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We all need to visit the doctors at some point in our lives. Getting ill is an inevitability, but we can reduce the number of visits significantly by looking after ourselves through the way that we live. It may seem obvious, but many people find it difficult to do this and don’t know where to start. Read on for some general tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Knowing exactly what you’re putting in your body is imperative to improving your overall health and wellbeing. The core of this should be having a healthy, balanced diet with a variety of different food types.
One of the main considerations you should make is to base your meals around healthy carbohydrates. Starchy carbs – like potatoes, bread, rice and pasta – should be the base of your meals. It’s better to choose wholegrain varieties if they are available, but this food group should make up about a third of your food. Many people see this food type as fattening, but as part of a healthy and balanced diet, they provide you with the energy you need throughout the day. To make them more healthy, try and reduce the fat you use when cooking them; butter and oil, for example.
As well as having a base of carbs, you should also try and increase the amount of fruit, veg and fish you eat. Doing so will provide you with the crucial nutrients you need to stay healthy and fish, in particular, is rich in protein and vitamins.
Cutting down on the food you eat can often be hard, but it’s important to aim to reduce the amount of saturated fats and sugars you consume. That means cutting down on cheese, cakes biscuits, butter, fizzy drinks and pastries. It can be difficult, but seeing these as rare treats rather than staples will help you stay healthy.
Exercising, as well as eating correctly, is also important in your overall health and fitness. It’s recommended that everyone fits in two and a half hours of cardio fitness every week and around two sessions of strength training every week. This might sound like a lot, but it’s easier than you think!
If you have a short drive to get to work, think about cycling instead. It can be fun and you’ll get your exercise in without really realising it. If you walk, turn up the tempo and change your stroll into a brisk walk. Even mowing the grass – if you’ve got a large garden – can count towards those minutes. If there’s a way you can do something by exerting a little more effort, try and do so.
Everyone knows that boozing too much isn’t good for you. You don’t need to cut it out, but being aware of how much you’re drinking can really help to improve your health. Moderate drinking can help you reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. However, excessive drinking has some very adverse impacts like increasing your chance of getting cancer and increasing your blood pressure.
When you do go for a drink, choose wine instead of spirits or beer, make sure you drink water between drinks and limit yourself to four or five drinks in one sitting at the very most. Anything more is considered binge drinking.