So, it’s a new year – and does a new year mean for a new you? What are your resolutions? You may want to eat more healthily, get a better work life balance, take up a new sport. There are all sorts of ways you can make changes in your life to look and feel great, but you need to come up with a realistic plan, with realistic goals, so that you don’t stray off the path ahead! Here are some ideas to help you boost your health.
Review your diet
After all the Christmas and new excess, maybe it’s time to have a look at what you eat and drink. Are you overweight? Would you like to be a little trimmer? Are you just feeling generally unhealthy, especially after the Christmas period? Cutting out bad stuff in your diet and replacing it with lots of fresh fruit and veg and nutritious meals can make a real difference to the way you look and feel.
Instead of pulling a chocolate bar or packet of crisps out of the cupboard when you want a snack, think of a banana or orange instead. Yes, it maybe not be as attractive, but you’ll be thankful in the long-run that you took the healthier option.
Eating healthily doesn’t have to be boring. You don’t have to just eat green veg. There are all sorts of foods you can get your hands on in the supermarkets these days, and you can also find lots of culinary inspiration online, on websites, blogs and the like. Making your own healthy food can not only be nutritious, but fun too!
Don’t feel like you must be alone in your quest to have a more balanced diet. If you have a partner, family, or house-mates, then try and get them involved too. So, you’re preparing and sharing meals together – and you’re not left feeling like you’re isolated. This will help keep up the motivation!
Ditch the car
Feeling and looking healthy is not only about eating a well-balanced diet. It’s also about how much exercise that you get. Last year, were you always taking the car everywhere? Were there times when you could have walked or made some journeys by bike?
For 2018, think about getting more active. If you live fairly close to where you work, for example, why not put on your walking shoes instead of getting behind the wheel? You don’t have to do it everyday if you don’t want to, even a couple of times a week could make a difference. Or maybe, don some lycra, and get on your bike! Cycling can be a great way to burn calories and get in shape.
If you live a longer distance away from work, and you need to take public transport, you could walk to one stop further away to catch the bus or train – upping the amount of walking you do in your daily commute.
Away from the commute, try to pack some more walking into your social life. If you’re going shopping or meeting some friends for a coffee, why not walk or take your bike? And, if you have a dog, then it’s the ideal excuse to burn off some calories in the park.
Take up a new activity
How much physical activity did you do last year? Maybe it’s time to take up a new activity. Think about what you would like to do, have a chat with friends and family. Is there a club they belong to that you could join too?
During the winter months, there’s a whole range of sports and activities you could try out, ranging from badminton and racket ball to swimming. Find something you enjoy doing, and look forward to participating in, and try and make it a regular part of your life. Adding a social dimension, like taking part with friends, can be a great motivator.
Exercise can help you improve your overall physical and mental health – helping you to get fit and de-stress.
Sort health problems
Are there any health problems that have been niggling you in 2017 and you have not sorted them? Then make this year the year where you get help and treatment. It maybe that you’ve had back ache or a skin problem, don’t ignore them and hope that they will go away. Often, they don’t. Book an appointment with your doctor or speak to another medical expert to see what help is available.
If you’re set on improving your health, and you’re a smoker, then think about quitting the habit. Easier said than done, especially if you have been lighting up for a long time. But it’s certainly not impossible.
You need to come up with a plan of action, set yourself some realistic goals for giving up and stick to them.
There are all sorts of products on the shelf out there these days that can help you quit smoking for good. These include gum, patches and tablets. E-cigarettes are also available.
But don’t feel like you have to do it on your own. Why not speak to your doctor or local pharmacist? They can give you some advice on the best plan of action, and can signpost you to any support services in your local area. Your friends and family need to support you too, in your goal to be smoke-free!