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Our health, our responsibility

We are told that the NHS is at breaking point, but instead of wringing our hands and feeling desperately sorry for everyone who works in the giant that it has become, what could we do to help?

I believe we could take a bit more responsibility for our own health.

We seem to have adopted a culture that allows us to do whatever we want and expect the NHS to mop up the mess we make.

We are constantly told that we are a nation of obese people but we continue to pile on the weight. We continue with our fast food, our unhealthy snacks and our sugar laden drinks. The strain on our bodies is enormous, our joints, our heart and our pancreas for starters. But that’s okay – the NHS will mop up the resultant pool of sickness.

The number of people who smoke has reduced but we still do it. And we still get lung cancer and other ghastly lung diseases. Never mind – the NHS is good with lungs and hearts and strokes.

As for alcohol: it’s cheap, easy to get and on the rise. It will pickle my liver but it’s an OK risk because we will always have the NHS to sort it out.

We drive too fast and hope the NHS will be able to rescue us and put us back together if we crash.

We know that there are many things that we can do to lessen our chances of getting cancer but how many of us take it seriously? Most people do not even achieve the government recommended minutes of exercise every week.

If you have a car and put in the wrong fuel, drive in the wrong gear, forget to check the oil and water it won’t run smoothly – if at all. If you don’t service it regularly and look after it, the car will fail its MOT. You will have to take it to the garage to get fixed and you don’t blame the garage. Could we consider applying some of those principals to ourselves?

How about if we all made a concerted effort to put the right fuel in our bodies, upped our performance, kept the water levels up and make sure we get all the vitamins and minerals we need to keep us ticking over?

Most importantly, let’s stop blaming the NHS for not giving us everything we think we should have.

The NHS is a partnership, it’s an institution for us to work with, not our parent to pamper us. The more we can do for ourselves the less we are leaving to fate and the greater the chance of the NHS surviving our onslaught.

Marion Foreman

Marion Foreman has been a nurse for nearly 50 years and is a personal trainer. She has worked across many areas in the NHS and now focusses on helping frail older people and people on their cancer journey to exercise safely and effectively.

She is passionate about encouraging people to make the most of their health and wellbeing and to do the best they can to remain active.

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One comment

  1. Bill Barbour says:

    100% spot on