Health Hub

Having a Dry July has great health benefits. We've brought together a collection of articles that could help you with your Dry July.

Motivation to Exercise

By James Anderson on

This whole “exercise thing” can be so annoying. From finding the time to finding the motivation, exercise – can be a real bitch. We both know it’s good for us, so why is it so difficult to stay on top of? Well, I think there are 3 main problems.

Problem #1 - It’s painful.

We’re genetically wired to try and achieve pleasure whilst avoiding pain. We create a “pleasure hierarchy” for ourselves, putting the most important things first and everything else, well, who cares. After all, which would give you more pleasure? Staying in your warm bed on a cold winters morning or doing burpees at 6am? So how do we overcome this?

Solution - Set goals.

Create an inspiring vision that allows you to rise above “the workout” and able to see the bigger,...

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Why young people are drinking less – and what older drinkers can learn from them

By Dominic Conroy on

Young people are drinking less than ever before. Some reading this will be able to recall the 1990s – the decade of peak alcohol, when drinking was a key part of life for young people. The decade saw the rise of pub and club culture, public displays of drunkenness by young adults and the arrival of new kinds of alcoholic drinks you could buy (alcopops anyone?).

Flash forward to 2020 and the picture is very different. A range of studies from countries where drinking is a big part of the culture confirms a sharp decline in alcohol consumption among young people. Research in Sweden, for example, shows a decline across all types of consumption, from the heaviest to the lightest drinkers. Similarly, rates of binge drinking have gone down and...

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Who Needs A Healthy Liver?

By Dr Cris Beer on

For the first few years that I worked as a general practitioner I had underestimated the liver's significant role in the general wellbeing of my patients. I had learnt that the liver was important from a physiological point of view and that it helped keep us alive, but I hadn't fully considered how it keeps us feeling well on a day-to-day basis.

I had been taught how to detect liver-function abnormalities in blood testing and how to feel for an enlarged or tender liver - all signs of obvious and severe liver damage. But as for understanding liver damage well before any obvious clinical signs begin to show, I was completely in the dark. I had seen severe liver damage from chronic alcoholism and from liver disease such as hepatitis, but the...

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Managing Sugar Cravings

By Peter Rule on

We all seek the taste of sweet foods naturally in our diet, however it can be easy to crave excess high sugar foods for many varied reasons.

We have 5 basic recognised tastes – sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami (savoury) however we can become imbalanced in our food choices due to stress, low energy, eating on the run, looking for psychological reward or treat or nutritional deficiencies, just to name a few.


We have 5 basic recognised tastes – sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami (savoury) however we can become imbalanced in our food choices due to stress, low energy, eating on the run, looking for psychological reward or treat or nutritional deficiencies, just to name a few.


When assessing a person’s current eating plan, it is not...

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Beer before wine and you’ll feel fine? No you won’t says new study

By Kai Hensel on

Plenty of us have been there: waking up after a night out with a thumping headache, feeling sick and swearing never to touch alcohol again. If only there were a way to prevent these terrible hangovers.

It isn’t uncommon for us to mix our drinks, maybe a beer in the pub before moving on to wine. Folk wisdom has something to say about this: “Beer before wine and you’ll feel fine; wine before beer and you’ll feel queer.” This idea is very prevalent and versions of it occur in many languages. In my native country, Germany, for example, we say: “Wein auf Bier, das rat’ ich Dir—Bier auf Wein, das lass’ sein.” This translates as: “Wine on beer, I’ll advise you to drink beer on wine.” 

But it turns out that there is no truth to these...

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10 Tips for Eating Out

By Olivia Horvat-Benson on

It can sometimes be a bit “too hard basket” to eat out when you’re on a “diet” or a specific health/food plan that limits what you can eat/drink, not to mention socially isolating; But it need not be like this. Firstly you need to remember that if you are on a “diet” or a specific plan, whether you’ve done it yourself or a healthcare practitioner has advised you of it, the intention for it was clearly to maximise optimal health, so it was a choice and when you make a choice you can’t say that you are missing out, because you’re not. All this means is that you’ll need to think outside the box a little from what you would normally opt for.

Here are some tips to help you.

1) Read the menu thoroughly & ASK questions.

Fancy words and...

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Junk food cravings? We’ve got your back

By Anne Finch on

Cravings are pretty common when we make changes to our diet. It’s a classic response to telling ourselves we can’t have something! Here’s our top tips for dealing with cravings.

1. Investigate your craving 

Cravings can make us uncomfortable, so our instinct is to fulfill them at once. Next time, try taking a minute to think about what you really want. Are you tired and looking for a pick-me-up? Are you genuinely hungry? Or bored? Try and meet the underlying need of the craving, rather than a using a Band-Aid solution. If you’re tired, a brisk walk is invigorating (especially in the cold weather!). If you’re hungry, eat something satisfying rather than junk food that will leave you peckish again in half an hour.

2. Distract...

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Exhausted by 2020? Here are 5 ways to recover and feel more rested throughout 2021

By Peter A. Heslin on

For most of us, 2020 was an exhausting year. The COVID-19 pandemic heralded draining physical health concerns, social isolation, job dislocation, uncertainty about the future and related mental health issues.

Although some of us have enjoyed changes such as less commuting, for many the pandemic added extra punch to the main source of stress – engaging in or searching for work.

Here’s what theory and research tells us about how to feel more rested and alive in 2021.

Recovery activity v experience

Recovery is the process of reversing the adverse impacts of stress. Leading recovery researchers Sabine Sonnentag and Charlotte Fritz have highlighted the important distinction between recovery activities (what you do during leisure time) and...

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Want to exercise more? Try setting an open goal for your New Year’s Resolution

By Christian Swann on

It’s that time of year when many of us are setting goals for the year ahead. The most common New Year’s resolution – set by 59% of us - is to exercise more.

But our research suggests the way we typically set goals in exercise often doesn’t work. So, what should we do instead?

Our research interviewing elite athletes suggests one possibility is to set open goals instead.

Specific goals can actually put us off

Generally we’re advised to set specific, or SMART, goals (where SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound). Aiming to walk 10,000 steps per day is a common example.

This advice is typically based on goal-setting theory from the 1990s. However, that theory has now evolved, with research now suggesting...

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