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Hold on to your healthy habits

Blackberries are out, the leaves are starting to change colour and Christmas stock is hitting the supermarket shelves… summer is more or less over for another year.

Thoughts might be turning to lazy afternoons snuggled in front of the fire indulging in boxes of chocolates, but now is a key time to prepare your body for the winter months.

As well as boosting your immune system and helping to keep winter germs at bay, exercise and healthy eating are vital in reducing your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

  1. Eat well

It’s easy to turn to comfort food as the weather gets colder. Healthy summer habits of fresh fruit and vegetables can all too often be replaced by a craving for stodgy sugar-laden foods. But to keep your body in good shape and boost your immune system ready for the peak winter months, you need to keep fuelling it with vitamins and minerals.

Aim to eat at least five portions of fruit or vegetables each day. Try making your own soups using up left over vegetables and add lentils as a source of protein – it’s a cheap, nutritious and a comforting meal.

  1. Keep active

Use the late summer months and autumn to get into an exercise routine. Establishing good habits before winter sets in will make daily activity much easier to continue.

Exercise in the colder months is particularly important in keeping your immune system working. It boosts circulation which sends out immune cells around the body. It’s also a good way to release endorphins which will combat the low moods which people can experience during the darker and colder days.

  1. Sweet dreams

Take note from nature and, just as many animals sleep for longer during the winter months, make sure you get enough sleep too. Sleep is essential for maintaining a good mood, high energy levels and a strong immune system - all vital during winter. Get into the habit of going to bed earlier and you’ll reap the benefits when the colder weather comes.


It is very important to understand your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Our simple online health check takes just a few minutes. The Healthier You programme is free to join and you can sign up without visiting your GP. The sessions are now available with a British Sign Language Interpreter if BSL is your first or preferred language.

Use our online checker to find out if you’re at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes:

It might be the most important thing you do today.

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Gestational Diabetes: Helen Levé

I’m Helen, an educator on the National Diabetes Prevention Programme. I have been supporting people who are at risk to of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) for the past four years.