You should exercise for the recommended 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
In this world: 60 per cent of men and 72 per cent of women don’t do the recommended amount to stay healthy.
• Try to do three, ten-minute bursts a day to get the same health benefits.
Your Morning Meal:
You should have a healthy, nutritious breakfast each day to kick-start your metabolism and give you the energy and nutrients you need until lunchtime.
In this world: One in eight adults skips breakfast, despite being unlikely to get the missed vitamins and minerals later on in the day.
Next best thing:
• Keep a stock of healthy snacks, such as bananas, mini bags of dried fruit and nuts, cartons of fruit juice and slices of fruit bread, for when you’re running late.
• In coffee shops, steer clear of doughnuts and pastries and opt for low-sugar, high-fibre, and high-protein choices, like bagel and cream cheese or wholegrain muffin.
• Cereal bars are convenient but can be high in fat, salt and – or sugar, so check the information on the packaging.
Your Fish Intake:
Oily fish, such as salmon, trout and sardines, should be on your menu at least twice a week. Packed with DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, studies show that oily fish reduces the risk of heart disease and boosts the immune system.
In reality: Half of the people eat less than the recommended amount and 13 per cent of adults don’t eat fish at all.
You should have at least five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily to get the full array of nutrients and fibre you need.
We eat an average of only half the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables daily – and one in three of us eat no fruit at all.
Next best thing:
• Forget fancy “super-fruits”. Apples and bananas provide just as many health benefits.
• Frozen vegetables are as nutritious as fresh ones, and with no preparation or wastage. Simply grab a few handfuls and add them to whatever you’re cooking.
• Canned fruits (in juice, not syrup) and vegetables also count, while dried fruit makes a healthy snack.
• Still falling short? Take a good multivitamin.
In an ideal world: You’d get eight hours of undisturbed, refreshing nap every night because studies link lack of sleep to high blood pressure, poor immunity and weight gain.
In the real world: Almost half the population sleep badly some or most nights, and nearly a third of the population get less than six hours’ shuteye.
Next Best Thing:
• Try to snatch a 30-minute nap in the afternoon, three times a week – you’ll add a year to your life, as well as recouping sleep loss.
• Get the temperature right: As little as 0.3 degrees Celsius can make the difference between a good and poor night.
• Pick one night a week to turn in early – and stick to it. A full night of intense “recovery” sleep can knock a good chunk from your sleep debt.
• Switch off the TV before bed and read a book or listen to music. It’s one of the most effective ways to decrease tension and distract you from fatigue.