Healthy living is all about making certain lifestyle choices. There are proven links between fatal and disabling illnesses and the way we live our lives. In addition, people are surviving longer and that means that many of the lifestyle choices we make now, will have a major impact on our quality of life in later years.

In this clinic, we are not suggesting that you give upeverything in life you find enjoyable (although quitting smoking should be a number one priority), rather we intend to highlight the positive gains you can make by taking moderate steps to look after your health and that of your family.

Heart disease and stroke are the major diseases in modern Ireland, accounting for over 40% of all deaths. Tackling diet and smoking and taking more exercise can have a major impact on the risk of heart disease and stroke. These are important issues for everyone as apart from their impact on disease, they can improve our general feeling of wellbeing and zest for life.

Cancer is another serious disease in Ireland and prevention services are expanding with the introduction of BreastCheck and a national cervical screening programme.

The best time to pick up good habits is when you are young. Children can be given a good start in life by vaccination and establishing good dietary and exercise habits from the outset. The clinic also offers some guidelines on reducing the risk of childhood accidents.

We recommend that people of all ages avail of their general practitioner services not just when they are ill, but for advice on preventive health.