One You Blog

Pilates with Sunny at One You Haringey

What kind of workout is pilates? Your questions answered

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We asked Sunny Skorik, our Pilates instructor at One You Haringey a few questions about how Pilates benefits your mind and body.

Sunny Skorik - Pilates coach

1. Is pilates a good workout for weight loss?

Absolutely YES!

Practicing Pilates can be beneficial for your health and healthy weight maintenance.
Firstly, by doing Pilates, you tone up loose connective tissue around your joints and bones. 
There are some positions that require you to hold them for 20-30 seconds. Pilates is a great reason to strengthen weak parts of your body and get rid of flab.

Pilates also has some amazing health benefits:

  • improves your flexibility
  • increases your muscle strength and tone, particularly of your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks (the ‘core muscles’ of your body)
  • balances muscular strength on both sides of your body.
  • enhances muscular control of your back and limbs.
Stretching - Pilates

 2. How many times do you need to do Pilates to see results?

To maximize results, you should practice Pilates for a minimum of two times a week.
Regular Pilates practice can help with posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility. Expect to feel taller, more elongated and energised after just one session. 

3. Which is better; yoga or Pilates?

One of the main differences between Yoga and Pilates is that Yoga can be used for improving the flexibility of the body and it will also gradually increase the flexibility of your joints.

Whereas, Pilates focuses on trying to relax muscles which are tense and provide strengthening of the numerous muscles of the body.

Pilates works from the centre of your body outward. Pilates uses toning and strengthening components/exercises to increase joint mobility, build supple and strong body muscles.

Yoga is more about stretching of the tight muscles. Stress relief, meditative approach.
Overall, the biggest difference in Pilates and Yoga is the ultimate goal you want to achieve.

If you’d like to become more flexible, Yoga would be best to try. If you’d instead like to tone up and strengthen muscles in your body, then try Pilates.

Pilates reduces back pain

4. What are the mental benefits of doing Pilates?

Pilates is incredibly powerful in providing a place for your body to relax, rejuvenate and release tension.

Pilates for Stress Relief used on a daily basis will calm your mind and relax your body. The main benefits of Pilate for your mind are:

  • Using your Breath to Find Mindfulness in Movement
  • Stress Management and Relaxation
  • Improving Memory and Brain Training
  • A Tool in Treating Depression or Anxiety

Pilates help to balance muscular strength

5. Can Pilates help back pain?

Totally! Pilates decreases back pain! It will also strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, loosen up tight hips, hamstrings (muscles back of your legs) and calves.

All of these aspects contribute to tightness, resulting in a Painful Back. By practicing Pilates, you will be able to help ensure your back pain subsides and will disappear over time.

If you’d like to try Pilates, One You Haringey offer free Pilates classes with Sunny. You can sign up to our Move More programme to register for your free classes.

stop smoking

Does going cold-turkey work?

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quit smokingWhat is going ‘cold-turkey’?

Quitting ‘cold-turkey’ is when you withdraw from smoking completely, rather than gradually cutting down. This method is often the most appealing for first-time quitters, but is not always suitable. It’s important that you choose the method that will work best for you.

Quitting cold-turkey has been found to significantly increase your chances of abstaining from smoking in the long run as opposed to quitting gradually[1].

Withdrawal symptoms usually peak within the first 7 days of quitting and going cold turkey gets you past this point quicker than quitting gradually[2].

Smokers save an average of £1500 a year when they quit (based on £128 a month being spent on cigarettes)[3].

Withdrawal symptoms are often more severe when using this method because the body has to adjust quickly[4].

Only between 3% of people who try to quit cold-turkey, without help, are successful in quitting[5].

To improve your chances of quitting, and gain extra support, you can join a quit smoking service. Be Smoke Free offers one to one as well as group session support during your quitting journey.

cigarette cravings

What happens to your body when you go cold-turkey?

When you quit smoking, the nicotine withdrawal can cause several unpleasant symptoms[6]:

  • intense cravings for cigarettes
  • nausea
  • feeling down
  • increased appetite
  • cough or sore throat
  • restlessness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • trouble concentrating
  • changes in bowel habits
  • irritability
There are several ways you can counter your withdrawal symptoms and improve your chances of abstaining;
  • Make plans with non-smoking friends and family. Their support will help you through the process.
  • Exercising or doing other activities can reduce your nicotine cravings, relieve withdrawal symptoms and boost your mood.
  • To cope with your increased appetite and cravings, make sure you have lots of healthy snacks available. Foods that keep both your hands and mouth busy like carrots, pretzels, and apples are a good option.
  • You may develop a cough and/or a sore throat so having cough lozenges to hand may be helpful
  • It is may also be beneficial to buy over-the-counter medication in case you experience nausea and other flu-like symptoms.

tips for quitting

What if going cold-turkey isn’t for you?

Going cold-turkey certainly isn’t for everybody, but don’t worry because there are alternatives out there.

  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is available for free on the One You’s Be Smoke Free programme and helps to reduce the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms by providing a low level dose of nicotine.
  • Prescription stop smoking medicines are a popular aid to quitting. Champix has been found to double your chances of quitting successfully.
  • Zyban is another prescription medicine that reduces withdrawal symptoms and the urge to smoke.
If you’d like some free support to help you quit smoking, why not try our Be Smoke Free programme where you’re four times more likely to quit than if you go it alone. Find your nearest clinic and start your journey to becoming smoke free.








Lynne quits smoking using champix from one you haringey

Lynne found the most effective way for her to quit smoking

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Lynne joins the Be Smoke Free programme

When Lynne joined the Be Smoke Free programme, she wasn’t sure what the best way to quit smoking would be. Her health coach Lorraine suggested she tried Champix medication and her goal was to set a 12 week quit date. She successfully quit smoking with the help of her health coach as Lynne found the most effective way for her to quit smoking. Read her story of how gave up smoking with One You Haringey.

Health concerns

At 58 years old, Lynne was suffering from some health concerns including having minor asthma. After talking to her local GP, she was signposted to One You Haringey to see how they could help her to quit smoking.

She had used several quit smoking products before such as Nicorette patches (NRT), stop smoking hypnosis, and Allen Carr’s literature and advice on giving up smoking.

Lynne’s motivation to quit was driven by her desire to get healthier in general and to give up smoking for good.

Champix medication

After Lynne met her health coach Lorraine, she decided to use champix medication to help to stop smoking. This involves taking a 12-week course of tablets (normally 1-2 tablets per day.) They’re designed to relieve cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking. If you’d like to find out which treatment would suit you best, you can read our blog post which details 3 types of quit smoking products.

Feeling healthier being smoke free

As a result of completing her 12-week quit plan, Lynne successfully quit smoking for good. Her last CO reading was 1PPM, which shows she was free from the harm that smoking cigarettes used to cause. Usually any value above 5PPM suggests an exposure to tobacco smoking. Lynne found the most effective way for her to quit smoking. When you sign up with One You Haringey, we’ll help you find the best way that suits you too.

Lynne commented on her quit attempt success:

“I feel very confident with my achievement. I feel happier and more active since I have quit smoking.”

If you would like to quit smoking too and receive free support from us, you can sign up to our Be Smoke Free programme on our website.

shaking hands

Dementia: reduce your risk

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This piece may at first appear scary and overwhelming, but the aim is to equip you with all the knowledge you need to help you and your loved ones reduce your risks of developing dementia or, if you already have it, to slow its progression.
You may think that you’re too young to have to worry about developing dementia. However, research suggests that the changes in your brain that cause Alzheimer’s can occur up to 20 years before you start displaying symptoms[1].
So there’s no better day than today to start making positive steps to improve your brain health. 


What is Dementia?

Dementia is the umbrella term used to group progressive neurological diseases, of which there are over 200[2]. There are currently over 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia, but this the number expected to rise to 1 million in 2021. This is a direct result of the diagnosis rates improving and life expectancy increasing.

Some of the most well-known forms of dementia are Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s, with 50-70% of dementia cases caused by Alzheimer’s[3] .


What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, with the symptoms typically appearing in peoples’ mid-60s[4]. However, while rare, early-onset Alzheimer’s can develop from the age of 30. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s are usually mild at first, and gradually worsen over time.

elderly man

Maintaining a healthy brain is important at all stages of life, since it is the most vital organ you have; you literally cannot live without it.

It has been found that there are 6 pillars for a brain-healthy lifestyle[5]:
  • Physical exercise increases blood flow to the brain and stimulates chemicals in the brain that boost your thinking and mood.
  • Healthy diet is important for brain health, with a Mediterranean diet found to prevent and/or slow the development of dementia[6]. Additionally, green tea has been found to enhance memory and slow brain aging[7]
  • Medical health is an important dementia risk factor since depression, smoking, diabetes and many other health conditions increase your risk of developing dementia.
  • Sleep and relaxation have an impact on your likelihood of developing dementia. It has been found that both interrupted sleep and too much sleep (over 9 hours) can increase your risk[8]. Relaxation is also important because chronic stress and anxiety can damage the areas of the brain which are responsible for your emotional responses, thinking and memory.
  • Mental fitness is important for brain health because exercising your brain promotes the growth of new brain cells and improves your brain’s functioning.
  • Social interaction is key for maintaining a good memory; social interaction has been found to slow the rate of memory decline.


Reducing your risk

There are several ways that you can reduce your risk of dementia and improve your brain function. Many involve only small lifestyle alterations.

Ways to reduce your risk[9]:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep alcohol to a minimum (no more than 14 units a week)
  • Don’t smoke (smoking narrows the arteries, raising blood pressure and causing cardiovascular disease)
  • Maintain a healthy blood pressure level

elderly exercising

Exercise for reducing dementia risk

It is recommended that you exercise for 150 minutes a week, but it has been found that positive effects of exercise are not limited to physical fitness. The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that individuals aged 65 and above who engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week are better able to keep Alzheimer’s at bay[10]. This is not only because of its positive impact on the brain, but also the heart; exercise reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks, which can cause dementia.


In fact, regular exercise has been found to reduce the risk of developing dementia by around 30%. For Alzheimer’s disease specifically, the risk is reduced by 45%[11]. Exercise has also been found to improve the memory, judgement and thinking skills (cognitive function) for people with mild Alzheimer’s disease. This in turn can slow the progress of the disease. This is because physical activity increases the production of chemicals that protect the brain and increases blood flow[12].

Exercise for improving cognitive function

Seniors who do exercise (of any type) demonstrated better cognitive function than those who don’t exercise at all. However, for peak cognitive function, it has been found that aerobic exercise (e.g. running, swimming and dancing) is most effective. It was found that cognitive function in elderly adults who engaged only in aerobic exercise was three times better than that of seniors who did a combination of aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening exercises[13].

medical help


Health checks can help to identify the early signs of dementia and health problems that can increase dementia risk.

There are several symptoms that could be an indication of dementia. If you notice any of the below symptoms you should speak to a medical professional who will be able to diagnose you and, if you do in fact have dementia, help to slow its progression.

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty doing familiar tasks
  • Being confused about time or place
  • Challenges understanding visual information
  • Problems speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things
  • Poor judgment or decision-making
  • Withdrawal from socialising
  • Changes in personality or mood[14]

If you do get diagnosed don’t worry because there are plenty of ways that you can slow its progression.

One You Haringey provides several services that to help you develop specific areas of brain health, so if you have dementia or are worried your risk check out our range of services.
If you want to increase your physical fitness you can sign up to our Move More exercise classes. Remember, social isolation is also a big contributor, so if you just want to meet new people, a walking group is a great way to boost your fitness while socialising.
If you’re overweight our 12 week Manage You Weight programme is also a great way to get to, and maintain a healthy weight.
We also offer free Health Checks for 40-74 year olds in Haringey where we can check your overall health including your cholesterol levels and will give you advice on how you can maintain or improve your health.















Walton McLaren with his health coach

Get inspired by our Haringey residents to quit smoking

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“That’s just the way it is.” Is it really though? It’s never too late to quit, even after 10 or 20 years! We’ve compiled some of our most inspiring stories from people who have quit smoking after using our support. We hope you feel inspired to be smoke free this year!

If you need help to stop smoking, One You Haringey are here for you. If you’d like to be smoke free and feel healthier today, we offer free expert advice from our trained stop smoking advisers. We also are an e-cigarette friendly service.

Life changing advice

“The adviser was extremely helpful in every way in helping me to quit smoking. “Walton McLaren, 71,

Walton McLaren with his health coach

Walton with his health adviser. Walton quit smoking at 71 years old, proving you can quit at any age!

“I didn’t think anything would help me to stop smoking, but you did help me! I feel free as if I have broken the chains from me; the weight that was holding me down. Being able to breathe better and have more energy has meant I feel great. I wish I asked for your help earlier. To be honest, I can safely say that I don’t want to go back to smoking again. Thank you so much” Theodora Miliotis, 47

“The programme was very informative and gave me the courage to stop smoking.” Eric Osano, 39

Personal support

“I received constant support was great, knowing my health coach was always there for me who could listen to everything about my health, family and extenuating circumstances. Very human encouragement.” Angela Baker, 55

“Larissa’s approval to support my non-smoking was not pressured – she was very supportive. I had tailored support and my needs and concerns were all addressed through my journey of giving up smoking.” Kyriacos Spyrov, 52

Successful quit attempts

“I’ve have finally stopped smoking. Honestly, I couldn’t have done it without the help and support I received. I was a smoker for more than 15 years, smoking more than 10 a day.” – Abubakar Adhara, 33

 “It is great to feel that someone is there for you to share the struggle all the way and celebrate small successes. The advice I received was very helpful in backing up my own resolution to give up smoking. I’ve tried many times but this time I feel that I can manage to stay smoke free thanks to One You Haringey”. Kalinowska Anna, 35

Stop smoking aids
Nicotine replacement therapy

One You Haringey will help to provide you with all the support you need to quit

“The most beneficial thing about joining the Be Smoke Free programme was the regular meetings I had with my health coach. Having free NRT products was great.” – Casper

“I was so happy to meet Lorraine who was my health coach. She helped me to quit smoking whilst I was pregnant. Now I’ve quit for my baby and me. The Lozenges really helped me to quit. Milena Siemienowicz, 31

If you would like to quit smoking with support from One You Haringey, you can sign up to our free Be Smoke Free programme to get personalised advice.

working out

Workouts For Winter

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It can be hard to find the motivation to workout during winter months; it’s cold outside and those extra layers help hide our extra layers.

But it’s not all about what’s going on externally; exercise is extremely important for our bodies internally. And remember, our body is the only real home we have.

It is medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have up to a 50% lower risk of diabetes, 35% lower risk of heart disease and stroke and 30% lower risk of depression and dementia[1]. So we want to help you get fit and not quit!

Yoga workout

How do I get fit and not quit?

To ensure that weather can’t be used as an excuse not to workout, we’ve compiled some exercises that can be done indoors or at home.

A great way to boost workout motivation is to join an exercise class or group. Classes can increase both your commitment and enhance your competitiveness, both of which improve your output.

One You Haringey has a range of fun, indoor exercise classes for you to try:
Healthy Cardio
The aim of this session is to improve the capacity, efficiency and strength of your heart and lungs.  It also helps with weight loss/maintenance, helps to increase stamina, endurance and general improvement on overall fitness levels. This is done through a variety of light exercise activities such as walking, brisk walk, mild jog, jogging, skipping, dancing and light fun exercise routines incorporate these movements and others.
Building Strength

The aim of the session is to help improve your muscle strength and endurance, maintain posture and body shaping of the legs, stomach, arms, chest, back, shoulders. The class incorporates a progressive programme of light weight strength exercises. This can be performed with or without light weight, such as dumbbell’s, bars and can be performed standing, sitting or lying down.

Women’s Fitness

Women’s Fitness is a women’s only class designed to incorporate a combination cardio and strengthening exercises. We use light, fun exercise routines to improve your muscle strength and endurance.

Piyo Stretch

Piyo Stretch with Sunny is a unique combination of strengthening exercises of Pilates combined with fluidity of Yoga.


If you’re overweight, over 50, or just don’t enjoy working out, Zumba may be one of the best workouts for you – and the most fun type of exercise. Dance to great music, with great people and get active without realising it.

FUN-ctional Pilates

The aim of this session is to help improve the mobility and movement of your body by strengthening it for everyday activities. Key pilates techniques help to improve: flexibility, breathing, core stability, coordination and balance.

Home workoutView our full timetable of free classes (including outdoor exercise)

Here’s a list of our favourite types of exercise you can do at home:

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) involves short bursts of exercise and is intended to intensify your cardio workout.

Dance is a fun way to raise the body’s heart rate and improve stamina.

Yoga is great way to increase your flexibility, muscle strength and tone up your body, all while improving your mind-body awareness.

Pilates, like yoga, is a low impact exercise that strengthens your muscles. However, instead of working on flexibility, it focuses on relaxing tense muscles.

A fitness app can be a great tool when working out at home. There are so many out there, many of them free, that you’re sure to find one that you both enjoy and that suits your lifestyle.

Group workoutIt can be super hard to stay on track and it’s usually for 3 reasons:

  1. Not seeing results quick enough

The key way to counteract this problem is to use an app to track your body measurement, calorie burn and BMI. It can be difficult to see changes to your body until your clothes start to feel a bit looser, so this is where tracking helps. Tracking your progress will enable you to see the gradual improvements and could push you to and achieve your goals.

  1. Reaching your goal and considering it job done

Find exercises that you enjoy and work them into your weekly routine. It has been found that it takes an average of 66 days for a habit to be formed[2], so once you’ve managed to workout for 66 days, you should begin to find it easier to get into the mind-set for exercising.

  1. Boredom

If you find you get bored of exercising quickly, try and do a range of exercises so they don’t become boring and monotonous.

It has also been found that working out with friends greatly increases the likelihood that you’ll stick to your workout[3]. So why not take your friend or partner along and motivate each other?

If you’re interested in signing up for one of our classes, or simply want to find out more, you can sign up to our free Move More programme.





friends relaxing

5 ways to practice self-care

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We’re all guilty of letting our busy schedules get in the way of our self-care from time to time. So we’ve compiled our 5 top tips to make it a lot easier to look after ourselves.

practicing self-care

As a Haringey resident there are many One You Haringey programmes available to help you improve your Healthy Life Expectancy and general wellbeing.


Shake that beer belly!

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Growing up you might have seen your dad with a beer belly and sworn it would never happen to you…yet here you are. Don’t worry though, weight gain does not have to be an inevitable part of growing older and you don’t need to accept it. Reducing your stomach fat may be important for you aesthetically, but it’s also incredibly important for you internally, since the greater the stomach fat a person has, the greater the chance of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. We have some top tips and tricks for slimming your waistline, in a way that works for you and your lifestyle.


1) Diet

Diet typically makes up 75% of weight loss, making it an incredibly important part to get right. So we’ve compiled a list of small dietary changes that could have a big impact on your waistline.Food groups

  • Protein intake

Making sure that 10-35% of your calorie intake comes from protein can reduce stomach fat gain[1]. Not only this, but protein has been found to reduce cravings by 60% and boost metabolism by 80-100 calories per day[2].

  • Reduce your carbohydrate intake

In reducing your carbohydrate intake you will be specifically targeting your beer belly and the fat around your organs. Additionally, you’ll find that your appetite will quickly reduce, along with excess water weight[3].

  • Cut down on your sugar intake

Many studies have found that consuming large amounts of sugar can lead to an increased accumulated of fat in the tummy and liver, caused by the fructose in sugar[4]. Foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup include white bread, ready meals, cookies and sugar-sweetened drinks[5].

One of the important things to cut out is sugar-sweetened drinks; they usually don’t provide any nutritional value, just empty calories. Sugary drinks are the most common way to consume excess fructose, which is known to increase visceral fat (aka stomach fat).

  • Fibre rich foods

Eating foods rich in fibre (especially soluble, viscous fibre) promotes weight loss by making you feel fuller for longer[6].

Examples of viscous fibre rich foods include whole oats, lentils, chickpeas, potatoes, avocados and apples.

2) Exercises for weight loss

The other 25% of weight loss is a result of exercise. However, surprisingly it has been found that abdominal exercises don’t actually help to reduce stomach fat and instead they are just helpful for toning and muscle definition[7]. In fact, the more effective way to burn stomach fat is through HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). This is because HIIT not only burns a large number of calories while you exercise, but it also triggers an ‘afterburn affect’, where the body continues to burn calories for hours after you have completed your workout[8].

Exercises to try:
  • Burpees
  • Squats
  • Sprints
  • Planks

HIIT usually takes place in the gym, but it can often be hard to self-motivate. If you are someone who struggles to find the motivation to exercise, an exercise class might be more for suitable for you. One You offer many different classes, so check out for our full class list and sign up for an upcoming class.

If you do try HIIT, make sure you ease yourself in, and build up to exercising a few times a week gradually. Any more than this can cause injury.

3) Stress


People often associate stress with weight loss and a loss of appetite. However, too much stress can cause an increase in the levels of cortisol, which is a hormone our bodies releases when we’re under too much pressure.  This makes us crave fatty, high calorie foods[9]. It’s difficult to reduce our stress levels since stress is usually out of our control, but practicing relaxation techniques, exercising and reducing your caffeine intake can help.

4) Sleep

SleepArguably the easiest way to lose weight is to sleep more (result!). It has been found that those who sleep for more than 8 hours per night have a resting energy expenditure (calorie burning) of 5% higher than those who sleep less[10]. They also burn 20% more calories after a meal than sleep-deprived people. This means that you burn more calories after a good night’s sleep.

We know it can be difficult to get the full 8 hours while juggling work, family and social life. However, once you start prioritising a good night’s sleep, you’ll soon see the benefits to your health and general wellbeing.


We understand that losing weight can be difficult to do alone though, so we also offer a free 12 week Manage You Weight course to help support you on your weight loss journey. If you think you could benefit from some additional support and expert advice, we also offer a free Move More programme where we will help you develop an activity plan and find fun ways to shake your beer belly and get active.











Do you really sleep better after drinking alcohol?

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Do you really sleep better after drinking alcohol? Top 5 myths about alcohol

As part of alcohol awareness week we’re busting some common drinking myths and providing information and tips to help you drink in a healthier way. Our aim is to help you reduce the common health impacts that are associated with drinking alcohol.

Myth busting: 5 common myths associated with drinking

  1. Eating after drinking soaks up the alcohol and reduces your hangover

Eating after you have had an episode of drinking will do very little to reduce the hangover that you receive the next day. In fact, it could actually make you feel worse, because both alcohol and greasy food can contribute to acid reflux, which can cause heartburn, an unpleasant taste in your mouth and nausea.

2. Mixing alcohol with an energy drink makes you more drunk

The increase in energy that an energy drink creates from the caffeine rush can be interpreted as heightening your levels of intoxication. However this is not the case; instead the caffeine counteracts the sedative effects of alcohol, allowing you to carry on for longer than you may ordinarily.

3. The order that you drink alcohol in determines how hungover or unwell you’ll be

In actual fact it’s the amount of alcohol you drink and the time you drink it in that matter more.

4. You sleep better after drinking

Alcohol can make you feel more tired and help you to get to sleep quicker due to its sedative effects. However, it interferes with the quality and restfulness of your sleep, leaving you more tired in the morning.

5. Occasional binge drinking won’t do any harm

Even a single episode of binge drinking can have serious long term effects on your body. Such effects include inflammation of the pancreas, stomach and liver. Not only this, but it puts you at risk of alcohol poisoning, choking and suffocation.

What does healthy drinking look like?

Moderate drinking for men over 65 and women of all ages means one drink a day and up to two drinks a day for men under the age of 65.

Examples of one drink include:

Therefore in total we should be drinking no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, and if you are going to drink up to this amount, it’s better to spread your units evenly over 3 or more days.

What is the real meaning of binge drinking?


Binge drinking is considered to be 6 units + per episode for women, and 8 units + for men.

Long-term health impacts

Drinking more than the suggested amount can lead to several long-term health impacts, which include:

  • Damage to vital organs
  • Long-term injuries from falls and accidents
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Infertility
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Brain damage

Know your units

It’s important to know how much you’re drinking and how many units are in each drink. An easy way to track this is using the ‘Know Your Units’ app. Alternatively we’ve supplied a handy list of the units contained in the most common alcoholic drinks.

Tips for healthier drinking

  • Avoid drinking more than 14 units a week
  • When drinking, alternate with water to keep your body hydrated
  • Have at least 2 alcohol free days a week
  • Check the alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage and opt for a low alcohol content
  • Avoid buying ‘rounds’ or ‘shouts’ and drink at your own pace; buying rounds

Managing your alcohol intake will help to ensure you have a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you’d like more information about how you can drink less alcohol, you can find out about our Drink Less Programme. You’ll get personal support with our health and wellbeing coaches who can help you find ways to reduce your intake and lower the risks to your health. Sign up to our Drink Less Programme.

3 easy ways to quit - which treatment is best for you?

3 easy ways to quit smoking

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Which treatment is the best for you?

As a smoker, your body is addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes, which gets you hooked on. To get motivated, find your reason to quit. It may be to protect your family from secondhand smoke or lower your chances of getting cancer, heart disease, or other severe health conditions. Find something to do with your hands- fiddle with a pencil or a stress ball. Cut straw into cigarette-sized pieces and inhale through it. Distract yourself- play a game on your phone, talk to someone, listen to music or go for a walk.

Easy ways to give up smoking

Set a date

Once you’ve decided to quit, set a date. Pick a day your less likely to be stressed and tell friends and family that you’re quitting so they can support you. Learn from what worked and what didn’t work during previous attempts, and apply to the next time you try to quit. The day before, remove everything related to smoking (including half-finished packs and lighters). And resist the urge to keep a spare pack ‘for an emergency.

You are a staggering 225% more successful quitting if you combine specialist support and medication (Cancer research UK).

 Medication can help


Champix is a treatment best-suited for people who are motivated to give up smoking but have
not yet been successful. The treatment consists of a 12-week course of tablets (usually one to two tablets a day) designed to relieve the craving and withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking. Before starting your course of Champix, set a date to stop smoking, and start taking the tablets one to two weeks
before this date. Most people set their date between 10 to 14 days of taking Champix.



  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t contain nicotine
  • Relives withdrawal symptoms
  • Doubles/ triples your chances of quitting


  • Not safe during pregnant or breastfeeding and under the age of 18.
  • Side effects include nausea, insomnia, and feeling tired.
  • Only available on prescription

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)

NRT is a type of medication that provides you with a low level of nicotine, without the tar, carbon
monoxide and other poisonous chemicals present in tobacco smoke. The medication is available in
five different forms, skin patches, chewing gum, inhalators, tablets/ oral strips/ lozenges and nasal
and mouth spray. The types of NRT are dependent on whether you’re a heavy or a light smoker, want to gradually cut down before you stop or want to stop smoking completely. The treatment lasts 8-12 weeks before you gradually reduce the dosage and eventually stop.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)


  • Some types can be bought from shops without a prescription
  • You can use it whenever you have a craving, as long as you don’t exceed the
    daily dose.
  • Relives withdrawal symptoms


  • Contains nicotine
  • Needs to be joint with additional support systems such as a stop-smoking
    programme for a few months after you quit.
  • Side effects include insomnia, dizziness and headaches.


E-cigarettes allow you to inhale nicotine in a vapour rather than smoke without the tar, carbon
monoxide and other poisonous chemicals present. They work by heating a liquid that contains nicotine, chemicals and flavourings. The types of E-cigarettes are dependent on whether you’re a heavy or a light smoker. For example, a light smoker would use a Cigalike, vape pen or pod system and a heavy smoker to use a vape pen, pod system or mod.



  • Help manage nicotine cravings
  • Twice as likely to quit smoking compared to using NRT such as chewing gum and
  • Available to buy from shops without a prescription


  • Liquid and vapour contain potentially harmful chemicals also found in
    cigarette smoke but at a lower level.
  • Contains nicotine
  • Fairly new, research is not yet clear how safe long-term vaping is.
    You don’t have to quit alone

As a Haringey resident, you can sign up to our free smoking cessation services. We offer group sessions as well as one to one support on a 12 week programme. Sign up to our Be Smoke Free programme to find out more about what we offer.