20 Mar 2024

Healthy habits: let's age well

2 min read 

Thinking about how to live a sustainable and healthy life can be overwhelming, as there’s so much information out there - and how can we help to save the planet? Just by doing our small bit, though, we can indeed not only help our planet, we can also benefit other areas of our life, and improve both our physical and mental health.  

APDO member Jennie Smith shares her ideas for healthy living, beginning with looking at our travel options.  

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Have you ever thought about walking instead of driving? If you can go on foot or cycle on short trips, this will not only improve your fitness, but also helps the environment. I know from walking my Jack Russell every day that no matter the weather, whenever I leave the house, after even a short walk, I feel better. I get my circulation going, my heart rate increases and the feeling of fresh air and wind on my face always manages to lift my spirits. Dr Michael Mosley espouses the benefits of walking in his health podcast ‘Just One Thing’ on BBC Sounds.  

© Image by Paul Harris @ National Trust Images

Have you considered a walking or cycling holiday in your own country? This is a great way to explore, with the added satisfaction that you’re not increasing your carbon footprint. 

Other options could be to join an exercise class, such as Spin or Zumba, or something more relaxing such as Pilates or Yoga. Classes are a great way to unwind at the end of the day and the social side can be an added bonus.  

Alternatively, if you prefer to exercise at home, you could try online yoga. The NHS website also offers free instructor-led exercise videos which include aerobic exercises, strength and resistance training, Pilates and yoga.  

Of course, you’ll need to keep hydrated, so don’t forget to carry a reusable water bottle, instead of purchasing disposable ones! 

Just remember, that the most important thing is to choose exercise that you enjoy and even if you only do a small amount each day, it’s better than doing nothing at all. 

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In order to live sustainably, it's also helpful to remember how the food we eat can impact our climate. If you really want to make a difference, why not look into having an allotment? Not only will you have the benefit of keeping fit (with all that digging!), but you’ll also have the satisfaction of eating your own home-grown fruit and veg.  

Alternatively, you might consider having organic fruit and vegetables delivered to your door.  One such company, the award-winning Riverford promises to farm sustainably by looking after their soil, wildlife & water sources and utilising compostable packaging. Plus, you’ll be supporting British farmers and your fruit and veg won’t have travelled hundreds of miles!  

If you prefer to shop, why not try to choose locally-grown produce from your local supermarket or farmers’ market. You can find out what’s in season by checking on the BBC seasonality guide and this will also help you to plan your meals before you shop. 

By adjusting your daily routine, you’ll be surprised at how easy it can be to include healthy and sustainable habits in your life.  If you would like a professional organiser to walk alongside you in your journey to sustainability, check out our Find and Organiser page.

Jennie Smith started Kent & Sussex Decluttering in 2018 and specialises in helping people prepare for a house move, providing practical help before and after moving day. As part of her sustainability efforts, following each decluttering and organising session, Jennie will drop off any donations for charity, and with her clients’ help, she has raised thousands of pounds for the Hospice in the Weald, Kent.