If you’re looking for ways to stay healthy, reduce stress and have more energy in your day to day life, changing your diet can really help. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean slogging it out in a sweaty gym – by boosting your levels of general daily activity and eating the right portions of food groups, you’ll see big improvements in your lifestyle.
when it comes to food, how can we be healthy?
All the food we eat can be divided into five groups, which are outlined below1. A healthy diet means that you eat the right balance of these groups which you can find more information on at www.eatwell.gov.uk/healthydiet/eatwellplate/ .
The five groups are:
meat, fish, eggs and beans
milk and dairy foods
starchy foods such as rice, whole wheat pasta and bread and potatoes (choose wholegrain varieties whenever you can)
fruit and vegetables
foods containing fat and sugar
According to the NHS, most people in Britain eat too much fat, sugar and salt and not enough fruit, vegetables and fibre.1
Anne Diamond recently revealed that she serves a side salad with every meal she prepares for her four sons - except breakfast. It fills the boys up, leaving less room for biscuits and sweets and helps to make up the five daily fruit and vegetable portions.2
we now know how to manage our food intake but how do we include exercise in our daily routine - do we need to get hung up about gym memberships and classes?
The Department of Health recommends adults do a minimum of 30 minutes moderate intensity physical activity, five days a week.3 This can be split into three 10 minute slots per day and can involve a light jog, a brisk walk or some vigorous housework4. However, if this sort of exercise bores you or fails to inspire you why not take some tips from celebrity exercise regimes instead?
Madonna swears by yoga and has become a key advocate for Ashtanga Yoga which keeps her in shape from head to toe. When Angelina Jolie was training for Tomb Raider, a mixture of kickboxing, weapons training, rowing, diving and soccer kept her in those famous green army shorts5. Or why not follow in the footsteps of our dancing celebrities like Austin Healey, Chris Hollins and Ali Bastian and take up a salsa or ballroom class to shimmy your way to healthy living.
what about reducing stress?
Worrying about money could also be really draining and if your finances are playing on your mind, it could affect your health. Making changes to your diet and exercise regime are simple ways to help reduce stress levels, but tackling your finances can make a difference.
Department of health online archive.