What Are Your Tips For A Healthy Eating Lifestyle?

What Are Your Tips For A Healthy Eating Lifestyle?

Mon 14 Jan 2013

Story by Ann Gates

Eat a healthy, well balanced, recommended portion sized meal 3 times a day.

A healthy, nutritionally rich breakfast is THE most important meal of the day: so don't miss it! EVER! Always give your children a healthy breakfast, and sit and eat with them, preferably round the table, to set a good life long example of a healthy lifestyle. Evidence is that families that eat together stay healthy together!

Drink water throughout the day, and if you exercise make sure you drink water before, during and after exercise.

Avoid eating any processed food whenever possible, and avoid drinking soda, sugary drinks or eating anything that your grandmother wouldn't recognise as healthy, home cooked food!

Choose the best quality, sustainably sourced, fair trade food you can afford. When shopping in supermarkets, try and buy fresh produce when you can, and always wash it thoroughly before cooking.

I have always advised patients to buy the best quality, organic food, preferably locally sourced, or grown yourself. There is no real medical evidence for this advice (although some organic food can contain 30% less pesticides, which makes sense to me), but it does seem common sense!

And always enjoy a little bit of what you fancy, in moderation! This great tip was from my Grandmother who lived until she was 94 years old.


For the average person, which is more important...taking a brisk walk (aerobic) or lifting weights (strength)?


In fact a balanced weekly program of the 4 types of exercise are recommended by doctors:

aerobic (or heart health exercise) examples are walking, cycling, jogging, swimming, dancing
strength (resistance or lifting weights) such as wall push ups, side arm raises or toe stands
stretching (flexibility) examples are stretches for the legs, arms, shoulders and neck
 and balance exercises examples such as standing on one foot or a heel to toe walk

The New Year is an opportunity for you to enjoy more daily exercise with friends and family. Many people join a gym, exercise class or decide to take up more physical activities at this time of year than any other time. The important thing is to ensure you start off slow (10 minute bouts and increase to 30 minutes) and aim to maintain the exercise or activity for maximum health benefits.

Quick tips for New Year exercisers are:

 Always add variety to your exercise- try something different and fun!
 Enjoy exercise- share exercising with family and friends
 Join a group exercise class- it could be ballroom dancing, bowls or Zumba™
 Exercise at every opportunity- if you are at home or at work, take the stairs, walk in your lunch hour, plan a cycling trip to the park
 Ask about one-to-one Personal Training- it helps get the most out of exercise

Remember that exercise makes you feel fitter, energised, relaxed, self-confident, toned and happy!

Why not contact your local council or community center, a registered exercise and fitness professional or fitness gyms for details of exercise activities that you would like to try and fit with your abilities.

Everyone, especially children, should make sure that they get at least the World Health Organisation's (multi language versions available) recommendations for physical activity to help prevent and treat disease, each week!

Make sure you choose an exercise program that you enjoy, that you can maintain, and that has opportunities to be shared with friends and family.

What fun exercise could people try that would help them stay fit and healthy?

An exercise program that I love is Nordic Walking!

It involves daily walking, and can easily be shared with friends and family and the health benefits are well researched.

Nordic walking is a great exercise for many patients with diabetes, obesity, Parkinson's disease, and helps with many other diseases too- so I often recommend patients to ask their doctor or health care provider how to find local classes or a qualified instructor. Many people don't realise that walking is such a great form of exercise, and Nordic Walking combines not only better use of muscles BUT it also provides a great cardiovascular workout!

Ask your doctor or health service provider for more information and advice about exercise if you have a long term health problem.

Diseases from inactivity and unhealthy lifestyles kill more than 36 million people each year. So choose a fun, exercise program where you can stay active daily and insure, yourself and your family against ill health by enjoying a healthy lifestyle!

About the author: Ann Gates BPharm(Hons) MRPharmS is a Personal Trainer, Non Communicable Diseases Exercise Specialist and BACPR Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Instructor. As the founder of Exercise Works! ...Ann is on a mission to help every patient access quality exercise advice from every health professional... globally!

Follow @exerciseworks or on Facebook or read their blog series for the British Journal of Sports and Exercise Medicine here:
Help patient's get active!
A call to action for every health professional
Overcoming barriers to give exercise advice to every patient
Exercise advice for older adults
Exercise as a medicine!


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