During the Christmas and New Year period we all like to let go and enjoy lots of tasty food and alcoholic drinks. We then make resolutions to become healthy and fit which usually only last for the first few weeks of January. Here are some helpful facts and tips which will help you to kick start your new year.

  • For all the smokers out there, now’s a better time to quit than ever, especially with the government releasing such adverts including tumours growing out of the end of cigarettes! Quitting isn’t always easy, but there are many helplines, organisations and NHS based programmes to help you quit the habit. Smoking has a huge impact on our health and fitness, so it’s a no brainer that cutting them out will help reduce risk of disease and will allow you to climb the stairs without getting out of breath!
  • Alcohol is often classed as empty calories. For example, many of us are unaware of what a glass of wine means for our waist line; a large glass of the stuff contains 178 calories which is equivalent to two chocolate biscuits. This will take you roughly 15 minutes of fast walking to burn off. Alcohol has also been linked to breast, bowel, mouth and liver cancer, so cutting down is very important for regular drinkers. Make small changes such as having a small glass instead of a large or simply diluting your drink with lemonade or soda.

  • Many of our new year resolutions include, ‘exercise more’ or ‘join the gym’. It’s not always about taking drastic action like skipping meals, or even spending silly amounts on a gym membership that you’ll never use. There are smaller and easier to manage steps which you can take in order to shed some of that weight and become fitter. For instance, reduce your meal sizes, and if you get hungry in-between meals then snack on fruit or nuts. Also, walk instead of using your car wherever you can, it’s a good way to get your heart rate going and work off some extra pounds. Look for alternatives to high fee paying gyms, there are many gym vouchers or deals which you can find online.
  • It is important to have fun with your food. There are endless books and cookery programmes with fantastic ideas on getting food to tingle our tastebuds. But along with all these exciting recipes you must remember to keep it healthy where you can. Buy food that doesn’t contain processed meat and other additives that aren’t good for you. It’s always a good idea to check on the back of your food and read what’s actually in it. Try alternative cooking methods; for example, instead of frying, try baking or grilling; and instead cooking with butter or fat, try olive oil, which is in fact good for you.

If you have a busy lifestyle, keeping healthy is often hard to fit into your day to day life. But, even the small changes above can have a huge impact on your life.

By Amrit Pnaiser