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Top Tips for Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Stress eating, snacking out of boredom and spending more time sedentary has been commonplace in 2020. With challenges getting to the supermarket, disruption in daily routines and increased stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise over 30% of the population have experienced some weight gain. However, it’s important to remember that if the worst thing to come out of this year is a couple of ‘corona kilos’, you’re probably pretty lucky!

When looking after your patients and clients during this time, it’s important to try and encourage them to eat well and stay as active as possible. It’s vital for their mental wellbeing just as much as their physical. The goal of any exercise should be about nurturing our physical and mental health, rather than punishing ourselves for not reaching a weight loss goal.

We want to give you some helpful tips to get your clients on their way to an even healthier lifestyle, you might even pick up a few things too!

Watch what you eat and drink

Eating a healthy, balanced diet where possible will ensure your patients will get all the essential nutrients and energy they need throughout the day.

Limit Saturated Fat

Saturated fat is found in fatty meat, full fat dairy products and those delicious cakes and pies. However tasty these foods may be, they’re bad for weight gain, cholesterol and heart health. Instead, opt for oily fish, rapeseed oil and avocados, which are all heart-healthy alternatives. Although it’s good to treat yourself as part of a balanced diet, try and keep below 20g saturated fat per day.

Choose Wholegrain Carbs

An easy switch to make is swapping white bread, pasta and rice for wholegrain alternatives. These wholegrain starchy carbs release their energy slowly, refueling the brain and body. This is also great for getting more fibre into your diet. Adults are advised to eat 30g of fibre every day, but on average we only eat 18g!

Eat More Fruit and Veg

We all know eating more fruit and vegetables is a good way to move towards a healthier lifestyle. However, only one in three adults meets the five-a-day recommendation. Soups full of vegetables and pulses, homemade veg-packed pasta sauces and snacking on fruit are all great ways to easily up your intake.

Stay Active

Exercise offers benefits to everyone, regardless of age, disabilities or limited mobility. Regular exercise is great for improving mental wellbeing, self-esteem and relieving stress.  If you can, try out some of these fun chair exercises with your clients and work some of their different muscle groups.

If you’re looking for some more intense seated fitness videos, check out Adapt to Perform, where Ben Clark adapts workouts, nutrition, advice, motivation for any and all situations.

Living a healthy lifestyle - chair exercises

The Seated March

Warms muscles and prepares for movement.

  • Sit tall at the front of the chair
  • Hold the sides of the chair
  • March with control
  • Build to a rhythm that feels comfortable
  • Continue for 1-2 minutes


Living a healthy lifestyle - chair exercises

Shoulder Circles

Warms muscles and prepares for movement.

  • Sit tall with arms at your sides
  • Lift both shoulders up to ears, draw them back then press them down
  • Repeat slowly 5 times
Living a healthy lifestyle - chair exercises

Spine Twists

Loosens spine and maintains flexibility in the upper back

  • Sit tall with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart
  • Place your right hand on your left knee and hold that chair back with your left hand
  • Twist your upper body and head slowly to the right, back to the middle and round to the left
  • Repeat 5 times slowly on each side

Ankle Loosener

Loosens ankles and improves flexibility, lowers risk of developing a blood clot

  • Sit tall, hold on to the side of the chair and straighten your left leg with your foot off the floor
  • With your leg raised and as straight as possible, point your toes away from you
  • Then, point your toes back towards you
  • Repeat 5 times twice on each side

Arm Swing

Builds should strength

  • Sit tall away from the chair back
  • Place both feet flat on the floor below knees
  • Bend elbows and swing arms from the shoulder
  • Build to a rhythm that is comfortable
  • Continue for 30 seconds

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

As we have been indoors more than usual this year, it’s imperative to make sure we are getting enough vitamin D. Therefore, the NHS are recommending we take 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day between October and early March in the form of supplements.

Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods such as:

  • Oily fish
  • Red meat
  • Liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals.

It’s important to note that whilst you may have heard in the news that vitamin D could reduce the risk of coronavirus, there is currently not enough evidence to support this theory.

When working with your clients, it could be helpful for you to set daily health goals, routines and even checklists to provide a sense of purpose and achievement. This could range from the tips mentioned above such as eating five portions of fruit and veg a day, to doing frequent chair exercises and taking daily vitamin D supplements. Additionally, you could ask you clients what other activities they would like to do to keep well. Please also remember to report to the Nurse Managers if you notice there has been any significant weight loss or gain as the client may need a dietician review.


Age UK, Keeping Well at Home guide
Telegraph – Healthy Eating Advice 
NHS Vitamins and Minerals