Living a healthy life

In addition to making good lifestyle choices you should take care to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and have a good standard of personal hygiene.

Diet

Diet is one of the most important contributors to good health and can be instrumental in preventing illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Diet is essential for the maintenance of the body’s major organs and joints and extremely important for the development of the immune system; a good immune system will combat illnesses.

A good diet

A good diet should be made up of foods which come from all the major food groups. Complex carbohydrates should form the basis of a healthy diet; these foods include cereals, pasta and rice. Complex carbohydrates help to keep the body fuelled and functioning efficiently. Proteins are essential for growth and development and should constitute 10-15% of your daily calorie intake; foods high in protein include meat, eggs and fish. Fat should be moderated carefully; you should try to eat unsaturated fats which are vital for the transportation of certain minerals in the body; examples of these foods include nuts and avocadoes. Finally, fruit and vegetables should form a large part of your diet; these foods are rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients which nourish the body and keep the immune system working effectively.

Exercise

Advantages of exercise

It is important to keep fit in order to improve the general health of the body’s organs and joints. Exercise has many physical and mental health benefits including a reduced risk of illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, as well as an improved physical appearance and a reduction of stress and anxiety.

Examples of exercise

It is recommended that you do at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least 3 time per week; this does not have to be running and may include a variety of activities such as playing team sports, brisk walking, cycling and rowing. Strengthening and toning exercise may also be beneficial to improve flexibility, posture and muscle tone; examples of these activities include Pilates, yoga and light weight training. Exercise also has social benefits, as it is a great opportunity to meet new people.

Getting outdoors

Scotland has vast areas of open land, rugged, mountainous regions and large lakes and rivers; make the most of these by getting outdoors and enjoying activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking and kayaking.

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