t have fennel seeds, opt for a mint tea. It’s also soothing to the digestive tract. Another tip: carry tea bags in your purse so you’ll always have the kind you like handy.

2. Go for a brisk walk.

Aim for 30 minutes of walking. I also like to add a few jumping jacks or twists. This helps to increase blood circulation and to release gas.

3. Stretch.

You want to do poses that create extension and contraction of the abdomen such as cat/cow, child’s pose, or seated twists.

4. Get warm.

Apply a warm compress on the lower part of the stomach or take a warm bath to improve circulation and counteract muscle contraction that might be causing bloating.

 

As originally published on Mind Body Green

10 Great and Easy Health Tips

 

  • Start the day with a high-protein breakfast. High-protein foods fill you up, preserve your lean muscle tissue, and add fewer net calories to your diet, when compared to fats and carbohydrates. Try eggs, Greek yogurt, lean meat or cottage cheese.
  • Use breathing exercises to help tighten those stomach muscles. Breathe in air as strong as you can and tuck your stomach at the same time as much as you can. Hold it for a few seconds and then slowly let it out. Don’t let it out so fast that your belly flops out. This is not good. Try to breathe like this whenever you think about it, about 50-60 times a day is ideal.
  • Swimming is one of the best exercises for cardio fitness and it’s low to no impact on your joints, which is great for people who have osteoporosis or joint problems.
  • Dance, dance, dance. There is nothing like some good music to lift your energy levels and get you moving. Turn on your favorite tunes and boogie away.
  • If you have a job where you are sat down most of the day, make sure you stand up and stretch every half hour or so. Many of today’s jobs are in front of a computer where you will tend to hunch up and create neck and shoulder strain.
  • Don’t follow the crowd. Find an exercise routine that suits you and your lifestyle. If you love the outdoors try running rather than joining the gym where you will be shut in. You need to find something you enjoy to keep your motivation high.
  • If you are feeling particularly tired and your body tells you it has had enough, stop and take a break. If you continue to push yourself when you are exhausted you will only end up with an injury or become ill.
  • Find yourself an exercise buddy. This could be a friend who wants to keep in shape or a work colleague who wants someone to partner up with after work for a walk or jog. By joining someone else you will feel responsible towards them and will be less likely to find an excuse not to exercise each day.
  • Check your weight when you start exercising, but don’t use it as a guide to how much you are losing. By volume, muscle weighs more than fat so the pounds on the scales may not drop as quickly as you would like. Also your weight will fluctuate throughout the day dependent on your level of activity and what foods you have been eating.
  • Don’t push yourself too much when you first start exercising or you may end up with injuries. Your bones, joints and ligaments have been in rest mode for a while and are not prepared for the force you are about to put on them. Build up slowly and steadily.

 

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How to Beat Insomnia- 10 Tips

Simple lifestyle changes can make a world of difference to your quality of sleep. Following these 10 tips from The Sleep Council will help you have a more restful night.

1. Keep regular hours. Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day will programme your body to sleep better. Choose a time when you’re most likely to feel sleepy.

2. Create a restful sleeping environment. Your bedroom should be kept for rest and sleep. Keep it as quiet and dark as possible. It should be neither too hot nor too cold. Temperature, lighting and noise should be controlled so that the bedroom environment helps you to fall (and stay) asleep.

3. Make sure that your bed is comfortable. It’s difficult to get restful sleep on a mattress that’s too soft or too hard, or a bed that’s too small or old. If you have a pet that sleeps in the room with you, consider moving it somewhere else if it often makes noise in the night.

4. Exercise regularly! Moderate exercise on a regular basis, such as swimming or walking, can help to relieve some of the tension built up over the day. But don’t do vigorous exercise too close to bedtime as it may keep you awake.

5. Less caffeine- Cut down on stimulants such as caffeine in tea or coffee, especially in the evening. They interfere with the process of falling asleep, and they prevent deep sleep. The effects of caffeine can last a long time (up to 24 hours) so the chances of it affecting sleep are significant. Have a warm, milky drink or herbal tea instead.

6. Don’t over-indulge! Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, can interrupt your sleep patterns. Alcohol may help you to fall asleep initially, but it will disrupt your sleep later on in the night.

7. Don’t smoke, it’s bad for sleep. Smokers take longer to fall asleep, they wake up more frequently, and they often have a more disrupted sleep.

8. Try to relax before going to bed. Have a warm bath, listen to quiet music or do some gentle yoga to relax the mind and body. Your doctor may be able to recommend a helpful relaxation CD.

9. Write away your worries. Deal with worries or a heavy workload by making lists of things to be tackled the next day. If you tend to lie in bed thinking about tomorrow’s tasks, set aside time before bedtime to review the day and make plans for the next day. The goal is to avoid doing these things when you’re in bed, trying to sleep.

10. Don’t worry in bed. If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again, then return to bed.

 

 

Health Tips for Children

The childhood obesity rate has risen to epically drastic and alarming proportions with childhood Type II diabetes becoming a big issue.  Over the past 30 years, the childhood obesity rate has tripled, and with this statistic has come many childhood health issues including but not limited to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, and social discrimination.  We wanted to give some simple health tips for children, so here are Health Fitness Revolution‘s easy and fun tips to keep kids healthy, fit, and happy.

  • Socialize with your children in a physically friendly environment. For example, instead of watching TV or playing video games, go with them walking, hiking, biking, swimming, or play a game of kickball.
  • Make sure your children get enough sleep- they need at least 8.5-10 hours a night.  Latest research is showing that there is direct correlation between lack of sleep and obesity.  It is also proven that children who sleep longer perform better in school and focus more during tests and have better behavioral tendencies.
  • Enroll your children in team sports.  This will not only teach them responsibility and discipline, but will also ensure they stay active on a regular basis.  Good options are martial arts, swimming, soccer, gymnastics, volleyball, track and field… etc.
  • Teach your children good hygiene.  This includes teeth brushing at least twice a day, flossing, bathing, and regular hand washing.  This instills a healthy respect for their bodies and ensures them longevity as adults.
  • Focus on healthy nutrition.  Make sure they eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables before any special treats.  Their diets should include lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and plenty of water. For example: fish, chicken, lean beef, bison, brown rice, low sugar cereals with fiber, greek yogurt, nuts, dark chocolate are good options.
  • Have them do active chores around the house such as vacuuming, raking leaves, mowing the grass, scrubbing the floor are excellent ways of teaching them active responsibilities.
  • Make sure that your kids read a lot, preferably educational and scientific publications, because their brains need to be trained on a daily basis.  My suggestion is also to introduce classical music to them because certain scientific research suggests this will make your children smarter.
  • If your kids play videogames, encourage them to play active ones like the Playstation Move or the Xbox Kinect or the Wii Fit.

 

10 Tips to Stress Less This Week

It’s Monday morning, and while a productive workweek is ahead of us, we could all use some simple tips to stress a little less this coming week.  Here are Health Fitness Revolution’s 10 Tips to Stress Less:

  • Run it out or walk it out: The endorphins that get released during a workout are the best stress busters!
  • Turn on the music and dance: Sometimes, we just need to take life with a bit more fun, and turning on the music and dancing takes us away from our daily routine and stressors.  Plus, if you’re dancing fast, you’re getting a workout in too!
  • Breathe:  Breathing, taking a step back, and composing ourselves makes us more calm and more able to tackle the though stuff.
  • Talk about It:  Sometimes, we all just need to let it out and vent or talk to a friend.  If it’s too difficult to talk to a friend, there are professionals that will listen and give impartial advice.
  • Go to Bed Earlier:  Sleeping is important in our hectic lives because it allows our bodies have a chance to recharge and more adequately deal with the daily demands of life.
  • Focus on what you CAN control: There is a lot of things that we all stress about that we can’t control- so it’s important to take a step back and realize this and focus on the things we CAN control and let the rest go!
  • Think back to good times: Nothing calms the brains like closing your eyes and thinking back to good times.  It’s a temporary, quick break from reality, that is sure to boost our moods and lessen our stress.
  • Ask for a Hug:  Human affection has been proven to release feel-good hormones in the brain.  So next time you need a hug, ask for it!
  • Look for Opportunities in Life’s Challenges:  Life is perpetually filled with obstacles and difficulties, but it’s making it through them that makes us stronger and more resilient- so view the positive side to tough times.
  • Smile: Sometimes, forcing a smile is just a what the doctor ordered- because soon, it becomes a real smile!

 

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10 Tips for a Healthy Weekend

The weekend is the perfect time for relaxation, fun, and family time!  However, oftentimes, we tend to put our healthy options on the back burner during the weekends because we feel like having fun is more important.  We need to remember that being truly healthy is a lifestyle choice, and that even during weekends, we can all make healthier choices to ensure consistency within our healthy lifestyles.  Here are Health Fitness Revolution‘s 10 Tips for Healthy Weekend:

  • Active Eating:  Choose à la carte restaurant over a buffet to avoid over-eating. Restaurants with a pool or dance floor are great weekend destinations. A picnic spot or a resort where you can play different games like badminton, cricket, basketball are also great destinations to spend your weekend in a healthy way.
  • Start your day off Right:  Start your meal with a plate full of salad, not only is it full of nutrients, but it will also curb hunger and keep you from over-eating. Use low calorie dressing for your salad like lemon and vinegar with olive oil. These alternatives are better than using mayonnaise or any other ranch style dressings.
  • Order Wisely when Eating Out:  For starters, order dishes which are grilled, baked and steamed instead of those that are fried. For a main course, choose lean meats, chicken and fish such as salmon and trout instead of lamb or beef. Order at least two side dishes of vegetables. Dishes with tomato, pesto or spinach sauce are great choice over those with white or cheese sauce. For more healthy options while eating out, read our article here.
  • Order Healthy Desert:  Order a plate of fruit instead of ice cream.  Instead of ordering individual portions of desserts, order one and share with the group.
  • Small Portions are Key:  Moderation is the key to keep those extra calories off. Instead of opting for bigger portions, take small portions at one time.
  • Sit Far from the Buffet:  If your eating at a buffet, serve yourself, step aside from the buffet, and enjoy your meal. Standing too close to the buffet spread can lead  to overeating.
  • Take Time for Yourself:  Take time out of the weekend for yourself, so you can chill out, gather your thoughts, and relax.
  • Move, be Active:  A swim before the meal or dancing with your loved one or friends over the Sunday brunch is not only fun but also helps in burning lots of calories. A game of frisbee, football or volleyball at a beach or a resort is perfect to unwind after the tiring week and also helps you connect with your loved ones.
  • Try New Social Gatherings: Weekends should not be about food but rather they should be about spending fun time with your loved ones. A movie/ TV-series marathon with friends along with healthy food options: some baked tortillas or popcorns or fruits & salads, a visit to a comedy theatre or play, a game of basketball or football, a trip to the beach or an early morning trek are just as amazing options to spend you weekend in a healthy way.  A house party with home cooked food or a cook-off at your place with friends (especially with themes like raw food party, healthy eating, low fat cooking) are also great away of making those Sundays exciting.
  • Start Fresh on Monday:  After the amazing weekend, it is very important to get back to regular eating patterns and diet from Monday. To make up for the extra calories consumed during your weekend, consume a high protein, low carbohydrate diet dinner (steamed or baked) chicken, low fat cottage cheese, egg white preparations, split green-gram (moong-adal) pancakes) for  two days after that amazing weekend.

 

10 Self-Help Tips For Pain

Whether your pain has just come on or you’ve lived with it for years, these tried-and-tested self-help tips for pain can bring you relief.

 Get some gentle exercise

Simple, everyday activity like walking, swimming, gardening and dancing can ease some of the pain directly by blocking pain signals to the brain. Activity also helps to stretch stiff and tense muscles, ligaments and joints, which can lessen pain.

It’s natural to be hesitant if exercise is painful and you’re worried about doing more damage. But if you become more active gradually, it’s unlikely you will cause any damage or harm. The pain you feel when you start gentle exercise is because the muscles and joints are getting fitter.

In the long term, the benefits of exercise far outweigh any increase in pain. Also, if you avoid exercise completely, the lack of activity could lead to other problems like stiff joints, weight gain, heart disease, osteoporosis, poor balance and falls.

 Breathe right

Concentrating on your breathing when you’re in pain can help. When the pain is intense it’s very easy to start taking shallow, rapid breaths which can make you feel dizzy, anxious or panicked. Instead, breathe slowly and deeply. This will help you to feel more in control of the situation and will keep you relaxed and prevent any muscle tension or anxiety from worsening your pain.

 Stay positive

Pain can make you tired, anxious, depressed and grumpy. This can make the pain even worse, making you fall into a downward spiral. Be more kind to yourself. Living with pain isn’t easy and you can be your own worst enemy by being stubborn, not pacing your activities every day and not accepting your limitations. Some people find it useful to seek help from a counsellor, psychologist or hypnotherapist to discover how to deal with their emotions in relation to their pain.

 Distract yourself

Shift your attention onto something else so the pain isn’t the only thing on your mind. Get stuck into an activity that you enjoy or find stimulating. Many hobbies, like photography, sewing or knitting, are possible even when your mobility is restricted.

 Share your story

It can help to talk to someone else who has experienced similar pain themselves and understands what you’re going through.Pain Concern, Action on Pain, Arthritis Care and BackCare all have telephone helplines manned by people with long-term pain, who can put you in touch with local patient support groups. The healthtalkonline and youthhealthtalk websites let you watch or listen to videos of other people’s experiences of pain.

 Get some sleep

“Many people with chronic pain dread going to bed as that’s when the pain is worst,” says Heather Wallace from Pain Concern. But it’s important to try to stick to a normal sleep routine so you’ve got the best chance of sleeping through the night. Also, “sleep deprivation can worsen pain”, says Heather. Go to bed at the same time each evening, and get up at a regular time in the morning and avoid taking naps in the day. If sleep problems persist, see your GP.

 Take a course

The Expert Patients Programme (EPP) is a free NHS-based training programme for people who live with long-term chronic conditions such as arthritis to develop new skills to manage their condition (and any related pain) better on a day-to-day basis. Many people who have been on an EPP course say they take fewer painkillers afterwards.

Socialise

Don’t let pain mean that you lose contact with people. Keeping in touch with friends and family is good for your health and can help you feel much better. Try shorter visits, maybe more often, and if you can’t get out to visit people, phone a friend, invite a family member round for a coffee or have a chat with your neighbour. Aim to talk about anything other than your pain, even if other people want to talk about it.

 Relax

Practising relaxation techniques regularly can help to reduce persistent pain. There are many types of relaxation techniques, varying from breathing exercises to types of meditation. Ask your doctor for advice in the first instance. There may be classes available locally or at your local hospital’s pain clinic.