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Weight & eating well

Help you feel your best

People who are physically active, eat well and maintain a healthy weight are less likely to get heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers or have a stroke.

Being overweight can damage your quality of life and can often trigger depression. Losing excess weight will improve overall health and help you to feel your best, even losing a small amount of weight can make a big difference.

The causes of obesity are often very varied. Two key factors are the amount of energy consumed (what we eat) and the amount of energy expended (how active we are), and the balance between the two. As we age physical activity levels tend to reduce as does the amount of lean muscle mass we have, but body fat tends to increase. There is no magic wand to losing weight. Eating healthily is the most important factor, with being physically active assisting in weight loss programmes. Exercise prevents weight gain and helps to maintain your weight loss.

7 tips to healthy eating

  1. Base your meals on starchy foods (potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread). Choose wholegrain varieties when you can.
  2. Eat lots of fruit and veg. It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and veg a day.
  3. Eat more fish. Fish is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals.
  4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar.
  5. Eat less salt.
  6. Don't get thirsty. We need to drink about 1.2 litres of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated.
  7. Don’t skip breakfast. A healthy breakfast is an important part of a balanced diet.

Source: Onelife Suffolk

How much exercise?

  1. Any amount of physical activity is better than none, and more physical activity provides greater health benefits.
  2. Adults 65+ should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 2 1⁄2 hours of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more.
  3. For those who are already regularly active at moderate intensity, benefits can be achieved through 1 1/4 hours of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
  4. Older adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week.
  5. Older adults at risk of falls should incorporate physical activity to improve balance and co-ordination on at least two days a week.

Activity examples

Get Active!

Moderate intensity

  • Brisk walking
  • Ballroom dancing

Read about Health Walks

Vigorous intensity

  • Climbing stairs
  • Running

Strengthen muscles

  • Carrying or moving heavy loads (such as groceries)
  • Activities that involve stepping and jumping such as dancing or chair aerobics

Balance and co-ordination

  • Tai chi
  • Yoga
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