There are steps you can take to look after yourself and reduce your chances of getting sick, called preventative care.

Prevention is the best medicine

A healthy lifestyle can reduce your chances of getting Type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression, heart disease and many other illnesses.

Keep your finger on the pulse on all the latest news and stories within general practice.

Here are some guides to living a happy, healthy life

Healthy life

‘Diet, excess weight and physical inactivity are three of the top five risk factors contributing to ‘health loss’1 in New Zealand’ – The Ministry of Health provides a definitive guide on how adults can live a healthy lifestyle and how infants, children, pregnant and older people can live a healthy lifestyle. 

Being smokefree 

Around 5000 people die each year (13 every day) in New Zealand because of smoking or second-hand smoke exposure. If you are a smoker we recommend you call Quitline (0800 778 778) 

What sort of drinker are you? 

Is the amount that you are drinking affecting your health? Are you worried that you may be drinking too much? Take the ‘is your drinking okay’ test and find out.

Sleep hygiene

It’s a term used to describe good sleep habits; this guide will tell you how much sleep you need and how to get a perfect night’s sleep .

A good looking smile relies on three things:

  1. Healthy eating 
  2. Brushing your teeth twice a day 
  3. Visiting your dentist regularly

Posters, pamphlets and other resources  on oral health are available.

Mental health

Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, panic attacks and chronic stress are all products of poor mental health. Explore twelve topics on this issue.


Cold, damp and mouldy homes have been linked to asthma, respiratory infections and rheumatic fever. Energywise provide an in-depth analysis to tackling the source of damp. If you are a tenant, talk to your landlord if you have any concerns about damp or mould in your home.


Find a GP if you need to speak to someone

More tips on preventative health/wellness.

Working with your GP 

In a recent survey carried out by Southern Cross, 22 per cent of patients admitted lying to their GPs; men tended to lie about alcohol intake and women tended to exaggerate their time exercising. 
Being honest with your GP is essential to making the most out of your visit. Try these four points:

repare for your visit
isten and share
sk questions
ote down what your need to do next

Find out how to best work with your GP here.

Long-term health conditions

Many people live with long-term health conditions. Nowadays there are websites, blogs, apps, books and health professionals that provide advice and information on how you can manage your long-term health conditions. However, not all advice is good advice! 

Here are some resources you can trust to get you started:

Health Navigator New Zealand

General information on health living, medicines and common health problems

HealthInfo (based in Canterbury – Waitaha)

A-Z of health topics and medicines


Targeted health information for children

The Ministry of Health

How to live healthily and manage conditions


A library of resources delivered by the Health Promotion Agency and Ministry of Health 

Green prescriptions

Prescription medicine in the form of exercise; your GP might offer you a green prescription (GRx) which is essentially a recommended activity guide supported with monthly phone calls, face to face meetings or group events.

Flu shot

We recommend that everyone receive a flu shot every year. Find out how to get free flu vaccinations.