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It is important for your general wellness to look after your physical health. This involves doing regular exercise, eating a healthy diet and drinking enough water. Read our tips on maintaining your physical health.
Doing regular exercise and eating a healthy diet is very important for your physical health. It can help prevent long term or chronic illness, such as diabetes or cancer, and can make you feel better in your body. It is also good for your mental wellbeing, both in the short and long term.
Doing regular exercise is great for your body and mind. It has many health benefits, including improving your breathing, your strength, your immune system, preventing disease, and your general energy levels.
It is also good for your mental wellbeing.
The NHS guidelines on exercise say that anyone aged 5-18 should do two different types of activity each week:
You should aim to do at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a day across the week.
Moderate intensity activity
The NHS defines this as any activity that raises your heart rate, and makes you breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to tell if you are exercising at a moderate level is if you can still talk but can’t sing.
Examples of moderate intensity activities include walking, cycling on level ground and dancing.
For people over 18, the NHS recommends adults should
Vigorous intensity activity
Vigorous intensity activity makes you breathe hard and fast. If you’re working at this level, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath.
In general, 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity can give similar health benefits to 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity. Most moderate activities can become vigorous if you increase your effort.
Vigorous activity includes jogging or running, swimming fast, riding a bike fast or on hills and team sports like football and hockey.
It is also a good idea to do some strengthening exercise each week. There are many ways you can strengthen your muscles, whether you’re at home or in a gym or class.
Muscle-strengthening activities include carrying heavy shopping bags, yoga, lifting weights and doing exercises that use your own body weight such as push-ups.
The best way to do exercise is to do something you find fun! If you enjoy the activity, you are more likely to continue doing it than if you see it as a chore.
Remember: exercise doesn’t have to be separate from other parts of your life – there are lots of ways you can sneak some extra physical activity into your day. Think about is how you could combine movement with other things:
The ‘one-minute movement’ challenge
Challenge yourself to take a ‘one-minute movement’ break every hour and trying doing a different activity each time. For example, break one is star jumps, break two is push ups, break three is lunges etc. This can be fun to do with others and is especially good if you spend a lot of time working at a screen as it gives your eyes a break, too. Each week, add 10 more seconds to the movement time. See if you can get up to 3 minutes!
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best.
This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions to give you the energy you need.
The Eatwell Guide shows that to have a healthy, balanced diet, people should try to:
Read more about healthy diet on the NHS website.
A balanced diet is all about moderation. Unless advised otherwise by a medical professional, it’s OK to eat foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar occasionally and in small amounts. These foods aren’t ‘naughty’ or ‘bad’, they just don’t benefit our bodies in the same way as other foods so shouldn’t make up the majority of our diet.
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