Five Steps to a Healthier You

  1. A Balanced Diet: This is often misinterpreted as having to be strict, unrelenting and low on variety. The simple fact is that there are 7 essential factors for a balanced diet; carbohydrates, protein, fat, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water. Keeping these in mind you have many options to ensure your food intake is both nutritious and varied.
    • Eat Fresh- Fresh fruit, vegetables and protein sources such as meat and fish have far more nutrients and less fillers and preservatives when bought fresh.
    • Cut out Bad Fats- Ensure you use spreads and oils with unsaturated fats. This is an easy change to make and one your arteries will thank you for in the future.
    • Cook Ahead- Working in Schools is demanding on both your time and energy levels. Cook more than you would need for a single mealtime and refrigerate/freeze the rest for another day. This means you will have healthy and fresh food options available ready for that time you get home late and can’t face cooking. This also decreases the amount of food wasted which is bonus both for the environment and your finances.
  1. Stay Hydrated: Water makes up 60% of our body. Not only is it hydrating, it aids mental function, digestion, feeling full and satisfied, weight loss, and physical performance. Kidney health is entirely dependent on water too and they balance fluids within the body and remove waste. Try to make sure you drink 6-8 glasses a day.
    • A sugar-free squash or fresh fruit infused into an ice-cold glass of the clear stuff can help make this more appealing.
    • Take a water bottle to work and give yourself a target to drink by the end of the working day.
    • Ensuring you drink a glass of water with every meal or snack both increases your intake and also aids digestion.
  1. Regular Exercise: This doesn’t have to be an hour in the gym….keeping active on a regular basis is important for physical and mental wellbeing.
    • Elevate your Heart Rate- A healthy heart is vital to lengthen your lifespan. Regularly raising your heart rate results in improved stamina both with your hearts ability to pump blood around the body and your cardiovascular fitness.
    • Little and Often- This could be a 20 minute fast walk with the dog or a bike ride with your loved ones after work. Use our SAS EGYM App to access a variety of home workouts. Try and find activities and forms of exercise you enjoy.
    • De-Stress- Working in education can be demanding and stressful. Giving your mind a reset, time to concentrate on something other than the pressures of work is vital to keep your mind healthy too.
  1. Limit Alcohol Intake: Notice I said limit, not eliminate. For some a glass of wine with dinner or a cold beer after a tough day at School is a way of switching off from work-mode and acknowledging that its time to unwind. This is no bad thing, it’s just a case of making sensible choices and watching the volume of your intake.
    • Wait and Enjoy- Try and avoid diving into the fridge as soon as you return home for that instant hit of alcohol based relief. You will have finished your drink before you realise and had chance to enjoy it. Make a conscious effort to wait until you are ready to unwind and enjoy your beverage. This reduces the risk of 1 glass turning into 3 or 4.
    • Alternate Drinks- When out and enjoying a drink with family and friends in a social setting try to alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. This dilutes the amount of alcohol you’re taking in without feeling like you’re missing out.
    • Drink Free Days- Plan days where you will skip alcohol altogether. This gives your body a break and also means you’ll enjoy that drink next time in the knowledge you have earned it.
  1. Get Enough Sleep: We have been told since childhood that getting adequate sleep is essential for our health and productivity. Sleep is restorative, our brain and organ systems are responsible for so many processes in just one day, they need recovery time. Sleep allows time for the essential rest and recuperation that your body requires. Sleep is essential for emotional well-being, alertness, food cravings, energy requirements, attention span to name but a few aspects of your life it affects. This is easier said than done when you have a demanding job in a School and perhaps a family too. However, There are a number of clinically proven essential tips to consider when getting a good night’s sleep.
    • No stimulants beyond 4pm. Coffee, tea, cola or energy drinks
    • Put all technology away at least an hour before sleep, e.g phones, laptops and tablets
    • Stick to a routine of sleep and awake times whenever possible (I do confess to enjoying a cheeky lay-in on the odd Sunday).
    • Try relaxation techniques to wind down before bed time, like music, meditation or reading.
    • Try not to eat past 8pm and limit late night snacking as this can keep the body awake.

Bespoke personal trainer and nutritional support is included within the wellbeing support available to staff insured with NAHT Wellness and Protect, to learn more click here.


Ed – NAHT Wellness and Protect Personal Trainer

Ed is a former PE teacher with 9 years’ experience, has been an active Personal Trainer for 16 years and has a Level 4 Diploma in Exercise and Nutrition. He is a qualified Instructor in a variety of Fitness based classes including: Spinning, Kettlebell, Pump FX, Circuits just to name a few.


“I feel that consistency is vital to remaining fit and healthy. To do this, finding activities you enjoy is key. This could be going for a bike ride with your family 2-3 times a week or going to a gym class after work with friends. Some of my clients like having a goal to aim for; running 5k, getting in shape for their forthcoming holiday or hitting a goal weight. I want to help people find the best way to enjoy improving their health. Fitting this around your work and family commitments isn’t easy but I believe there is always a way to make it work.

The same principles can be applied to the nutritional side of things. For example having a varied but structured dietary plan in the week but enjoying yourself with a meal out at the weekend is a good way of becoming healthier without it seeming like a chore. I have helped people keep on top of their dietary requirements ranging from national level athletes to people who simply want to have a healthier lifestyle. Every human is unique and deserves an approach that is personalised to their needs.”