The start of a New Year often brings revived hope and ambitions, and many of us may make resolutions, envisioning a happier and healthier version of ourselves in twelve months’ time.
Chances are that we have plenty of ideas about how we want our lives to be; lose 20lbs, learn a new skill or language, become a homeowner or start a new business.
According to research by Cancer Research UK, of 4000 adults polled, only 9 per cent of people will manage to keep their New Year’s resolutions for at least six months, while 39 per cent give up within two weeks. However, staying healthy is not something you should only stick to for a few weeks. Instead it should be at the top of your list, as without good health, all your other plans may end up coming to nothing. Read on for tips on staying healthy well into the New Year.
If you’re overweight or simply looking to shed a few pounds in the long term, then you should avoid dieting. That might sound surprising but it actually makes a lot of sense. Adopting a healthy balanced lifestyle that includes eating plenty of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes with some oily fish or lean meat is preferable, and easier to follow in the long term than counting calories or following a fad diet. Focus on getting a weekly and daily meal plan in place and you will see significant improvements in your overall health in the long term.
There’s nothing worse than persevering with an activity you dislike in pursuit of fitness. Exercise shouldn’t be a chore and if it is then you won’t stick with it long term, so you won’t get the results that you desire. If you hate the thought of going to the gym, consider walking, running, yoga, swimming or any activity that raises your heart rate long enough to improve your cardiovascular health.
Many of us aren’t getting enough sleep. Modern life is hectic and shows no signs of slowing down, placing a strain on our immune systems and costing us our health. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night as a minimum because this can benefit your health the most. There are plenty of reasons to get a good night’s sleep, including improved mood, lower risk of injury, increased focus and better weight control.
Being mindful can make a difference to your life goals and improve your overall sense of wellbeing. Practising mindfulness or meditation techniques on a daily basis can help you to relax and release any stress you may have in your mind before or after a day’s work.
Being present in the moment can also help you to appreciate and feel grateful for what you currently have in your life. Some of the reported health benefits of meditation include increased immunity, emotional balance, increased fertility, lower blood pressure, calmness and anti-inflammatory relief.
Regular check-ups can detect any health problems that may be developing so they can be caught before they have a chance to progress. By choosing the appropriate screenings, services and treatments, you give yourself a better chance of living a healthier life.
Don’t avoid or cancel any scheduled appointments as this can delay you in taking the steps you need to improve your health. Your GP or doctor can help you determine the healthcare you require, based on your age, gender, health, family history and lifestyle. Therefore you might want to make it one of your New Year’s resolutions to regularly get screened as part of your ongoing healthcare regime.