New year and a new you

New year new you

This content reflects the views of the individual blogger and is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.

I can hear your groans from here because no doubt you are sick to death of reading endless columns on dieting, losing the Christmas bulge, and – heaven help us – getting ‘beach body’ ready! But don’t click off just yet. Pull up a chair and let me explain what I mean about walking into a New Year and a new you.

One of my bugbears when it comes to psoriasis is the issue of co-morbidities. Somehow it seems to be the great secret that is kept from patients and in all my years as a psoriasis sufferer, it was never discussed in any consultation that I had. In fact, it wasn’t until I started my blog that I came across this term and it was some time later before I fully understood what co-morbidities meant. Previous to this, it had never occurred to me that my psoriasis may be having an adverse effect on the rest of my health. After all, it’s just a skin disease right? Wrong! Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease and as such, the skin is almost the secondary issue compared to what is going on under the skin’s surface. Those of us who suffer from psoriasis essentially suffer from an inflammatory condition which means that we are at increased risk of cardio vascular disease, of Crohns disease and of diabetes – in other words, co-morbidities.

OK! Before I plunge you into deep despair, let’s focus on the good stuff. And there is good stuff, I promise. It just needs a slight shift in your focus and a realisation that you need to look after your overall health as part of your psoriasis care. You’ve no doubt read all the clichés and Instagram ‘inspirational quotes’ on self love and self care. Well, as cheesy as many of them are, the basic message is true and so it’s time to incorporate good habits into your diet and exercise regime. I’m going to leave the diet stuff to my good pal, Simon, but let’s talk about exercise. I know practically nothing about working out but I will tell you what I have learned over my years with psoriasis. Walking helps. It’s free, it’s easy, it can be done anywhere and at anytime. It doesn’t require special equipment, it doesn’t require a pricey gym membership, it doesn’t need special clothing (apart from trainers) and the biggest bonus of all is that if you incorporate walking into your daily routine, you’ll soon find that you’ll lose your excess weight and even better, that your sleep will radically improve. Can’t sleep because of your psoriasis? Try doing a 30/40 minute brisk walk each day and see how well you’ll be sleeping by the end of the first week. It’s like magic! (Told you there was good stuff.)

Now clearly when I say that you don’t need special clothing, I’d be lying to you all if I didn’t confess that being dressed for the part always helps me to force myself out the door for my daily constitutional. Good, comfortable trainers, decent leggings and a warm jacket are all part of my look – complete with the requisite headphones. But I am not lying when I say that you don’t need to spend a fortune. Let me prove it to you all. This Padded Outdoor Jacket from H&M is ideal.  A soft fleecy lining, pale grey colour, pockets for your keys, phone etc., and a hood should it start to rain.  Perfect!

H and M jacket

If you think you’d be too warm in a jacket, it is possible to get a gilet for less than thirty quid in many shops from H&M to Primark. A perfect example is this Souluxe Gilet from Matalan.

Matalan gilet

Back to H&M for these Sports Tights (or leggings as I prefer to call them) which are snug, comfortable, quick drying and have a concealed key pocket making them ideal for all seasons.

H and M leggings

Now for trainers. My reccomendation is this pair from Ecco. Today’s post is all about comfort over style and Ecco are renowned for being top in the comfort stakes. Getting the right trainers is the key, as the last thing you want is a foot full of blisters. Not the cheapest trainer, but it’s January, so you’re bound to pick up a bargain in the sales.

Ecco trainers

Finally, I am acutely aware that some of you may not be able to do a daily walk whether because of psoriatic arthritis, or indeed psoriasis on your feet (been there, know your pain, sending sympathy!) To you, what I would say is that you should have a chat with your GP, your dermatologist or dermatology nurse and find out what exercises you could do to help keep yourself healthy. This is too important to ignore, so make you and your health your priority for 2018. Happy New Year!

UK/IE MAT-13803 . Date of preparation: December 2017

Blog post developed in partnership with LEO Pharma.

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