COVID-19 has affected the whole country and for almost everyone, life has had to fundamentally change. But it has also prompted many people to reflect and think more seriously about their health. What’s more, people have been surprised by how they have been able to change their behaviour, with lockdown being a catalyst for making and sustaining changes to their lives.
Better Health is the new national health campaign by the NHS which offers help and advice for those wishing to become healthier. It provides a variety of tools and apps to help you make healthier food choices, become more active and prevent future weight gain.
Two components to staying healthy are eating a balanced diet and maintaining an active lifestyle, with mental health and wellbeing also playing a role. The Better Health app is a 12-week program to reset old habits and make new healthier ones. There is a daily check-in where you can log calories, tick off your 5-a-day and input your activity levels.
Here are some tips for making some healthier choices
- Portion control is key. Aim for at least two portions of fruit and vegetables per meal, about half your plate.
- Drink plenty of water, sometimes you think you are hungry, but it is actually dehydration. Aim for 2 litres of water a day.
- Avoid distractions while eating. Move away from your desk (in the office or at home) for lunch. Try not to sit in front of the TV when having dinner so that you are more mindful of what you are eating.
- Get active – it is recommended that most adults aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, that breaks down to only 30 minutes a day. Make a walking date with a friend, you won’t even realise you are exercising!
- Download an app to help you meet your activity goals such as Couch to 5km and Active 10.There is also a Couch to 5km facebook group for people to share their experiences, get tips and support each other.
- With so many people still working from home you might be finding it a little trickier to move as much as normal. A lot of smart phones either have a pedometer or you can download an app, making it easier to track your steps
- One of the good things to come from lockdown is that there is now a huge selection of at home workouts available online, so you don’t even have to leave your living room.
- Exercise is not just beneficial, physical but also can boost your mental health. Keeping active can boost your self-esteem and actually can cause chemical changes in your brain that improves your mood.
- Locally, One You East Sussex has a range of free services available providing specialist knowledge and experience to advise and guide you each step of the way, changing habits and showing you how to lose weight for good.
Improving your health is a marathon not a sprint, it will not happen overnight. Let your family and friends know you are making these improvements so that they can support you when you might be feeling low or unmotivated.