Are Daily Health Guidelines Really Practical?

Guidelines on healthy eating has seeped its way onto every billboard, advert and food packet but are these guidelines at all realistic? We’re all for being healthy, and sacrificing fast food for a more balanced diet, but are the daily healthy guidelines really practical when faced with a busy schedule and a realistic budget? When faced with the blunt reality we’re forced to question whether these healthy guidelines are overly ambitious.

5-A-Day

Trying to eat five different pieces of fruit and veg a day is incredibly difficult if you factor in the rush that accompanies most of our days. Generally the only time to eat fruit or veg is in or with our dinner. Things aren’t made any easier by the price of fresh produce in shops; eating healthily has never been more expensive!

However, there is hope; most schools now have free fruit schemes which provide children with at least one piece of free fruit a day which eases some of the worry on their busy parent’s mind. Also many businesses and companies provide free or cheap fruit for staff during working hours. The trick to making eating 5-a-day is to try and average it out over a week; some days you’ll have 3 but others you’ll have 6; it all balances out in the end.

Drinking 2 Litres of Water a Day

Let’s start with the advice that we should drink at least 2 litres of water a day. With an average bottle of water containing a mere 500 ml, you’re expected to consume roughly four bottles a day (or 10 glasses)! Assuming the average number of three meals per day, getting through a full bottle of water with your meal in your modest lunch break, late morning or dinner is pushing it.

However, tests have proven that keeping fully hydrated is paramount to maintaining focus and attention. In contrast to other guidelines, water doesn’t create a massive hindrance to your day you just need to have a bottle on you and to try and work through it around 4 times throughout the day. It will help to carry a bottle with you on the tube or on the way to school, so this is actually fairly practical and achievable guideline.

30 Minutes of Exercise a Day

Working full time vs the advice to exercise at least 30 minutes per day is another thing to consider. If you get to work by car and work in an office (and you can’t practically walk there), it can seem unrealistic to be expected to do a minimum of 30 minutes a day of exercise? Health experts suggest quite lengthy walks after work- which will also help you to get a good night’s sleep!

In defence of guidelines such as these, they are just guidelines and should be treated as such. Use them as a basic structure, and take something from them without aiming too high and being too ambitious in regards. If you have a hectic lifestyle then create a healthy lifestyle that fits around you, caters to your own goals and delivers the results you want.

Josh Hansen writes for XXPress PCR an innovative biotechnology company that specialises in DNA testing and PCR machines.

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