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Actions to pledge

Five steps for a longer, healthier life: Eat, Drink, Think, Move and Connect and Engage

We are asking you to join many others who are committing to up to 5 behaviours to boost their health and wellbeing. You can choose how many they want to pledge - this recognises that not one size fits all - we want everyone to feel included and welcome and therefore we will have suggestions and ideas for every level, however you feel.

Our 5 areas are: eat, drink, think, move and connect and engage. For each of these we will suggest SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-sensitive) that are backed up by science and we will make them fun. Signing up will give people access to materials, tips, facts and ideas to keep them engaged and enthused. 

Sign up today!


Steps in more detail

There are countless studies looking at how diet impacts health and there is a very clear link between a good diet and longevity. But what is a good diet? Our actions to pledge under eat are:

Have a good breakfast every day:

It is widely agreed that having a regular breakfast is good for you: by skipping breakfast you are more likely to be overweight, have a 27% increased risk of heart disease, a 21% higher risk of type 2 diabetes in men, and a 20% higher risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Breakfast is also associated with improved brain function, including concentration and language. A review of 54 studies found that eating breakfast can improve memory. And with many cereals fortified with vitamins and containing high fibre, this can be a nourishing time of day. We will help guide breakfasts by sending over recipes and ideas to make this an interesting as well as healthy meal of the day.

Eat the Rainbow:

Variety and colour is good for your diet. Make your 5 a day fun and delicious. Here we ask you to commit to eating at least 5 pieces of fruit/veg a day and we will send over recipe ideas and inspiration to help you as well as fun facts as to why this is beneficial. 

Eat little and often:

Eating big meals burdens the digestive system and the influx of blood sugar our blood sugar levels fluctuate dramatically over the course of the day. Eating smaller meals, more regularly can also increase variety in your diet with more opportunities to eat different food types. So, try halving your breakfast and eating the second half an hour later. If you have a sandwich for lunch, half this and have a piece of fruit and eat the second half an hour later with a carrot or some soup. Again, we’ll send you regular ideas and tips to help you commit to this goal.

Most people don’t realise that dehydration can effect mood, memory and even satiety. Keeping hydrated and being aware of what we drink can improve our wellbeing. Our actions to pledge within drink are:

Water: drink 6-8 cups of water every day 

This is perhaps the simplest and most obvious route to hydration - drink plenty of water. But it doesn’t naturally to all of us and perhaps setting this as a pledge will be the push needed to get drinking.

Less caffeine: limit the number of cups of tea and coffee per day 

Caffeine is a diuretic compound meaning it can dehydrate us without us realising as we feel like we are drinking. Limit the number of cups of tea or coffee to a maximum of 2 a day and switch to a herbal tea or more water.

Squeeze the juice: cut down on fruit juices and fizzy drinks to special occasions

Switch the juice for water. Juice is sugary and whilst a little is ok, too much isn’t good for us - try only having juice once a day and switch to water.

Bust the booze: limit alcohol intake to no more than 14 units a week

Alcohol is a major risk factor for many chronic conditions and whilst no amount of alcohol is good for us, limiting our intake is essential for a longer, healthier life. Limit units to no more than 14 per week and ideally less.  

Our brains start shrinking in our 30s, and our thinking skills change throughout our lives. For some, they may grow as experience is integrated, but other people may experience a decline. However, there are ways that we can challenge our brains and help protect ourselves from cognitive decline. There is strong evidence that mentally stimulating activities are associated with better thinking skills in later life, but we are still building the picture as to why and how, and what sort of activities lead to real benefits. This is an active area of research, but we know that certain things seem to be beneficial - our actions to pledge within think are:

Learn: learn or do something new and share it with other pledgers every day 

Learning new things is great for our brain and sharing them with others means that we are more likely to stick to it and enjoy it. Learning requires our brain to make new neural connections and there is evidence that this has a more general impact on cognitive skills. 

Play: do puzzles and play games everyday

Whilst there is inconclusive evidence behind specific brain training activities, it is generally considered good for the brain to do puzzles and games, especially if you enjoy them. Novel games also require learning and making these are sociable that is even better.

Be mindful: pause and take notice of the surroundings for at least 1 minute, 3 times a day

Studies suggest that being mindful - focusing on the present - can reduce anxiety and depression as well as lower blood pressure and improve sleep. There’s even some evidence to suggest that it can help people cope with pain. 

Exercise is good for us. Across the board - it lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke and dementia, it helps your thinking skills, it can lessen aches and pains and improve our mood. Our actions to pledge within move are:

Walk: walk for at least 15 minutes, twice a day

Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier. You do not have to walk for hours; a 15-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits including building strength and improving balance. Also, there are benefits to being outdoors for your well-being.

Power: do 3 short (6-10 min) bursts of cardio exercise every day

Short bursts of exercise boost your heartrate, which helps with heart health, mood and even concentration. There are loads of ideas online and we’ll send you ideas for power exercise through the month.

Stand: Get up and move for 5 or more minutes each waking hour through the day.

You may not feel able or ready to take on a walk or cardio exercise, but just standing up is good for you. It strengthens leg muscles, burns more energy than sitting and helps prevent the formation of blood clots in the legs.

Strength and flex: try a free short (15-20 min) online exercise class a day - could be yoga, pilates, HIIT or your choice. 

We’ll send over a range of suggestions throughout the month for every level.

People vary in the degree to which they want to be sociable but we all share the fundamental need to interact with others. A wealth of evidence shows that positive relationships and shared activities contribute to our wellbeing. Furthermore, loneliness and social isolation increase health risks in older people. Various life events, such as retirement, bereavement, and ill health, can reduce social networks and make it harder to stay active socially but there are ways we can build positive relationships and we will help. Our actions to pledge within Connect and Engage are:

Connect: call or meet a friend or family member for a chat everyday

It doesn’t have to be an in-person meeting to be meaningful - a conversation over the phone is also a valuable social interaction.

Know your neighbours: get to know your community and try to speak to one every day even if just to say hello

Getting to know people in the local area is not only good for you but good for the community. It’s also good to cultivate relationships with people of different ages, and neighbours offer a good opportunity for this.

Share a hobby: take up a hobby and share with others

A shared interest and meaningful activity can help build positive relationships and sharing skills is good for the brain as well promoting feelings of purpose.

Contact Us

Whatever your reasons for wanting to connect with us, you can contact us via email or social media on the addresses below


Twitter: @JitkaVseteckova