Diets, fitness regimes, health plans: the complexities and potential expense of a healthy lifestyle can seem daunting. But being healthy is our natural state, and the essentials for health are simple: a good, balanced diet and regular exercise of a type you enjoy and will continue to do.
Before you begin a new health and fitness regime, keep in mind a few important points:
Healthy food can be cheaper. Assess your diet and decide what changes you want to make. A diet which is good for your health can also be good for your bank balance: fresh fruit, veggies, pasta and pulses are all much cheaper than convenience foods, which tend to be high in unhealthy salt, sugars and fat. Has some great ideas for family recipes and tips on encouraging kids to eat healthily with you. Try to stick to the Buy Fresh rule. The longer your food has been stored in transit or on the supermarket shelves, the less nutritional value it has.
Use the freezer. If you buy and cook your own fresh food, you don’t have to give up the convenience of quick meals altogether. Make pasta sauce, casseroles and soups in batches, and freeze for those days when you don’t have time or inclination to cook a full meal from scratch. This will stop you ordering a less healthy take-away.
Think beyond the gym. Gyms aren’t for everyone and they are expensive. Consider cycling, walking, swimming or dance classes instead. You need to tailor your fitness plans to your lifestyle and preferences; otherwise you are likely to give up. Aim for five half-hour exercise sessions a week; if necessary these can take a form that fits in with your ordinary activities, such as a brisk walk to collect the kids from school or even vigorous housework!