How to enjoy a healthy New Year
Short days… cold weather… a hectic Christmas… It’s no wonder so many of us enter the New Year feeling rather flat. So why not shake off those January blues by adopting a healthier lifestyle? It’s easier than you might think.
A healthy diet
Eating healthier doesn’t require a major lifestyle change. In fact, you can improve your diet simply by making smarter choices. If you’re at work or out shopping and you need to grab a quick and convenient lunch, remember that a deli sandwich can have over 500 calories. While a packet of crisps and a soft drink can add another 300 calories. But if you go without the crisps, switch the soft drink to a bottle of spring water, and choose a supermarket sandwich or low-fat pasta salad, you can enjoy a healthy lunch containing under 300 calories.
It’s the same at dinner time. Just three slices of a large big-brand pizza can pack over 1,000 calories. So try to find the time to prepare a healthy home-cooked meal using fresh ingredients. Or if you really have to resort to a microwave dinner, serve with a fresh salad or a handful of raw vegetable sticks.
Be more active
January is a very popular time to join a gym, but many people find that after the first few weeks of exercising regularly, their attendance drops off. And as gym membership can be quite costly, it may not provide great value for money. If you’d like to be more active and have more fun, consider an indoor sport like squash or badminton, or perhaps swimming sessions at your local leisure centre.
Walking is the simplest way to become more active, so if you use the car for lots of short trips, consider leaving it at home ccasionally to get a little fresh air and exercise. If you drive the children to school, try walking them to class – even if it’s just once or twice a week. A brisk walk is a great way to start the day, and it should help your children to feel more alert in their morning lessons.
New Year’s resolutions
According to market research company YouGov*, around one third of us make a New Year’s resolution to get fitter and eat a healthier diet. However, YouGov* also report that many of us break our resolutions by the end of January.
The secret to making a resolution that you will stick to, is to set a target that’s achievable. So if you’ve resolved to improve your diet, get fitter, or live a healthier lifestyle, you should make sure your ambitions match your abilities. If you’re already fit, resolving to running a marathon might be an attainable goal. But if you’re starting from scratch, running a mile might be more realistic. If you’re not sure where you should be setting your sights, ask your GP or other health professional. Because setting the right health and wellbeing goals can have a hugely positive impact on your life.