Workshops and consultations

Would you like to change the health-related aspects of your lifestyle?

Perhaps you need a little encouragement to take that first step towards change. Take part in group workshops and one-to-one consultations at your local health centre. Every health centre is home to either a health promotion centre or a health education centre, where you can take part in group workshops and one-to-one consultations. There you’ll get expert information, develop skills and receive support to make long-term changes to your lifestyle, leading to better well-being and better health.

If you are part of the compulsory health insurance scheme, activities at health promotion and health education centres are free of charge.

Some workshops and one-to-one consultations can only be attended after you have undergone the preventive examination, while others carry no such requirement. Workshops are held at health centres and in the local community (e.g. in local council buildings or fire stations). Contact your local health promotion or health education centre, where they will be happy to explain how you can get involved. To make the whole process easier, look for your nearest health promotion or health education centre and jot down their contact details.

All the group workshops and one-to-one consultations available to you are listed in detail below.

Healthy lifestylesHealthy dietPhysical activity to improve healthStrengthening mental healthLosing weight in a healthy wayGiving up smokingType 2 diabetes

Healthy lifestyles

The workshops on this topic are intended for anyone looking for expert information on living healthily and on the process of changing bad habits, as well as anyone who needs additional encouragement in their quest for improved well-being. The workshops below comprise one group meeting.

Living Healthily/Healthy lifestyle

You will get to know the most important facts about healthy diet and learn the skills necessary to make gradual changes to your diet. The following topics will be discussed and questions answered at the workshop:

  • What is a healthy diet?
  • Monitoring your dietary habits
  • Planning and putting together menus tailored to your needs
  • How to put together a healthy everyday menu as simply as possible
  • Preparing great-tasting healthy food
  • How to choose healthy ingredients from the wide range on offer
  • How to eat healthily whatever your everyday circumstances
  • Prevailing myths and untruths in the field of food and nutrition
  • How to make gradual changes to your diet and how to stick to them

Elevated blood pressure

You will receive important information on elevated blood pressure. With the help of experts, you will learn how to formulate a realistic plan for changing the health-related aspects of your lifestyle to help you maintain your target blood pressure levels and increase your well-being. The workshop will equip you with knowledge of:

  • target blood pressure levels and their importance to health
  • the link between lifestyle and blood pressure
  • the risk factors leading to elevated blood pressure
  • how to measure your own blood pressure correctly
  • how to change the health-related aspects of your lifestyle, and the support available to help you achieve this

Elevated blood lipids

You will receive important expert information on elevated blood lipid levels. With the help of experts, you’ll learn how to formulate a realistic plan for changing the health-related aspects of your lifestyle to help you maintain your target lipid levels and increase your well-being. The workshop will equip you with knowledge of:

  • cholesterol, target blood lipid levels and their importance to health
  • the risk factors leading to elevated blood lipid levels
  • the link between lifestyle and blood lipids
  • how to change the health-related aspects of your lifestyle, and the support available to help you achieve this

Elevated blood sugar

You will get to know the most important aspects of borderline basal glycaemia and impaired glucose tolerance. The following questions will be answered at the workshop:

  • Why do I have borderline basal glycaemia and impaired glucose tolerance?
  • What processes in the body cause your blood sugar to rise?
  • Why is it good for the onset of type 2 diabetes to be delayed for as long as possible?
  • What can I do to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes for as long as possible, or to prevent it?

Healthy diet

Eating Healthily

You will get to know the most important facts about healthy diet, and acquire the skills to gradually introduce changes to your diet. The workshop comprises six meetings (four group meetings and two one-to-one consultations). You may be referred to a workshop by your doctor or a registered general practice nurse. The following topics will be discussed and questions answered at the workshop:

  • What is a healthy diet?
  • Monitoring your dietary habits
  • Planning and putting together menus tailored to your needs
  • How to put together a healthy everyday menu as simply as possible
  • Preparing great-tasting healthy food
  • How to choose healthy ingredients from the wide range on offer
  • How to eat healthily whatever your everyday circumstances
  • Prevailing myths and untruths in the field of food and nutrition
  • How to make and stick to gradual changes to your diet

Physical activity to strengthen health

These workshops are aimed at anyone looking for expert information on physical activity to support and boost their health, physical fitness tests under professional guidance, as well as those wishing to strengthen and improve their health and well-being through exercise.

How Fit Am I?

You will find out how physically fit you are. You will receive tips on physical activity tailored to your circumstances and aimed at strengthening your health. The workshop comprises one or more meetings (two hours in total). At the workshop you will:

  • take one of three professionally guided physical fitness tests (a 2k test walk, a six-minute test walk or a two-minute walking-on-the-spot test) and,
  • depending on the results of the test and your state of health, receive expert tips on the right physical activity for you if you wish to strengthen your health.

Physical fitness tests for adults/older people

You will receive an in-depth assessment of your physical fitness. You will receive tips on physical activity tailored to your circumstances and aimed at strengthening your health. The workshop comprises one group workshop. The physical fitness test for adults is suitable for anyone aged 65 or under, while the physical fitness test for older people is aimed at anyone over the age of 65. The tests are only conducted at health promotion centres. At the workshop you will:

  • take a series of physical fitness tests for adults/older people under expert guidance
  • receive an in-depth assessment of your physical fitness
  • receive expert tips on the physical activity best suited to improving your health, depending on the results of the test and your state of health

Let’s Get Moving

You will learn about the most important aspects of active lifestyle, and acquire the skills necessary to gradually increase the amount of exercise you do and improve your levels of fitness. The workshop comprises 13 group meetings and two one-to-one consultations. You may be referred to a workshop by your doctor or a registered general practice nurse. At the workshop you will:

  • undergo a comprehensive physical fitness test and receive an in-depth assessment of your physical fitness
  • get to know all about safe physical activity and about the risks to your health of a sedentary lifestyle
  • learn how physical activity can help you control a chronic disease or specific health condition
  • use a programme tailored to you to improve your health by gradually increasing the amount of physical activity and exercise you do
  • acquire the knowledge and skills to devise your own physical activity and exercise programme, and to exercise correctly and independently
  • acquire knowledge that enables you to assess the intensity of your physical activity and recognise the signs of excessive exercise
  • receive information and instructions on the regular exercise options in your area, and learn how to find suitable solutions that enable you to maintain an active lifestyle
  • measure your progress in physical activity and exercise, and your physical fitness levels.

Screening for areas of functional weakness

After you have been screened for areas of functional weakness, you will find out what your general physical condition is like. With the help of a physiotherapist or kinesiologist, you will complete a short questionnaire and undergo a simple test of functions. Depending on the results, they will advise you on how to improve your physical performance so that you remain healthy and independent for as long as possible in your early and late senior years, thereby increasing your quality of life. Anyone aged 65 or over may take part in screening for areas of functional weakness. Screening only takes place at health promotion centres and, together with the consultation, takes about 30 minutes.

Strengthening mental health

These workshops are aimed at everyone who wants expert information on improving and strengthening mental health, and who would like to learn skills and techniques for improving their well-being.

Relaxation Techniques

You will learn the basic features and laws of relaxation. You will try three different relaxation techniques (breathing exercises, gradual muscle relaxation, visualising a calming place), come to recognise their benefits and learn how to use them, and receive recommendations on how you can use them at home. The workshop comprises one group meeting. The following topics will be discussed and questions answered at the workshop:

  • How to prepare for relaxation
  • What do I need to be attentive to when using relaxation techniques?
  • How and when to perform breathing exercises, and the benefits of this technique
  • How and when to gradually relax your muscles, and the benefits of this technique
  • How and when to visualise a calming place, and the benefits of this technique
  • How to choose the right relaxation technique to do on your own

As the current situation does not permit workshops to be held in their original format, contact your nearest health centre for basic recommendations and provisos regarding the performance of various relaxation techniques, with audio recordings and the Relaxation Techniques handbook available to support use of the techniques at home.

Tackling Stress

You will learn all about the basic features of stress, the reasons why it occurs and the ways in which you can control it. You will learn how to help yourself and improve the way you feel (relaxation techniques, redirecting thoughts and feelings, planning a response to stressful situations, developing emotional awareness, etc.). The workshop is aimed at anyone who feels burdened by stress in their daily life. It comprises four group meetings and a one-to-one consultation. We will discuss the following topics at the workshop:

  • Experiencing stress
  • Developing emotional awareness: recognising and controlling feelings
  • Stress-related mental and physical disorders
  • How to tackle stress: planning a response to stressful situations, controlling thoughts and ensuring psychophysical preparedness

Support to Tackle Anxiety

You will get to know the basic characteristics of anxiety, the reasons why it occurs, the course it takes and the methods used to treat it. You will learn how to help yourself and improve your well-being. You will be able to share your experiences with other members of the group and provide each other with support. The workshop is aimed at all adults with a diagnosed anxiety disorder and those whose (pronounced) anxiety presents an obstacle to well-being in their everyday lives. The attendance of loved ones is also welcome. It comprises four group meetings and a one-to-one consultation. You may be referred to a workshop by your doctor or a registered general practice nurse, or by a psychiatrist or (clinical) psychologist who works in the healthcare system. We will discuss the following topics at the workshop:

  • the causes and symptoms of anxiety
  • treating and overcoming anxiety disorders
  • the effect of thoughts on feelings, behaviour and the body
  • preventing anxiety from worsening and recurring

Support to Tackle Depression

You will get to know the basic characteristics of depression, the reasons for it, the course it takes and the methods used to treat it. You will learn how to help yourself and improve your well-being. You will be able to share your experiences with others and provide each other with support. The workshop is aimed at all adults with a diagnosis of depression or with symptoms of depression. The attendance of loved ones is also welcome. It comprises four group meetings and a one-to-one consultation. You may be referred to a workshop by your doctor or a registered general practice nurse, or by a psychiatrist or (clinical) psychologist who works in the healthcare system. We will discuss the following topics at the workshop:

  • the causes and symptoms of depression
  • treating and overcoming depression
  • the effect of thoughts on feelings, behaviour and the body
  • preventing depression from worsening and recurring

Losing weight in a healthy way

Losing Weight in a Healthy Way

The workshop will teach you the knowledge and skills (and provide you with the incentive) to make long-term changes to your lifestyle. The skills you acquire will help you change dietary and exercise habits that are harming your health. Psychological support and motivation will be provided by qualified specialists for the duration of the workshop series. The workshop is divided into two parallel sections. The first section, which lasts four months, comprises 15 group workshops, 16 physical exercise sessions, one-to-one consultations, and two physical fitness tests. The second section comprises three group meetings, which take place three, six and 12 months after the end of the first workshop section, with tests and one-to-one consultations also available. You may be referred to the workshop by your doctor or a registered general practice nurse.

Giving up smoking

The two forms of help and support in this area are aimed at all smokers and their loved ones, as well as those who have stopped smoking but need help to stay smoke-free. Both comprise six meetings. You can join the type of session that suits you best.

Group Guidance on Giving Up Smoking, and One-to-One Guidance on Giving Up Smoking

Professionally guided programme for giving up smoking and staying smoke-free The following topics are discussed and questions answered at the sessions:

  • Why do I smoke and why is it worth giving up?
  • What methods and options are available to help me give up smoking?
  • When am I in most need of a cigarette and how can I tackle these situations?
  • How to overcome physical and mental addiction and control my weight
  • How to tackle stress
  • How to remain a non-smoker
  • How to handle unforeseen situations and make the right decision when the risk of starting to smoke again is high

Type 2 diabetes

The two workshops in this group are aimed at anyone looking for expert information on type 2 diabetes and the knowledge and skills to improve and strengthen their health through the gradual introduction of changes to their lifestyle. The workshops take place at health promotion centres.

Type 2 Diabetes

You will learn about the most important aspects of type 2 diabetes. The workshop comprises one group meeting and only takes place athealth promotion centres. The following topics will be discussed and questions answered at the workshop:

  • Why do I have type 2 diabetes?
  • What processes in the body cause your blood sugar to rise?
  • The problems that accompany diabetes
  • Why does blood sugar ‘jump’?
  • Why is it a good idea to treat type 2 diabetes?
  • What can I do to control type 2 diabetes?
  • Drugs for treating type 2 diabetes
  • the regular examinations I require every year

Living with Diabetes

You will get to know the most important facts about type 2 diabetes, and acquire the knowledge and skills to gradually introduce changes into your everyday life. With the help of experts, you will learn how to formulate a realistic plan for changing your lifestyle to help you boost your health, increase your well-being and manage your chronic progressive disease. The workshop comprises five group meetings and only takes place athealth promotion centres. The following topics will be discussed at the workshop:

  • the key facts about type 2 diabetes
  • making changes, the motivation to make changes and seeking support to make changes
  • deciding to change, and producing a tangible plan of action and a plan for overcoming obstacles to change
  • overcoming failure and rewarding yourself for success
  • an overview of successes through the entire period