Resolutions? What resolutions?
So you started the new year with all the best intentions; get fit, stop smoking, cut down on the old tipple, cut out the chocolate biscuits. How’s it going? If you are completely on target with your goals, ace, and a massive well done. If not don’t worry and please don’t give up. We at APL Health are here to give you a little support and motivation to help you reach your goals a little easier.
You often find January starts with a bang. Health and fitness is in the air, from magazine articles to new diet products and fitness DVD’s. You may find the whole staff room is a buzz of who is doing what and who giving what up. However, come March time and beyond, where has it all gone? Some have already given up, others are losing momentum and that encouragement through the media is nowhere to be seen.
We don’t want you to spend out on the latest healthy trends we want you to invest long term in your overall health and wellbeing and this shouldn’t cost you a penny.
Diet – Make it gradual and enjoy your food!
Let’s start with the biggie – diet. Most people start the new year’s diet goals with joining a slimming group or making some big overhauls in their personal diet plan, some even resort to extreme measures such as diet pills to reach their goals. You might find effective results in the short term but give it six months will you have kept the weight off?
We recommend a long term plan. Make small changes to your diet doing things like snack swaps, and gradually change your diet over a number of weeks. This way you can make changes that you are more likely to stick to. You can examine your food from meal to meal and even enjoy your treats from time to time too.
Eating healthily can reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes as well as many others. Healthy food is not just rabbit food, it’s nutritious, balanced, flavoursome and can often be cheaper when planned properly, than buying meal to meal or having microwave dinners.
So keep going and don’t go on a ‘diet’, make a healthy diet just something you do.
Exercise – Keep going it’s surprising how moving more can make you feel more energised
We get it. You’ve had a busy day and everybody wants something from you. All you want to do is flop on the sofa and watch Netflix.
It’s tough to get moving but you’ll soon learn that the first push is the hardest, you’ll end up enjoying and actually looking forward to a little exercise after work.
It’s the same as dieting, make a small change at first and build up gradually. Once you get going you might even surprise yourself at the new burst of energy you have.
Start with 30 minutes, one day a week. This doesn’t even need to be all at the same time.
And most importantly of all, do something you enjoy. If you have access to the internet this needn’t even cost you.
Log on to NHS choices fitness for a fab place to start. They have a range of free videos from kettlebells to aerobics and even belly dancing. Most are broken down into 10 minutes’ segments. Even at your most tired who doesn’t have 10 minutes while the dinner is cooking or while you’re waiting for the bath to fill.
Exercise not only reduces your risk of many conditions such as heart disease and stroke, but also boosts your self-esteem. So take the minutes and reap the benefits.
Smoking – Feel better live longer
Smoking was in the media a lot in 2015 from the smoking in vehicles ban in October to the use and safety of e-cigarettes.
We all know the dangers of smoking right? So now is as good a time as any to try and quit. But how do you quit safely and effectively?
We recommend seeing your smoking cessation nurse via your GP clinic. You may be thinking “well I can just use an e-cigarette and don’t need to take up an appointment right?” Well the truth is, very little is known about e-cigarettes they haven’t been around long enough for sufficient studies to be completed on their long term effects.
Some brands of e-cigarettes that have been found in high street vaping stores have been extremely dangerous in testing, some causing irreparable lung damage and resulting in complete respiratory failure. Until more is known it’s best to stick with the good old NHS, they have done their research and with a bit of willpower these methods do work.
Don’t give up. By quitting smoking you’ll reduce your risk factors for many conditions and diseases, look and feel better and stick around a little longer for yourself and your loved ones.
For more info visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree
Drinking – Enjoy with less, reduce your risk
Anyone else as confused as we are on the new drinking guidelines?! Hands up, we admit we were a bit stumped when they were first published but this is the gist…
Drink in moderation spacing out a maximum of 14 units over the space of 3 days (that’s around 4.6 units maximum in one session), and that goes for both ladies and gents.
The idea is that we don’t binge drink (essentially drink too much in one go) or store up our units for the weekend, and to make sure we get some break days in there too. Days when our heart and liver in particular can rest and are not put under the excess stress that alcohol causes.
Drinking less reduces your risk of lots of associated conditions such as heart disease and stroke, it’s better for your skin, hair and waistline as well as your wallet. You’ll probably find if you cut down on alcohol you’ll need less to feel that nice relaxing buzz.
Switch – Need extra help?
We have partnered with an online supportive community called Switch, their main goal is to coach you to a healthier happier, not just January, but life. The site incorporates health and wellbeing in a dynamic new way with recipes, meal planning, diet advice, fitness videos, motivational talks and mental health support.
You can use it on your own or with the super supportive online community to keep you motivated all year round. Log on to www.makeyourswitch.co.uk and sign up for the no obligation trial (we have tried it, it really is no obligation and no credit cards are needed).
After the trial if you think this would help you, use voucher code ‘APLHEALTH’ to get the monthly cost of £4.99 a huge £10 off normal price.
So I hope this has given you a little more motivation to keep up with your plans. If you need extra support or advice drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.