30/11/2017 16:48 GMT | Updated 30/11/2017 16:48 GMT

Five Simple Ways To Empower Your Health

Simon Elson (Author)
A toy bike and Jelly Baby (why not.... seemed like a good idea for a photo)

On paper (or computer screen) I should be the last person to write a health blog as firstly, I’m a type 2 diabetic. However, after our son was born I decided to do something about it and lost a lot of weight and became... a health bore, telling even just casual acquaintances how much sugar is in things.

Secondly, sometimes my factual articles can come across as patronising, smug, condescending and occasionally just plain rude. Quite an achievement to get all four into one article.

For the first time in ages, this year has been a bit of disaster health wise for me, involving an eye infection, a week in hospital with sepsis and finally, at the moment, I’m sporting a badly bruised shoulder. The last one I can explain, short version of story... Dog + Bike = Ouch. To be fair to the dog owner, he was very upset about it. I said I was okay, left no contact details apart from my destination (place of work) that morning and rode off. A few days later he came into my work and asked for the ‘lad who came off his bike last week’ (lad! Win. I thought I’d stopped being a lad two decades ago), apologised again and offered to take me and the family out for a meal, which I declined but the thought was there.

Anyway back to the empowering bit. I thought as health is always in the news I would write a ‘How To’ article. So, here it is: Five Simple Ways To Empower Your Health.


My brother (don’t worry, he never reads my articles) was amazed to find that my wife and myself often walk to the local supermarket with a rucksack instead of taking the car. “Why would you do that?”, was the question. “Oh I don’t know.. health, global warming, Co2 emissions and half an hour of peace and quiet”, was my reply and recently when a major road bridge in my town shut and caused massive (and I mean massive) traffic jams, a pedestrian/cycle-path bridge became overnight like Blackpool prom. Now the road bridge is open it’s gone quiet again. If all those people could walk to work (or park up a mile away and walk the rest) a month ago, why can’t they now?

I’m not saying go out rambling in the countryside for miles at the weekend, (if you can though that’s great, free and healthy, double win) but if your destination is less than a fifteen minute walk away, why not the leave the car at home?


Bit like the above really but for longer journeys, consider buying a bike and cycling to work (yes I know I blogged about cycling to work a while back.. but you might not of read it). My friends and work colleagues think I’m either mad or brave for cycling as much as I do. I’m neither of them, I’m just a bloke with a bike (or two) who is trying to stay healthy.


I don’t know what the Government recommendations are this week, but cutting down is easier than you think. Grab an 11.5 percent wine instead of a 13.5 one or 3.6 percent beer instead of a 5 percent one. Tastes similar but that difference could mean a unit less alcohol over a couple of drinks. The catch is, you have to care about alcohol intake to do this. It seems a lot of people don’t.


Read the sugar content on labels (again I’ve mentioned this before) 12 spoons of sugar in a can of ‘full fat’ pop or seven spoons of sugar in a tin of tomato soup... sounds wrong doesn’t it? I can assure it’s not. The pop... would you put that much sugar in your tea.


Now the ‘biggy’. Smoking is on the decline thank goodness, but if you do smoke then stopping could do more than all the above combined to improve your health. I won’t bang on about what it does, the new photos on packets do that. But I will mention the cost. A twenty a week habit costs forty quid a month, Ouch, a twenty a day habit costs two hundred and eighty pounds a month, That is the same sort of money as a serious car on the driveway, or in my case a replica carbon fibre team bike in my garage. I almost wished I smoked so I could give up and save loads of money.

That’s it, five simple ways to empower your health, I hope I wasn’t too patronising.

Buy Simon’s Best selling health e-book ‘Sugar Beat’ HERE

Simon’s blog... Simon Says