Say No to Alcohol

Alcohol is commonly known as a depressant, meaning it slows down your brain activity reaction times. Depending on the amount of alcohol and have physical effects the next day including vomiting, headaches/migraines, stomach pain, and dehydration. Alcohol is very dangerous if mixed with other substances and long-term or heavy regular use can lead to serious health issues such as liver poisoning. Alcohol can be physically addictive and you may need help to stop.

There are many individual symptoms that depend on bodily reactions, including an increased appetite for most people. In terms of effects on the brain, alcohol lowers your usual abilities, for example, you may make some choices that you necessarily wouldn’t if sober.

This can include unsafe sex, violence or aggression. The effects can also affect your physical state as well as mental, for example under the influence of alcohol you could feel happy and less inhibited, become down and reduce your reflexes and it can also cause you to slur your words, get blurred vision, and lose coordination.

Binge drinking: Refers to drinking lots of alcohol in a short space of time or drinking to get drunk. This includes consuming six or more units in a single session. The recommended weekly limit for alcohol is 14 units. While binge drinking you are more likely to lose control and you may make risky decisions. Binge drinking increases the risk of a heart attack. It can cause vomiting if your body cannot tolerate what or how much you are drinking and when under the influence there is a risk of inhaling vomit, leading to suffocation. Below is a drink-by-drink guide, based on a standard (175ml) 13% volume glass of white wine and 4% strength pint of lager, showing how quickly alcohol can affect your mind and body.

One glass of white wine or a pint of lager (just over two units):

  • You’re talkative and you feel relaxed.
  • Your self-confidence increases.
  • Driving ability is already impaired. Drink driving is illegal in the UK, therefore the recommendation for travel arrangements while drinking would be a public service such as a taxi or to arrange a designated driver beforehand.

Two glasses of white wine or two pints of lager (just over four units):

  • Your blood flow increases.
  • You feel less inhibited and your attention span is shorter.
  • You start dehydrating, one of the causes of a hangover.

Three glasses of white wine or three pints of lager (just under 7 units):

  • Your reaction time is slower.
  • Your liver has to work harder.
  • Your sex drive may increase, while your judgment may decrease.

Four glasses of white wine or 4 pints of lager (just over 9 units):

  • You’re easily confused.
  • You’re noticeably emotional.
  • Your sex drive could now decrease and you may become less capable.

Bear in mind that some people, including women, young people and those with smaller builds, may experience the effects after drinking smaller amounts of alcohol.

Alcohol is legal to consume at the age of 16 but sales are restricted for under 18’s.

Defining Physical Health

Physical health is critical for overall well-being and is the most visible of the various dimensions of health, which also include social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and environmental health. Some of the most obvious and serious signs that we are unhealthy to appear physically. Addressing this dimension is crucial for anyone attempting to sustain overall health and wellness.

Defining Physical Health

Traditional definitions of physical health prior to the onset of modern medicine would have considered someone physically healthy if he or she was not stricken with a serious illness. With modern medical innovations came longer life spans, which changed the way we define physical health. Today’s definition can consider everything ranging from the absence of disease to fitness level.

While physical health consists of many components, here is a brief list of the key areas that should be addressed:

Physical activity

Includes strength, flexibility, and endurance

Nutrition and diet

Includes nutrient intake, fluid intake, and healthy digestion

Alcohol and drugs

Includes the abstinence from or reduced consumption of these substances

Medical self-care

Includes addressing minor ailments or injuries and seeking emergency care as necessary

Rest and sleep

Includes periodic rest and relaxation, along with high-quality sleep

Components of Physical Health

Below are ways that each key area of physical health can be addressed through lifestyle choices:

Physical activity

Most healthy children and adults should be active on a daily basis. This should be a mix of both leisurely physical activity and structured exercise. Leisurely physical activity includes hiking, biking, and walking. Structured exercise includes strength training, running, and sports.

Nutrition and diet

A well-balanced diet should contain carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Restricting specific nutrients should only be done under the supervision of a health professional. Fluid, ideally in the form of clean water, should be regularly consumed. Meals and snacks should be consumed throughout the day, and portion sizes should be sensible.

Alcohol and drugs

Substances that alter mood or other bodily processes should be limited or avoided. Those with addictive tendencies or other health risks should consider complete abstinence from these substances.

Medical self-care

Basic items, such as bandages, lozenges, and over-the-counter pain-relieving medications, should be easily accessible from home. Long-term coughing, fevers, or other ailments should be addressed through primary care. Emergency treatment should be sought when signs and symptoms are significant or life-threatening.

Rest and sleep

While regular activity is essential for physical health, allowing the body to rest is just as important. Spending time relaxing or taking short naps can help rejuvenate the body. Sleep should take place in a quiet, dark environment and should last approximately 7-9 hours.

Physical Health and Mental Health

Mental and physical health both are dependent on each other. Poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health problems. Similarly, poor mental health can negatively impact on physical health, leading to an increased risk of some conditions.

How mental health affects physical health

There are various ways in which poor mental health has been shown to be detrimental to physical health.

  • double the risk of death from heart disease
  • three times the risk of death from respiratory disease.

This is because people with mental health conditions are less likely to receive the physical healthcare they’re entitled to. Mental health service users are statistically less likely to receive the routine checks (like blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol) that might detect symptoms of these physical health conditions earlier. They are also not as likely to be offered help to give up smoking, reduce alcohol consumption and make positive adjustments to their diet.

Physical health is the state of being free from illness or injury. It can cover a wide range of areas including a healthy diet, healthy weight, dental health, personal hygiene, and sleep.

Physical health is vital for overall well-being

Chronic physical illness is a long-term health problem that will not go away – for example, diabetes, asthma, arthritis or cancer. Chronic physical illnesses can be managed, but they cannot be cured.

What can I do to be healthy?

There are many things that you can do to be healthy. These include eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, bathing or showering regularly. You should also attend the optician and dentist as well as brushing your teeth twice per day. Always attend any hospital appointments or see the doctor if you feel unwell.

Exercise

Physical activity in any form is a great way to keep you physically healthy as well as improving your mental well-being. Research shows that doing exercise influences the release and uptake of feel-good chemicals called endorphins in the brain. Even a short burst of 10 minutes brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood. Physical activity means any movement of your body that uses your muscles and expends energy. From tending your garden to running a marathon, even gentle forms of exercise can significantly improve your quality of life.

Eat Well

As a teenager, your body is going through many physical changes – changes that need to be supported by a healthy, balanced diet.
The range of nutrients and balanced food groups you receive will provide many benefits in terms of your growth and development, some important nutrients/vitamins the body requires to include:

  • Iron
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium

Eating healthily doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite foods. It simply means eating a variety of foods and cutting down on food and drinks high in fat and sugar, such as sugary fizzy drinks, crisps, cakes, and chocolate. These foods should be eaten less often and in smaller amounts.

Here are some tips to help you eat more healthily:

Don’t skip breakfast

Skipping meals, especially breakfast means you miss out important vitamins and minerals needed for energy and burning fats/calories during the day. Having breakfast will help you to remain alert and focused for the day ahead, and some breakfast recipes are simple to follow and take little time.

Drink plenty of fluids

Drink at least 2 liters of fluid a day (ideally water) which is equivalent to around six to eight glasses. Water and skimmed milk are the most desirable choices as unsweetened fruit juice or “sugar-free” juice can still contain artificial sweeteners. Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice, and smoothies should not be more than a small glass each day, this is around 150 ml.

“Quick fix” diets

Diets that promise quick weight loss are often not nutritionally balanced, means you could miss out on important food that is beneficial for growth and organ function, such as diets that recommend a non-dairy diet or a no-carbohydrate diet.

Benefits of Yoga

Many people view yoga as just a fancy form of stretching. But the benefits of yoga go well beyond that. Along with being a great stress reliever, yoga can improve your flexibility, strength, posture and breathing and lung capacity. These benefits apply to both men and women:

Yoga improves flexibility

Yoga poses work by safely stretching your muscles and all other soft tissues in your body. No matter what your yoga-level is, you will likely feel the benefits within a short period of time.

Yoga improves strength

Some styles of yoga are more vigorous than others. But no matter what type of yoga you’re doing, you will improve your core strength. This type of functionality is very useful for everyday life and beneficial as you age.

Yoga improves posture

Increased flexibility and strength helps you improve your posture. With better core strength and the body awareness you create by practicing yoga, you are more likely to recognize when you are slouching or have bad posture and correct it.

Yoga improves breathing and lung capacity

Most forms of yoga emphasize long and deep breathing. This can help expand your lung capacity and improve endurance.