We all know we should be sitting less and moving more. Adults should do 30 minutes of moderate exercise (such as a brisk walk) five times a week – it helps to prevent Type 2 diabetes and be healthier.
Sometimes you might find it hard to find the time or think that you need an expensive gym membership to get regular exercise. But there are lots of ways that you can move more:
- think about if, for short journeys, you could walk or cycle rather than drive,
- try and fit exercise into your daily life, try small changes like getting off the bus a couple of stops earlier or taking the stairs,
- do activities that you find fun, try dance classes or team sports,
- fit exercise into your social life, try a walk or new fitness class with friends or family instead of a catch up over coffee or drinks,
- try new activities such as gardening or new classes such as yoga,
- cleaning - even household chores, such as vacuuming, can be good exercise.
There are more tips on getting fit your way on the Diabetes UK website, NHS Choices or download the One You activity tracker app for your phone. Bradford Council also has a list of local activities on their on their website and app.
It can be tempting to eat out or order a takeaway if you are busy, but one of the best changes that you can make towards eating healthier is to cook at home – you’ll be saving money and learning new skills.
There are some easy swaps that you can make when cooking at home and lots of places where you can go to find delicious, easy and healthy meal ideas. You could try:
- eating more food which is high in fibre – try wholemeal breads, chapatti flour, rice and cereals,
- using low fat spread and olive oil which have less saturated fat than butter, ghee or vegetable oil,
- sweeteners rather than sugar in your tea and coffee,
- looking out for advice on food labels to show where items are high in sugar, salt and fat,
- avoiding, or have a smaller portion, of high fat food (such as chips, crisps, cakes and biscuits),
- choosing lean meat or fish instead of burgers and sausages,
- healthy snacks such as chopped up vegetables or unsalted nuts.
There are lots of resources out there to get you on track to eating healthier. Try the Diabetes UK website for lots of diabetes friendly meals. The One You meal planner app also has healthy, low cost ideas. Searching on websites like YouTube or Pinterest can give you lots of inspiration for healthy, easy to cook recipes.
Getting regular exercise and eating healthier as part of a lifestyle change is one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off for the long term. A realistic target is to try and lose 5-10 % of your body weight in one year.
If you have a body mass index of more than 25, or 23 if you are south east Asian or Chinese, it is recommended that you should lose weight.
If you are trying to lose weight, you could try:
- eating smaller portions – try weighing out ingredients before cooking or using a smaller plate,
- reducing your alcohol intake – if you are still drinking, have alcohol free days each week and try options that are lower in units and calories,
- keeping a food and exercise diary – try smartphone apps like My Fitness Pal which help track how much you eat against how much you exercise,
- team up with a friend or family member – the support can help keep you motivated and get you trying new meals or ways of exercising,
- plan your meals and exercise for the upcoming week – booking into exercise classes and buying your ingredients for your meals at the start of a week can help you stick to your goals,
- set some realistic targets – you are more likely to stick to your plan. These could be trying to fit into some new clothes for a special occasion or being able to play sports with your children in the next school holidays.
You can also use the goal planner in our healthy tips leaflet to set targets and keep track of how you are doing.