Employee Wellbeing - Healthy lifestyle Tips

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This factsheet highlights the benefits of healthy living and offers some healthy lifestyle tips to improve the way you live your life.

Healthy Lifestyle Tips

So what can I do to stay healthy?

Eat a healthy diet

  • AT LEAST 1/3 OF THE FOOD WE EAT should be fruit and veg. This equates to between five portions, and 9 portions per day
  • AT LEAST 1/3 OF THE FOOD WE EAT should be starch-based such as cereals, bread, potatoes, rice, pasta – try and eat wholegrain varieties as often as possible
  • INCLUDE some dairy every day, this could be a smaller portion of the high fat varieties or regular portion of the low-fat options (milk, fromage frais, cheese, yoghurt)
  • INCLUDE at least one portion of meat, fish, eggs and beans/peas/lentils per day. Opt for lean cuts of meat, remove all visible fat (including chicken skin) and grill where possible. Pulses are naturally low in fat and an excellent source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Aim for at least 2 portions of fish per week (at least one of which should be 'oily' (such as salmon or mackerel).
  • LIMIT the amount of food and drink you consume that is high in sugar and fat. If you do fry use a vegetable oil such as sunflower, rapeseed or olive.
  • REDUCE salt to the recommended maximum of 6g per day for an adult
  • DRINK plenty of water (at least 2 litres per day) and avoid calorie laden drinks

Physical Activity

The Government recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise per day on at least 5 days of the week. You do not have to do all 30 minutes at once it can be broken down into 3 x 10 minutes and will have the same benefits as long as your heart and lungs are working harder(increased heart rate).

Your exercise plan could include: dancing, walking, cycling, playing football, rugby, badminton or tennis, swimming, jogging or running, doing the garden or housework, taking the stairs instead of the lift.

Quit Smoking

If you stop smoking you will reap the benefits straight away. You reduce the risk of getting serious illness no matter what age you give up but the sooner you do so the greater the reduction in risk. If you give up before you are 35 your life expectancy is only slightly less than people who have never smoked and before 50 you decrease the risk of dying from smoking-related diseases by 50%.

Reduce your alcohol intake

It has been said that drinking alcohol in moderation (1-2 units per day) may help to protect you from heart disease. However, too much alcohol can be harmful. So what are the safe limits? It is recommended that: Men should drink no more than 21 units of alcohol per week (and no more than four units in any one day) and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week (and no more than three units in any one day) The more you drink above these limits the more harmful the alcohol is likely to be. Binge drinking (e.g. 10 or more units twice per week) can be harmful although still in the recommended safe limits.

Lose the extra pounds

If you are overweight you are putting your health in jeopardy. By losing just 5-10% of your body weight you will put less stress on your heart and joints and feel more energised. Adopting a healthy eating programme does not mean starving or depriving yourself - you can still eat the foods you love just in moderation.

Stress less

Not all pressure is bad for you, a little pressure can lead to increased productivity, improved performance and increased motivation, it only becomes a problem when the pressure becomes excessive – this then leads to stress. Stress is thought to have a detrimental affect on our health but this is difficult to prove. It is suggested that increased stress levels can lead to cardiac problems later in life. With a proactive approach and by learning some simple coping mechanisms, you can help to reduce this risk.

If you would like to improve your lifestyle it is recommend you seek medical advice or for further information on healthy lifestyle tips visit:

www.nhs.uk/change4life, www.nutrition.org.uk, www.bda.uk.com,www.smokefree.nhs.uk, www.quit.org.uk, www.nhs.uk/change4life, www.keepfit.org.uk, www.whi.org.uk,www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk, www.al-anonuk.org.uk, www.units.nhs.uk, www.isma.co.uk

I hope you have found this fact sheet useful. For further information on healthy lifestyle workshops or any of the services offered by Midlands Workplace Wellbeing please call us now on: 01562 634926 or email Renee@mwwellbeing.co.uk

 This fact sheet has been adapted from the NHS website – www.patient.co.uk and is for information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of information but we make no guarantee to its accuracy.

BlogRenee Clarke