Healthy New Year’s resolutions and how to keep them
At Horder Healthcare, we're committed to making you the healthiest and happiest you can be. Both states of being are inextricably linked, both influence how we feel. Research shows that happiness makes us healthier, more productive and generally just makes us function better all round! We strive to help you lead a full and active life and we hope that our articles help you achieve that.
It’s the time of year when most of us start thinking about things we’d like to change for a better new year. Be it weight loss goals, stopping smoking or to exercise more, the most common New Year’s resolutions tend to revolve around improving our health and quality of life. More often than not, however, life gets in the way and we fall short of our goals. This year, we want to help you make the most of your New Year’s resolutions for a healthy you in 2017.
Setting your resolution
Believe it or not, setting a resolution is often where most of us go wrong. Unachievable or vague long-term goals are both detrimental to maintaining your resolution all year round. Instead, try to set yourself short-term, specific goals that are easily achievable within a set amount of time (a month is a good length). We’ll go into detail with some examples a bit later. Setting your resolutions this way is a great way to maintain your willpower, stay motivated, and see the improvement as it happens, as well as helping you develop a healthy habit that will become second nature.
New Year is always a great time to start afresh and set yourself some healthy goals. We’ve picked a few to help get you started:
- Increase your step count – walking more is a great way to get fit, especially if you work at a desk or sit a lot during the day. NHS guidelines suggest that 10,000 steps a day is equivalent to the recommended 30 minutes of exercise. However, 10,000 steps can seem like a daunting task if you’re not currently very active. Instead, identify how many steps you’re currently doing, and aim to increase that number by 500 every month. You’ll be hitting 10,000 steps before you know it!
- Try a new sport or exercise class – a new year is the perfect time to try something else new. Taking up a new sport or trying a different class is a great way to step out of your comfort zone and shouldn’t require too much motivation. Once you find you enjoy it, it will be easy to keep up the habit and stay fit. Our centres in Crowborough, Seaford and Tunbridge Wells offer a range of exercise classes for all abilities.
- Stop smoking – quitting smoking is a great way to increase your overall health and there’s no better time to kick an old habit and start afresh. As we said earlier, quitting cold turkey won’t help your willpower and you’re more likely to give up your resolution than you are smoking. Instead, try to gradually cut down by reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke every week or month. Whatever works for you.
- Indulge in some mindful moments – it is important to keep stress levels down and spirits high and practising mindfulness is a great way to manage your stress is with mindfulness. Learn how to meditate or just find a quiet space and take just ten or fifteen minutes out of your day that are just for you. As you get used to it you can increase these minutes as much as you like.
- Lose weight – one of the most common New Year’s goals there is. Losing weight is a great goal to aim for, but all too often, we set ourselves vague goals to lose weight rather than giving ourselves specific and measurable milestones to aim for. Decide how you’re going to go about losing weight, set yourself a monthly goal and stick to it. An achievable goal to aim for is to lose five to ten pounds (two to five kg) a month.
- Get more sleep – the average adult needs between seven to nine hours sleep every night. However, stress, work and other distractions get in the way of achieving this. Getting eight hours of rest every night is a great resolution to set. Even if you don’t sleep, a regular bedtime and setting up pattern will really help your body to get into sleep mode, and you’ll soon be sleeping better for longer.
Whatever your New Year’s resolution, the key to fulfilling it is not to be disheartened if you don’t see the results you want the first time around. Setting yourself specific, short-term goals and maintaining a positive attitude is all you need for a healthier 2017! Got any questions for one of our health professionals? Get in touch today and we’ll be happy to help.
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