Lifestyle changes you can make

Having a healthy lifestyle can be a successful way to prevent serious injury.


The Benefits of Exercise

Regular exercise/physical activity can help to improve your heart circulation, maintain or help you lose weight, assist in relieving stress and energise you.

  • Aim to do 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, 5 times a week and strength exercises on 2 or more days a week.
  • Any exercise that raises your heart rate slightly is good for you; examples include fast walking, water aerobics, riding a bike.
  • Try to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, e.g. using the stairs instead of the lift, park the car further away.

If you have not exercised recently or you have any pre-existing medical conditions you should speak to your GP or a healthcare professional before starting any new activity.

Whilst keeping active after injury is important, any exercise should be done in a gradual and controlled manner under the advice of your clinical team.





Diet and Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is a diet which is:

  • Low in fat
  • Low in sugar
  • Low in salt
  • High in fibre
  • Balanced


What are the benefits of healthy eating?

Healthy eating will help to reduce the risks of:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Some Cancers
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol

Healthy eating benefits all of the population, from children of 5 years old to all adults, unless otherwise advised by your doctor or dietitian.


The Eatwell Guide

The Eatwell guide gives us an idea of how a balanced diet is made up. It shows the types of foods we should be aiming to consume over the day and in what proportions in order to have a
healthy, balanced diet.

Public Health England: Link to poster


Weight Loss

For those trying to lose weight it is helpful to divide your plate into these three sections at meal times. The green section (half the plate) being the vegetables/salad, the yellow section (1/4 of the plate) being the starchy carbohydrates and the red section (1/4 of the plate) being meat, fish and alternative protein sources.


Healthier Snacks

If you are hungry in between meals choose healthier foods such as:

  • fruit / veg sticks;
  • wholegrain crisp bread/crackers with low fat hummus;
  • low-fat/sugar yoghurt or fromage frais;
  • small palm full of unsalted nuts;
  • pitta bread fingers and low fat hummus;
  • oatcakes, digestives;
  • fruit scone;
  • toasted bagel.




Alcohol, Smoking, and Drug Abuse

How much can I drink?

How, what and when you drink will be influenced by your health and lifestyle. The recommended safe levels of alcohol intake for men and women are:

  • No more than 2 units / day with a maximum of 14 units a week.
  • Everybody should have two or three alcohol free days a week.
  • There is no safe level of alcohol to drink during pregnancy.

Be aware that home measures of alcohol may be larger than a pub measure.

If you are watching your weight then limiting your alcohol intake is sensible as it is high in calories.



Having your Health Checked Regularly



Avoiding Accidental Injury



Moving and Lifting



Improving your Posture



Reducing Stress and Mental Illness



Changing your Home and Work Environments



Social and Sexual Relationships

Resuming Sexual Activity after an Operation

You will need to recover fully after any major surgery and your clinician will inform you of the safest time to resume sexual activity.

Please read the patient information booklet you receive as the advice will be dependent on your procedure and expected healing time.




Achieve Lifestyle

Achieve Lifestyle operates the Get Active scheme, exercise & healthy living sessions to help improve wellbeing and fitness.

Working in partnership with the local NHS Primary Care Trust and St Peters and Ashford Hospitals, this 12 week scheme is very successful in getting people back to health through fitness.