For all its cultural benefits, opportunities, architecture, history, and wonder, London is not the healthiest place to live. Those who reside permanently in the city – especially in Zones 1 and 2 – have to make more of a concerted effort to live a healthy lifestyle, compared to someone who lives in the sprawling hills of the countryside or by the sea. But there is a way to have your cake and eat it – to live in London and benefit from being in the capital, while living a healthier life.
Go Find Some Greenery
One of the best ways to live more healthily in the city centre is to visit the nearest patch of greenery. Getting in adequate exercise goes hand in hand with this. There is an abundance of gyms in the city and many wide-open spaces to allow for outdoor exercise. Indeed, the app Bua Fit helps you to find places to exercise outside, whether this is an open space, outdoor exercise equipment, or group classes including military fitness sessions and outdoor running clubs.
But it’s not all about exercise: just seeing greenery and nature has been proven to lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels and put us in a good mood. So, going somewhere green doesn’t just mean we can exercise physically in the open, but that we can exercise our mental wellbeing too. Plus, studies have found that just seeing greenery helps us unlock the connotations of healthiness we associate with it, which can limit unhealthy cravings.
London has a range of green spaces that we can use to take a break from the city, from Alexandra Park and Hyde Park, to Primrose Hill, St James’s Park, Clapham Common, Battersea Park, Tooting Bec, Hackney Park, and Ealing Common.
Eat Well to Live Well
Eating well has been proven time and again to allow us to make us healthier. But when living a hectic life, it can often be easier to eat on the go, eat unhealthy foods, or generally have diets that are bad for us. Implementing a dedicated diet and one that we stick to could help to set us on the course for a healthier life.
Combat Air Pollution
London is one of the most polluted cities in the world – due to its size and the industry that exists. Infrastructure is already helping as people are encouraged to cycle and use greener public transport where possible. There are measures in place by Mayor Sadiq Khan to combat this air pollution and allow Londoners to breathe better. There are some things we could do ourselves, though.
Smokers could consider switching to a tobacco- and smoke-free nicotine product, such as snus. As Tax Free Snus claims, athletes such as Jamie Vardy and Kimi Raikkonen use snus as an alternative to its smoked tobacco-filled equivalent, which could hamper their sporting prowess.
Walls of greenery have also been proven to limit air pollution, so make sure that if you do live somewhere prone to pollution, you have these measures in place. Studies estimate that pollution could be reduced by 30% with the simple addition of living walls – which could be replicated through plants on window ledges.
Living in London is a privilege with so much to offer on the doorstep. But it shouldn’t have to take a toll on our health. There are many things we can actively do to try to live healthier lives and benefit from everything the capital offers us. Whether this is visiting more green spaces, eating and exercising better, or combatting the air pollution ourselves – leading healthier lives in London is achievable.