Advice hub. Nutrition & Exercise
Working in hospitality is great but sometimes when you are working so hard to look after other people, it can be easy to neglect looking after yourself.
That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye on your nutrition and exercise.
If you want to stay healthy, then having a balanced diet is key. A well-balanced diet provides the body with vital nutrients that help it to function properly and maintain a healthy weight.
What we eat also has a direct effect on our blood sugar levels, which in turn can influence our moods and how we feel.
A good diet isn’t so much a cure to our ills as a great way of helping to prevent health conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes.
According to the NHS, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure a better-balanced diet. They include:
- Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Basing meals on higher-fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta.
- Eating some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins.
- Choosing unsaturated oils and spreads in small amounts.
- Drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses of fluids per day. Water, lower-fat milk and sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count.
- Having some dairy or dairy alternatives.
Unfortunately, many people in the UK eat and drink too many calories and consume foods and drinks with high levels of saturated fat, sugar and salt.
Men should aim to consume around 2,500 calories per day, while women should have around 2,000 calories.
For more tips on healthy eating and nutrition, take a look at the NHS website here.
Going hand in hand with a good diet, is getting enough exercise. Regular exercise carries with it a host of potential health benefits, including a reduced risk of major illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Current advice from the UK Chief Medical Officers says that people aged 19 to 64 should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity (such as brisk walking or cycling) or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity (such as running) every week. The CMOs also recommend even shorter durations of very vigorous activity such as sprinting or stair climbing, or a combination of all three.
If you struggle to fit exercise in around a busy schedule, then consider making it part of your everyday routine by walking or cycling instead of using the car to get around if you can.
Fortunately, a lot of roles in hospitality do involve moving around but if you do sit or stay inactive for long periods of time during your work, try to break it up with short periods of light activity if possible. Sitting down for long periods of time has been shown to be an independent risk factor for poor health.
If you sit at a desk for long periods of the day, try getting up and moving about each time you make or answer a call. There’s also a range of stretches you can carry out while sitting to encourage you to take some light exercise while at work, as well helping you to avoid musculoskeletal problems – take a look at the healthline website for some examples.