Improving Your Health in Elephant and Castle

How to be healthier

We all know the saying ‘you are what you eat’, but when was the last time you focused on your diet and lifestyle?


As Nutrition and Hydration Week gets under way, we’ve been looking at ways to eat healthily on a budget and be more active in and around Elephant and Castle.

The awareness event was introduced in 2012 with the aim of improving nutrition and hydration in the health and social care sectors. Now in its eighth year, the campaign encourages all areas of society to look at their eating and drinking habits, and has become a global event.

According to the NHS, to maintain their current weight, men require around 2,500 calories a day from a healthy, balanced diet, while women need 2,000.

Elephant and Castle is home to East Street Market where you can stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables while at the same time supporting local traders. Located close to Elephant & Castle underground station, the market has a colourful array of produce to help you add some variety to your five a day.

A good diet goes hand in hand with an active lifestyle and, according to the NHS, healthy adults should be aiming to notch up at least 150 minutes of exercise a week.


In Elephant and Castle, those looking to get their exercise fix indoors can head to The Castle Centre at St Gabriel Walk. Following a £20m redevelopment, the centre is the perfect place to get fit, whether you’re looking to work up a sweat in the gym or clock up some lengths in the pool. You can also take part in group exercise sessions or you could take a friend along and enjoy a game of badminton?

If you prefer to exercise outdoors then how about taking part in the Southwark parkrun? The free, 5k event is held every Saturday in Southwark Park, just off Lower Road in Rotherhithe. It’s just a short 15 minute jaunt from Elephant and Castle and is a timed event, so you can track your progress week by week. For more information and to register, visit www.parkrun.org.uk.

Five tips for eating healthily on a budget:

  1. The freezer is your friend – stock up on frozen fruit and vegetables. They’re often cheaper to buy and, as you will only use what you need, there is zero waste.
  2. Bulk up – substitute some of the meat in your meat-based dishes for additional fresh or frozen vegetables. Your food will go further and you’ll be gaining extra vitamins and minerals.
  3. Plan ahead – make a meal plan so you know what you’re going to be eating each week. This will enable you to buy all your ingredients in one shopping trip, which will work out more cost-effective than daily top-up shops.
  4. Batch cook – Double up on any dishes that can be frozen. This will save you precious time and, with some forward planning, will stop you reaching for the takeaway menu when hunger strikes.
  5. Grow your own – you don’t have to be green-fingered to be able to grow your own fruit and vegetables. A sunny window sill or a cosy patio will give all the space you need for some homegrown goodness.