Staying healthy shouldn’t be a fad, it should be something that we strive to achieve long term, and this blog post is all about how to stay strong and healthy for life!
I’ve come up with five tips in total but would love to hear if you have any more so please do leave a comment below!
- 1) Eat an adequate amount of protein
As you may know, protein helps us to feel fuller for longer, but perhaps more importantly it is essential for growth and repair, helping to build muscle and also prevent muscle loss, which keeps us strong.
Ideally a third of our plate at every meal should be filled with protein, for example: Greek yoghurt with fruit at breakfast time, a lentil or bean soup at lunch and a chicken or fish dish in the evening will give you the amount of protein your body needs.
Do bear in mind though that if you’re exercising regularly then your protein needs will be increased; for example, a woman weighing 64 Kg, who exercises regularly, should be eating at least 80g of protein a day. It’s probably easier to look at this in food terms: 80g equates to 1/2 a pint of milk (10g), a pot of Greek yoghurt (18g), a tin of tuna (25g) and a chicken breast (27g).
- 2) Ensure that your diet is rich in Calcium
Calcium is an essential mineral needed for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth throughout your lifetime. It also specifically supports the normal growth and development of bones in children, which is why milk is such an important part of most children’s diets.
Calcium is found in dairy foods such as milk and cheese, as well as in green leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale and cabbage. Soya beans, tofu, nuts and fish, such as sardines, are also rich sources.
If you’re worried that you’re not meeting your daily calcium needs then you could always consider a supplement. An ideal supplement, such as this one from Alive!, contains calcium, but also vitamin D, which helps you to absorb the Calcium better. Many people are low in vitamin D, especially in the winter time due to a lack of sunshine, so supplements can be a good way to make sure your body is getting what it needs.
The key is to think about your future; if you take steps now to get enough calcium as well as vitamin D, then you are taking steps to stay strong and healthy for life (and you could be helping to prevent expensive dentist bills later down the line too!).
- 3) Don’t forget about Phosphorus
Phosphorus is a mineral, just like calcium, and as well as helping to build strong bones and teeth it also helps to release energy from food. Phosphorus is found in a wide variety of foods in particular meat and poultry, fish (especially shellfish, sardines and salmon) dairy foods, nuts and seeds. If you are eating a healthy diet with enough protein and calcium it is likely you will be getting enough phosphorus.
- 4) Exercise regularly & include Strength Training
Aim to do strength training at least twice a week, in addition to your cardio workouts. Strength or resistance exercises help to increase muscle strength, maintain bone density and improve balance.
To increase your muscle strength, size, power and endurance you need to work your muscles harder than you would do on an average day, which could be done by lifting weights, using resistance bands, practicing yoga or even just climbing the stairs!
- 5) Remember your Rest Days
Remember to take days off for rest and relaxation. Life can be hectic, so whether it’s a day out in the countryside or a spa day, rest days can allow both your mind and body to recover and repair. Without them there’s a risk that either your progress will slow, or you’ll simply just burn out.
Walking, as well as stretching, are both great to do on rest days as they will not only allow your body to relax and wind down, but it’ll give your mind chance to reflect on days gone by and think about your week to come.
I really hope you find these tips useful, if you’ve got any more tips about staying strong and healthy then I would love to hear them so please do leave a comment below. Thank you so much for reading!
*This blog post was written in collaboration with Alive!. Please note that collaborations do not influence advice given. I personally take a multivitamin containing vitamin D as a way of ensuring that I reach my recommended daily nutrient intakes however I would recommend that you speak to your own doctor or dietitian for advice. I do not promote products featured over others that are not featured. Please read my disclaimer page for more information.