How to get more active: Healthy Diet Plan January 2019

Keen to increase your exercise and feel fantastic? Discover the benefits of physical activity and top tips to stay fuelled after your workout. 

Healthy Diet Plan January 2019

Staying active is key to good health, and the NHS advising us to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking each week, plus strength exercises on two or more days each week.

Of course, not everyone can or wants to become an elite athlete, but the benefits of even moderate physical activity, as the NHS advises, are clear. Research shows that regular exercise can lower the risk of developing many long-term conditions, as well as boosting mental well-being, quality of sleep and energy levels.

It’s always worth visiting your GP if you have any underlying health conditions that might affect your ability to exercise safely.

In our latest Healthy Diet Plan, we’ve highlighted recipes that are especially beneficial after exercise as they supply a suitable balance of protein and carbohydrates. If you haven’t already, sign up today to receive free online access to the plan. 

We asked nutritionist Kerry Torrens for her three top tips to help you get active and fuel yourself for exercise, plus how the recipes from our latest Healthy Diet Plan can help you achieve your goal.

Three tips to increase your activity levels

1. Find an exercise you enjoy

People riding bikes in a forest

If your aim is to increase the amount of activity you do, it’s a good idea to pick an activity you really enjoy. The more you like what you’re doing, the more likely you are to stick with it in the long term – and if you choose to exercise with others, the social element may help to keep you going. Don’t think you have to resign yourself to plodding along on a treadmill; get on your bike and explore the countryside at the weekends, or play a team sport such as football, rugby or netball. If you can afford to pay for sessions, yoga, pilates or dance classes can be a great way to increase flexibility and get your heart rate up.

Read more tips on how to exercise for free and see our review of the best fitness trackers.

2. Protein and carbs are key

Herb & ricotta chicken

In order to aid recovery, base your post-exercise meal on starchy carbs and lean sources of protein. This combination helps replenish fuel stores and aids muscle repair. Sign up to our free Healthy Diet Plan to get nutritionally balanced recipes that deliver a good hit of both protein and carbs, such as our Bolognese-style soup, zesty turkey salad, and herby stuffed chicken breasts. We’ve also included some natural anti-inflammatory ingredients such as turmeric in our recipes to help ease those tired joints and muscles.

3. Eat within 30-60 minutes of exercise

A turkey and clementine salad

Your muscles are most receptive in the 30-60 minute window following exercise, so eat in this time frame if you can. If that’s not possible, as a minimum, have a snack or drink that supplies carbs and protein, such as a glass of milk. Remember to drink plenty of hydrating fluids, and if your exercise is physically strenuous, include some sodium to replace any lost through perspiration.

Find out how much water you should drink each day.

Enjoyed this? Get more health tips…

Sign up for our free Healthy Diet Plan for January 2019
What to eat for a workout
How to workout at home
The best fitness trackers
All our free Healthy Diet Plans


All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. Any healthy diet plan featured by BBC Good Food is provided as a suggestion of a general balanced diet and should not be relied upon to meet specific dietary requirements. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.
 

Comments, questions and tips

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Chas2
5th Jan, 2019
I wish the BBC would stop providing a platform for so called "experts", who give "nutritional advice" which includes the promotion of animal based foods. This is such outdated advice. Evidence shows that the health benefits of animal derived foods are highly questionable at best and that the "production" and "harvesting" of these foods is very damaging to the environment. The BBC is sadly helping to keep food myths alive. Heads in the sand mentality, unfortunately.
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