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Exercise and Nutrition

Vegetables

Published on 04 June 2020 04:53 PM

Healthy Living for Older People

Our Healthy Habits team has put together a series of articles to help you get and stay healthy.


Exercise and Nutrition

Exercise is incredibly important for staying healthy and helping to prolong life. It doesn’t have to mean going to the gym and hitting the weights for hours (but if that’s what you want to do, do it!). There all sorts of activities you can do, as long as you are moving your body, it is exercise. You can turn household jobs such as hoovering/cleaning/gardening or mowing the lawn into exercise.

The Eatwell Guide shows us what we need to consume as part of a balanced diet and how much of each kind of food we should be eating. Here are some examples of how those food groups affect us when we are exercising and why we need to follow a balanced diet:

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Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. So whatever activity you’re doing, carbohydrates play an important role in helping you perform at your best. It is carbohydrates that professional athletes load up on because they are needed for sustained exertion of energy but for a regular person, it should make up about 1/3 of what you eat each day.

Protein

Protein is also a source of energy but is more essential to the body for its uses when growing and repairing muscles. We should be aiming to each 2-3 portions of protein throughout the day. Remember, protein is found in foods like beans, lentils and chickpeas as well as lots of other foods. Many people link protein with the meat in their meals but it can also be oily fish, some white fish, eggs and plain nuts.

Healthy fats

It may not sound it, but fat is an important part of a healthy diet. Fats are a valuable source of energy and provide you with vitamins such as A, D, E and K. They also contain essential fatty acids which your body isn’t able to make for itself. Those vitamins and fatty acids are vital for sustaining and repairing the body during and after exercise.

As with all foods, eating too much can cause you to gain weight, so it’s important to eat the right types of healthy, unsaturated fats in moderation. Aim to eat less saturated fat to prevent issues with your cholesterol. Saturated fats are found in all our favourite treats such as: takeaways, cakes, biscuits and sweets as well as some day-to-day products like butter and fatty meat products such as red meat and sausages.

Hydration

It is important to stay hydrated before, during and after exercising. Please have a look at our article on hydration if you want to find out more.

Some Notes on Exercising

Before starting any new exercise routine or direction, make sure you get the all clear or advice from your doctor.

During this lockdown, there are lots of ways to exercise in the home. Have a look at our keep fit in lockdown page, or give us a call to find out what options you can access. We will be launching some of our own online exercise classes soon so keep an eye out for them!

Diet and nutrition are just one of the areas of health that our new Healthy Habits programme will be focussing on. If you are interested in finding out more, please call 0191 2808484 or email Rachel Haldenby of our Healthy Habits team. Rachel.Haldenby@ageuknorthtyneside.org.uk

The Eatwell Guide

You can download an A4 PDF copy of the Eatwell Guide to print out and use for reference by clicking the link below