healthPhysical Health Information
healthPhysical Health Information
The benefits of a healthy lifestyle are endless. By incorporating a balanced diet and exercise into your life, you can expect to see positive improvements all around: energy levels increase, enhanced moods, better quality of sleep, both mental and physical health development, and so much more.
Exercise is accessible to everyone, no matter your age, place, or experience. There are many forms of exercise that you can do to get fit, including different sports like football or cycling, running, gym training, all at which can be completed at home, outside, with or without friends. It is recommended that youths aged up to 17 should exercise for 60 minutes a day, whilst young adults between 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise a week.
To enjoy exercise, it is important to find what’s right for you. Exercise should be fun, relieving the tension and stress you’ve been carrying around. Ask yourself what you want to get out of it. Are you wanting to improve your health? Are you looking to make friends? Are you wanting to partake in team activities, or are you happy setting and achieving targets alone? There’s always something out there for you, you’ve just got to know where to find it! Luckily, that’s where we can help. Here we can direct you to relevant information that you need in order to start your journey to a healthier life:
The incorporation of healthy eating to your lifestyle can provide many benefits to your life. A well-balanced diet ensures you remain well energised in the day, alongside providing your body with the nutrients you need to stay healthy, now and in the long term too.
A balanced diet incorporates fresh fruit and vegetables, protein, dairy, fats and carbohydrates. A balanced food plate can be seen below, roughly showing how much of each food time you should consume in a day. Your BMI will impact how many calories that you have to consume, but typically an active male aged 14-30 should consume around 2800 calories and an active female aged 14-30 should consume around 2400 calories per day. If you would like to work out your suggested calorie intake, click here.
The dangers of 'junk food'
Junk foods are generally defined as highly fatty, salty, or sugary food or drink items that have low nutritional values. These foods generally taste the best, but this doesn’t mean we should abuse them! Eating junk food in small quantities and not very often shouldn’t harm your health. Diet is all about balance. However, the over consumption of junk food can have many negative impacts on our health. The high sugar content of such foods and drinks may lead to tooth decay and poor oral hygiene. We only get 1 set of adult teeth, so make them last. Moreover, over consuming sugar, salt and fat can result in an increased risk of becoming overweight, raised cholesterol, high blood sugar, an increase in headaches or migraines, and even result in skin breakouts. Junk food is always nearby, often cheaper and more convenient too. Like previously mentioned, there is no reason that we shouldn’t treat ourselves occasionally, but if junk foods like fast foods are the only options try opting for lower calorie items, sugar free options, or even come prepared if you can.
Making better choices
A balanced diet is about balance. We can enjoy the good things in life, but know you can still enjoy the things you enjoy in a healthy way. Self-control is key to making better choices when it comes to eating well. Most food products have nutrition labels on them. You may not understand what the information is saying all the time, however, fortunately nutrition labels use a traffic light system that can be severely helpful. A green icon suggests low content, an amber icon suggests a slightly higher content and a red icon suggests high content of nutritional elements like fat, sugar and salt for example. By opting for low content products, you can decrease the amount of sugar and fat you may have consumed otherwise for example. It is also important to recognise serving sizes. Keeping to serving sizes will help reduce the amount of fats, sugars and salt in your diet too. Over portioning can lead to weight gain, regardless of if you’re over consuming ‘healthier’ options. To solve this, products like portion plates may be useful, or even weighing out your food can help too. Particularly in the UK, reducing obesity is something the government is working towards, which has meant tougher regulation on the manufacturing industry. As a result, more low sugar, sugar free, fat free options are available. By simply swapping your drinks for a sugar free alternative can drastically reduce the amount of calories that you’re consuming; they taste just as good too! You can find these options across a wide range of products, from sweets and drinks to cereal and sauces too. In scenarios where you’re limited to choice, like at school or work, consider taking your own food. By making meals, or bringing your own drinks you are able to control what you’re eating and make healthier choices. It is recommended that you eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables in a day. Simply snacking on these items are a great way of incorporating nutrition into your diet. Instead of a bag of crisps, maybe carrot sticks with a low -at dip for that boost of flavour you crave. You could even have a go at making your own sweet treats using tweaks. This could be freezing yogurt to make low fat ice cream options, or thinly slicing potatoes and baking them to make your own crisps for example. The internet can provide you with many recipes for such foods. Just simply enter ‘healthy snacks to make with potatoes’ for example, into a search engine and your suggestions will be endless.
The benefits of water
Just like food, we can’t live without this natural source of hydration, yet we don’t make the most of the access we have. In a healthy diet, you should consume over 2L of water a day before accounting for any water you may lose from your body across the day. It sounds a lot, but this is essentially is not even 1 cup of water per hour! Being hydrated can bring so many benefits to our lives, some you may never have even considered. Water is essential to our daily functioning, therefore it comes as no surprise that staying hydrated helps you keep energised, improve brain function and boost your physical performance. If you’re always tired and drained of energy, you may be suffering from dehydration. Water can also help with how we feel, reducing the amount of headaches, or pain experienced from headaches, helping pass kidney stones if you’re suffering from them and even prevent hangovers- bonus! Drinking water is also proven to assist weight loss, as it helps boost your metabolism.
If you under consume water, you may suffer from dehydration, which can have mild to severe impacts on our health. Mild examples of dehydration may include dry mouth, fatigue, light-headedness and increased headache occurrence. Examples of severe dehydration symptoms include low blood pressure, dark urine, rapid heart rates and even rapid breathing. If your dehydration is extremely severe, you may need to seek medical help, by contacting your GP or even emergency services. Extreme dehydration may result in disorientation, inability to keep fluids down and diarrhoea also. If you’re experiencing such symptoms, it is essential you get medical help.
An Unhealthy Relationship with Food
Food is one of the fundamental foundations of our survival. We rely on food for energy, nutrients, health and growth. Without food we couldn’t survive. However, our relationship with food can become dangerous, particularly if you over or under indulge in the wrong types of food. In 2019, the majority of adults in the UK were considered overweight, including 26% of men and 29% of women classifying as obese.
There are many negative consequences of being overweight, or obese. These include an increased risk of suffering from heart disease, strokes, musculoskeletal disorders and even some cancers. Such health risks carry the risk of death, particularly if you are severely obese. In addition to your physical health, your mental health may suffer as a result of your weight. You are more likely to experience mental health illnesses like depression, body dysmorphia or even eating disorders as a result of your relationship with food. If you feel that you suffer from any form of mental health illnesses, read more here for additional information and support.
In addition to the negative consequences of over indulging food, you can put yourself at risk by not eating enough. Under indulging in food can result in health conditions, such as osteoporosis and anaemia due to nutritional deficiencies, weakened immune systems and even fertility issues in women. Your mental health may also become compromised by under eating, leading to illnesses like eating disorders, or body dysmorphia. If you feel you may be experiencing a form of mental illness due to your relationship with food, find out more information and how to get help here.
Access to help and support
Both diet and exercise are about lifestyle change. Everyone’s needs and abilities are so diverse, therefore approaches to a change in lifestyle will be completely unique to individuals! Listed below are several websites that can provide you with information and guidance on where to begin with your move towards a healthier lifestyle:
These sites are free of charge and can provide you with the kickstart you need! If you feel more comfortable taking this journey in the privacy of your home, that is absolutely fine! Fortunately, the internet gives us wide access to tools and resources that can further help you on your way. Whether you’re wanting additional support on diet, or exercise, social platforms are a great place to start. YouTube gives us access to thousands of videos, suited to all levels of requirements. Beginner exercises, workout tips, diet support; all these things can be found in one place! Not only YouTube, but other socials like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok- but if this isn’t for you there are hundreds of additional websites and blogs that can help also! Simply enter your queries into a search engine and you’ll be presented with so many options. Some examples of what to search may be: ‘beginners guide to exercise’, ‘exercise tips for young adults’, or ‘guide to losing weight’. There is always a way to access help, so much of this is free too!
If you’re looking to get out of the house, try something new, meet people, or so on, Boston has so much to offer. The trouble is, sometimes you’re just not aware of what’s on your doorstep. In and around Boston, there are so many accessible activities or clubs that you can be a part of. Some of these free, whereas others have just a small fee; there is something accessible to all. The website below lists all sports and fitness activities hosted in Boston:
The required information about each activity is listed here also.