Looking after your Physical Health
While you wait, do what you can to look after your physical health
The information and advice here is aimed at helping you arrive for your appointment in the best possible physical health.
On this page you will find information to help you maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, quit smoking, move more and reduce your alcohol intake if necessary.
Small changes can make a difference. Maintaining and improving your overall wellbeing will also lead to a faster recovery if you require surgery.
- Once you are referred by your GP the waiting journey begins. Make the most of the time before you see your specialist.
- In the time before your surgery, you can take simple steps to improve your physical health. This will reduce your risk of complications and improve your wellbeing now and in your recovery.
- There are a range of resources in this section of the website which can offer you support to tackle quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, getting fitter and drinking less alcohol.
Keeping yourself healthy before your operation
Maintaining a healthy weight, getting active or quitting smoking. There are steps you can take now to help make your surgery or treatment a success. The national Better Health website can help you to kickstart your health ahead of your operation and prepare you for a healthier, happier future.
Maintaining a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of complications during surgery. If your operation is not urgent and you are overweight, taking time to lose weight before going ahead may be of great benefit to you.
Losing weight is not about getting it right – it’s about getting started. Making small, simple changes can really help you shed the pounds. Get started today with our tips, support and specialist offers.
You can download a free NHS weight loss planning app to help you start healthier eating habits, be more active and start losing weight.
Food and Nutrition
Your body needs to repair itself after surgery – eating a healthy diet before and after your surgery can really help.
Some useful resources:
Recipe ideas from Tom Kerridge and Marcus Rashford that do not need lots of ingredients, equipment or skill.
If you’re going into hospital for an operation, it’s strongly advised that you stop smoking as soon as possible. Quitting smoking before an operation will reduce your chances of complications and speed up your recovery after surgery. It will also make your stay at hospital more comfortable as smoking is not permitted on hospital grounds.
Try to quit smoking as soon as you can, as this will give your body as much time as possible to repair itself before surgery. The best way to quit smoking is with a combination of personalised support and stop smoking aids, like nicotine replacement.
Free quit services
With help, you’re much more likely to quit smoking than if you use willpower alone. Visit Make Smoking History to get free access to the latest quitting aids, one-to-one advice and support in your local area.
Alternatively, you can talk to a friendly stop smoking advisor over the phone. Call the Greater Manchester Stop Smoking Helpline free on 0300 123 1044 between 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 11am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday, including bank holidays.
You can also speak to your GP or local pharmacist for help to stop smoking.
You can also keep motivated, monitor your health improvements and track how much money you save when you quit with the Smoke Free app. Greater Manchester residents can get six months’ free access to the Pro version (worth £60) when they sign up at Smoke Free App (Ts&Cs apply.)
Get help to quit and stay smoke-free in hospital
In many hospitals across Greater Manchester, there are teams of specialist stop smoking nurses who can help you quit smoking. When you arrive at hospital, you’ll be asked if you smoke and visited at your bedside by a stop smoking nurse. They will give you one-to-one support and may prescribe you nicotine replacement or stop smoking medication to help you stay smokefree.
These onsite stop smoking services are run by The CURE Project and currently available in Wythenshawe, Oldham, Wigan, Bury, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside and Salford.
There are many changes you can make to reduce the risks of surgery. Your heart and lungs have to work harder after an operation to help the body to heal. If you are already active, you will be used to this. While you are waiting for your operation, try and increase your activity levels. Activities that improve your strength and balance will also be useful for your recovery. Always check with your doctor first what type of exercise is most appropriate for you.
No matter how much you do, physical activity is good for your body and mind. Adults should aim to be active every day. Some is good – more is better still. A daily brisk walk can boost your energy, lift your mood and make everyday activities easier.
Try these tools, tips and special offers to move more every day.
Whether you are looking for a walking route to explore your local area or somewhere new, or want to help someone you know join a local walking group, we hope the Greater Manchester Walking website will help you.
This website has lots of tips and resources to help you make walking part of your everyday life, and provides ways in which you can contribute to creating places that are more attractive, safe and supportive of walking.
Alcohol can have many effects on the body, but importantly it can reduce the liver’s ability to produce the building blocks necessary for healing. Make sure you are drinking within the recommended limits, or lower, to improve your body’s ability to heal after surgery.
Cutting back on alcohol can be a really effective way to improve your health, boost your energy, lose weight and save money. Any reduction in the amount you drink every week will be beneficial – and with the right support, it’s easier than you think. There are some simple tips and tools to help you start cutting down today.
You can also download the free Drink Free Days app.
Get medical advice before you stop drinking if you have physical withdrawal symptoms (like shaking, sweating or feeling anxious until you have your first drink of the day). It can be dangerous to stop drinking too quickly without proper help. There’s lots of support out there.
Keeping Well this Winter - Advice for Older Residents
This booklet has been created by Greater Manchester Combined Authority in collaboration with the Healthy Ageing Research Group, linked to the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing, based at the University of Manchester.
This booklet updates an earlier version, adds new sections and has lots of ideas and suggestions to help us keep active and connected, stay safe and well, and manage our money and home. It is written for those with less or no access to online resources and includes a list of useful contact numbers.
Keeping Well at Home
Working with the University of Manchester we have produced a guide to help older people keep well at home.
The guide is packed full of health and dietary advice, including a programme of standing and sitting strength and balance exercises.
It gives useful tips on keeping minds active, eating and drinking at home and safety.
Creative Care Kit – Older People
Creative Care Kits full of things for older people to do are being delivered to 16,000 older people across Greater Manchester.
The kits contain a range of activities that can be completed at home.
Creative activities: printable resources
Mental health support
Give us a shout (Text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258)
Or contact your GP
Older people and coronavirus FAQs
Meal delivery services
Booklets on eating and drinking well
Grants and benefits advice
Looking after others
Advice and support for carers
Supporting people living with Dementia
Who else can I ask for help?
Your GP surgery will be able to weigh you and signpost you to advice on healthy eating, any local weight loss schemes and exercise opportunities in your area.
You can also speak to your GP or local pharmacist for help to quit smoking.