Whether it’s ’5 a day’ for your fruit and veg intake or ’10,000 a day for the steps you’re supposed to do to stay healthily active, 2 litres of water to be drunk a day or 8 hours of sleep to be taken, I do think that many of us are missing the mark and it’s to our long term detriment.
How many people do you know who really (honestly) eat 5 portions of fresh vegetables and fruit a day, every day? I bet it’s not very many. Given that 5 is the figure chosen by the Department for Health you may be surprised to learn that in France they’re advised 10, in Denmark 6 and in Japan 13 portions of vegetables and 4 fruit. That’s the equivalent of 3 days of British intake
The same goes for activity. I’ve been wearing a Jawbone UP! device on my wrist for about a week or so to track my activity and sleep. We’re advised to move for about 10,000 steps a day. But do you really know how many that is?
A 5k run takes me about half an hour. This alone is not 10,000 steps and even with errands, going to see massage clients and running Fit Camp there are days when I still don’t make the required amount.
I really wonder how many steps an office based worker, who does no exercise, actually manages each day. I’ll be surprised if it is much over 1500.
Sleeping is not much better with experts telling us to sleep between 7-8 hours each night. My UP! has shown that I am lucky if I get 6 1/2 each day. I am apparently seriously lacking in the sleep department!
So what does this mean?
In an ideal world we wouldn’t have guidelines as we’d all be able to tune into what our bodies need to thrive optimally. However the noise of technology, the numbing of social media and the continuous bombardment of fast food means that we’ve become numb and ambivalent to these basic requirements for our body.
- Fresh food
- Clean water
What do we need to do to make sure that these figures don’t demoralise us, but remind us that by making these few changes we can improve our health, our lifestyle and ultimately our longevity?
- Do you make sure you meet these guidelines each day?
- Do you have a strategy for hitting the target each day or week?
- Maybe you have devised your own targets that you keep to?
- Maybe you do nothing at all.
Whatever it is, share your feedback and let’s see if we can help each other to keep up for our own individual success.
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