Your Body

The national recommendations for physical activity are a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more.

By doing 30 minutes a day you’d easily achieve this!

You don’t have to be dripping with sweat; moderate intensity physical activity is working your heart enough to raise your pulse, so that you can just about hold a conversation.

You could easily build 30 minutes of activity into your day by travelling to university or work actively (walking or cycling).

For more information on why you should be physically active, and how you might make small changes, visit here.

Visit for the latest active travel maps.


Keeping Heart Healthy

Remember to eat a nutritionally balanced diet.

Often it is easy to reach for the convenience foods, but bear in mind that across the day, your intake should include the following:

  • Fruit and vegetables: You should aim for at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
  • Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods: These foods should provide the main part of each meal. Opt for wholemeal options where possible, as they will keep you fuller for longer and provide a slower release of energy.
  • Milk and Dairy foods: Aim for three portions a day. One portion = glass of milk, one yoghurt, and matchbox size of cheese. Always opt for the reduced fat/lighter versions where possible,
  • Meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein: Aim to have at least two portions of this group a day. These foods provide protein and iron, but can often be high in saturated fats, so you might choose to remove meat fats and skin etc.
  • Foods and drinks high in fat and/or sugar: We should aim to eat this food group in limited amounts. There is no need to cut it out completely, but perhaps limit these foods as ‘treats’.

Food labels

Fats – Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated are the better fats, followed by saturated fats. Trans fats are the more artificial fats that we should try to steer clear of (ie. Takeaways/ convenience foods)

Salt – often pre-prepared foods have lots of hidden salt. We should have no more than 6g of salt a day (teaspoon full).

When looking at food labels be aware of the traffic light system. Use this helpful tool to work out what are ‘healthier option’ foods. You can get a wallet size copy here.

Food safety

Last year, the City of Cardiff Council investigated a number of students who tested positive for Campylobacter, the most common cause of food poisoning. Food poisoning is a preventable illness and there are several steps that you can take to protect yourself and others.

Have a look at this quick guide to prevent food poisoning.

Food poisoning symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fever. If you experience these symptoms and believe you have food poisoning, visit your GP and report the case to the City of Cardiff Council.

Drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol can have a harmful effect on your heart and general health. For more information please visit …

It is also important to include alcohol in your calorie intake for the day. Often people will not be aware of just how many calories are hidden in their drinks.

How much is harmful?

Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4units of alcohol a day.

Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units of alcohol a day.

What is a unit?

  • A single pub measure (25ml) of spirit (40% ABV)  = 1 unit
  • A glass (50ml) of liqueur, sherry or other fortified wine (20% ABV) = 1 unit
  • Half a pint (300ml) of normal strength (3.5% ABV) lager, cider or beer = 1 unit
  • 175ml glass of wine (13% ABV) = 2.3 units

The important thing to remember when drinking alcohol is to know your limit and make sure you don’t go beyond that limit. Check the label on bottles or cans for the number of standard drinks contained and monitor your drinking.

Tips for staying safe and in control

  • Drink on a full stomach – eat before and while you are drinking
  • Drink water or soft drinks before and in-between alcoholic drinks
  • Pace yourself – Avoid rounds
  • Drink no more than the recommended levels
  • Set a limit and count your drinks
  • Plan your transport home prior to drinking to ensure you get home safely and tell someone where you are and when you plan to leave
  • You may still be over the limit the next morning -think about what time you had your last alcoholic drink


  • You don’t have to be drunk to be affected by alcohol
  • Say ‘No’ if you have had enough or don’t want to drink
  • Drink sensibly and stay safe
  • Know your limits and remember one drink is not always a standard drink
  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Never accept drinks from strangers
  • Watch your drink being poured

If someone is drinking and passes out or becomes unable to speak, call an ambulance immediately – dial 999. To reduce the risk of an unconscious person vomiting and choking to death, turn them on their side in the safety position, make sure their airways are clear, and do not leave them alone.

Are you or a friend looking to quit smoking?

If you smoke 20-a-day, you could save around £2,800 a year by giving up!

Having support during your quit process, means you are 4 times more likely to quit and stay quit. Stop Smoking Wales are the Welsh National Smoking Cessation service. They provide a 7 week course of support, and gain you access to a full range of FREE Nicotine Replacement Therapy.  Contact Stop Smoking Wales today on 0800 085 2219, or request a call back online.

Another fantastic service is ‘The Filter’ project, provided by ASH Wales. The service is aimed at 11-25 year olds looking for advice and support for quitting smoking, as well as cutting out the myths around tobacco use. You can text or Whatsapp the Filter team on 07453 665 220 and add them on snapchat +THEFILTERWALES.

The ASH Wales website also provide a wide range information, advice and resources.

Issues with drugs and alcohol are not standardised, different amounts and different substances affect different people in different ways. This can be dependent on your physiology and other factors.

Drugs and alcohol affect judgement and behaviour; this can in turn impact on other areas of your life. You don’t have to be physically dependent on drugs or alcohol for either to have an adverse affect you. Your relationships may suffer, your financial situation could worsen, or you could be affected physically, emotionally or psychologically. Substance misuse can result in you becoming a victim of crime or committing an offence, resulting in the potential to get a criminal record which could affect your ability to get a job in the future. A criminal record can even impact on your ability travel abroad in the future.

If you feel that using drugs or alcohol has impacted on your life, or whether you would just to get some support and advice in the Cardiff area, call E-DAS on 0300 3007000 or visit E-DAS offer a full assessment of need and, as the single point of engagement for substance misuse services, will be able to direct you to the most appropriate service for your needs. You can also call E-DAS if you have been affected by a loved one’s substance use.

If you would like support or information about services elsewhere, you can call DAN 24/7 on 08088082234 or visit for information on specific substances.

It’s always good to be prepared even if you don’t plan to be sexually active when you are at University. Male or female, you can get free contraception and condoms from any GP or family planning clinic. They can also give you advice on the best method of contraception for you.

If you have had sex without using contraception, or you do not believe the contraception worked, you can use emergency contraception. Emergency contraception pills must be taken within 72 hours of the unprotected sex taking place, the earlier the pill is taken the more effective it is. Emergency contraception pills are available free to women in Wales. Go to your local GP or local pharmacy and ask for Emergency contraception.

Having unprotected sex also means you are at risk of contracting a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) or Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). The Cardiff and Vale Health Board provide useful information on sexual health.

Find your local sexual health clinic by entering your postcode.

More information on Student Sexual Health

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