Are you one of those people who is always starting a diet on Monday? Have you been meaning to renew your gym membership or try and quit smoking again? Are you keen to make changes that will benefit your health? Often, we’re aware that the choices we make may have negative implications for our health. But we can’t quite find the drive and determination to make changes. With the New Year approaching, now is a great time to think about setting some health goals. Here are some ideas to get you thinking.
Giving up smoking
This is one of the most common New Year resolutions. If you smoke and you want to give up, there are ways of doing this. You’ll need willpower, but there are also techniques and treatments that can make the process easier. You could try swapping cigarettes for e-cigarettes or ask your doctor about local stop smoking support groups. You could see a counsellor, or try nicotine replacement patches or gum. If you’re interested in e-cigarettes, you’ll find brands like Nicolites online. If you’re keen to try other types of nicotine replacement, call and arrange an appointment with your doctor. You may also find it helpful to keep yourself busy, and to stay away from other smokers for a while. Try and avoid social activities that involve smoking, for example, going out to a bar. Keep track of how much money you’ve saved, and set yourself milestones. Every time you reach one, treat yourself. You don’t have to spend loads, but it’ll give you a target to aim for.
Being more active
We often associate exercise with losing weight, but that’s not the main benefit of working out. Yes, exercise can help you burn fat and drop dress sizes. But it’s also an important means of reducing your risk of serious illnesses. If you lead an active life, you’ll have a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer. Exercise also improves your circulation and lowers your blood pressure. There are lots of ways you can become more active. Take simple steps like climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Swap a commute in the car for a cycle ride or a brisk walk. Go for a jog after work instead of heading straight home. Join a sports team or look into gym membership. You may not be a fan of weights and treadmills. But there may be classes that interest you. Try and find something fun to do. If you’re enjoying your workout, you’ll get much more out of it.
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Drinking in moderation
Do you drink too much? Have you partied too hard in 2016? Have you never quite managed to cut down even though you wanted to? Drinking to excess puts you at risk of heart disease, cancer and liver cirrhosis. You may think that you don’t drink that much, but if you keep a record, you may be surprised. Experts recommend a maximum weekly intake of 14 units. If you want to cut down, switch up your social activities, and set yourself a limit each time you go out. Start alternating soft drinks with alcoholic drinks, and avoid shorts. Use an app to track your intake, and have at least a few days off drinking per week. If you’re still struggling, seek advice from your doctor.
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2017 is fast approaching, and it’s the perfect time to set yourself some health goals. Good luck!