Staying Healthy

Everything in moderation…

There are many things you can do to stay healthy. They do not guarantee you will not become ill but vastly reduce the chances of this happening.

This part of the website is dedicated to health and will contain links to advice on healthy living.

Briefly we recommend you:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Drink only small amounts of alcohol (less than 21 units for women and less than 28 units for men)
  • Take regular exercise
  • Eat a low fat and low sugar diet
  • Watch your weight
  • Don’t take illegal drugs or anabolic steroids


Whether you go to the gym every night or get your work out doing the hoovering it is essential to health to do regular exercise.
Exercise does not have to be a long aerobics workout, it could be a brisk walk or kicking a football with your grandchildren.
The advantages of exercise are many.

  • It keeps you fit
  • It can reduce your weight
  • It keeps your muscles strong as you get older
  • It helps keep your blood pressure down
  • It improves your cholesterol profile
  • It can reduce the symptoms of depression

In order to lose weight it is recommended that you do at least 30 minutes exercise, five times a week. You are more likely to lose weight if you stick to a weight reducing diet as well.

In Sunderland you can be referred by your GP or practice nurse to the exercise on referral programme. This is for people who are new to exercise and are unfit, those who are overweight and those who have illnesses which would benefit from regular exercise.

Healthy Pregnancy

If you are trying to have a baby there are many things you can do to increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy.

  • Folic acid – We recommend all women trying to conceive take 400mcg of folic acid a day. You can buy these from your local pharmacy. You should take them for the 3 months before you try to conceive up until 3 months into your pregnancy
  • Don’t smoke – smoking increases the risk of your baby being born prematurely and smaller than it should be. If your partner smokes, encourage him to stop as this increases your chances of getting pregnant.
  • Avoid alcohol when trying to conceive and for the first 3 months of pregnancy. You should drink no more than 1 drink a week after that
  • Stay active – pregnancy is not an illness. It is fine to continue with sensible exercise unless this makes your feel uncomfortable. It is safe to walk, swim, do yoga and even run in early pregnancy. Yoga and swimming are particularly relaxing. Aquanatal exercise classes are run by midwives on a Tuesday evening at 6pm at Castle View School. After you have your baby you can take part in Mums on the Move, (exercise with your baby) and Mums in the Pool (water based exercise with your baby). Contact Louise Cook, [email protected] or on 0191 5614533 for more information.
  • Breast feeding – when your baby arrives breast feeding gives it the best start in life. Not only is breast feeding cheaper than bottle feeding, it also stops babies becoming overweight, reduces the chances of stomach bugs and also gives your baby more natural immunity than bottle feeding.
  • Watch your weight – being overweight makes pregnancy increasingly risky for you and your baby. We would advise you to try to get your weight down before you try to conceive. Please talk to one of our doctors or nurses if you would like help.

While for most people, pregnancy is a happy time, for a few it be complicated by illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure.