Health & Wellbeing
Our physical health and emotional wellbeing have a significant impact on our quality of life. Good physical and emotional health help reduce our risk of developing a wide number of health conditions.
What is Healthy Living?
A healthy lifestyle is a way of living that helps to reduce the risk of being seriously ill and preventing preventable diseases. The biggest benefits of healthy living are to reduce the likelihood of heart diseases, lung diseases and cancers whilst being able to be fit and active so that you can continue doing what you love doing.
Your food choices play a big part in your health, how you feel today, how you will feel tomorrow, and how you will feel in the future. Diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and should be combined with physical activity to help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. You can watch our short video on nutrition by clicking here.
These are the macro-nutrients that give our bodies energy and keep us moving. As well as ensuring a good mix of all of the above you should also:
- Eat 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables a day.
- Choose lower sugar products where possible.
- Drink 8 glasses of fluid a day.
- Limit your alcohol intake to below 14 units a week.
You can find more information on eating well at NHS Live Well – Eat Well. This includes more information on food types, recipes, and budget advice.
Healthy Activity Levels
For adults over the age of 18 it is advised that people take part in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. It is also advised that you partake in 2 or more strength sessions a week targeting all of your major muscles.
You can find more information about Exercise on our Understanding Exercise page or at NHS Live Well – Exercise. This includes how to keep active when in pain, exercise tips, and fitness guides.
Healthy Body Weight
It is suggested that the healthiest bodyweight will have you at a Body Mass Index between 18.5 and 24.9. By keeping your BMI within this healthy range, this will lower your risks of Type 2 Diabetes, stroke, heart disease, some cancers, infertility, and other diseases.
You can find more information on Healthy Weight at NHS Live Well – Healthy Weight. This includes how to check your BMI, weight loss support, and weight gain support.
Sleep is incredibly important to our physical health. While we sleep our bodies recover and rebuild. It is important to have good sleep hygiene, including a regular sleep pattern.
Taking steps to reduce stress, and using techniques such as relaxation and mindfulness, can help you to better manage your symptoms and sleep. Research has shown that lack of sleep will “wind up” your nervous system (a bit like turning up the amplifier) causing you to feel more pain.
You can find more information about sleep at NHS Live Well – Sleep and Fatigue. This includes causes of tiredness, sleep tips, and ways to boost your energy levels.
Smoking, Drugs, and Alcohol
Smoking & Drugs
Smoking and taking drugs increases our chances of cancer and slows down the rate at which our bodies can recover. They are both addictive and reduce the effectiveness of your brain making it more likely for you to be challenged with mental health disorders.
You can find information about smoking and support for quitting smoking at NHS Live Well – Quit Smoking. This includes the benefits of quitting, facts and myths about smoking, and support to help you quit.
The current guidelines advise limiting alcohol to 14 units a week for women and men. This is the same as 6 pints of beer or 7 medium glasses of wine with 2 alcohol free days a week. The benefits of reducing your alcohol consumption include reducing your blood pressure, risk of cancer and liver fibrosis whilst improving your ability to concentrate and remember.
You can find information and support about alcohol at NHS Live Well – Alcohol Support. This includes a units calculator, useful resources, and advice and support for cutting down.