A new year. A new you.
A new year brings a full list of resolutions that we would love to stick to, but helplessly fail after (if we are lucky) a week. It is not so easy to get rid of old habits or to change your lifestyle – it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort. If we are investing so much of our time, we must make sure what we want to achieve will actually benefit us for the future. In today’s blog, I will talk about the different new year’s resolutions that can benefit your lifestyle and ways to achieve them. Your current lifestyle will determine your strengths and weaknesses, for example, if you do not drink alcohol or do not smoke then you don’t need them on your checklist.
- Reducing your alcohol intake
By reducing your alcohol intake, you will improve your mental health, improve your overall physical fitness, you will appear healthier and you will save money! Cutting down alcohol also reduces your risk of developing cancer.
Be realistic with your targets; of course it would great to cut down your alcohol levels overnight, however, this will increase your chances of relapse. You need to set realistic targets and goals. For example, if you drink 3 glasses of wine a day, 3 days a week, try and reduce to 2 glasses until you feel comfortable to reduce it further finally cutting down to the recommended level or completely quitting.
- Increasing your exercise levels
Exercising has many benefits, it would be an endless list of pluses in your lifestyle. The department of health describes inactivity as the silent killer. Exercise can make you happier, mentally and physically healthier and make you feel confident. How much exercise you need to introduce to your life will be determined by your current lifestyle, illnesses, age, exercise history etc.
Research, research and research! It is very important that you do your research before hitting the gym for an intensive HIIT programme. Exercise does not always have to be vigorous physical activity, there are many forms and it is vital that you enjoy what you do. For example if you suffer with severe sciatic pain or arthritis, running endlessly is probably not going to be the right form of exercise for you. Walking, Pilates, yoga or swimming will be a good way to start and if you really do want to run, introducing it slowly into your lifestyle will ensure it remains in your life. Remember, perfection doesn’t exist; we all fail but we start over until we reach our goal.
- Taking up a hobby
Hobbies are great ways to relieve stress and the daily build-up of mental and physical tension. Try opting for relaxing hobbies like fishing, yoga, reading or taking a pottery class if you are feeling slightly stressed or anxious. Alternatively, if you prefer to be active you can opt for more adventurous hobbies like hiking, skiing, travelling, joining new social networks or sports clubs. With the daily stresses of life, having a hobby can help you escape these stresses.
Choose something you like and enjoy doing. It helps to have a hobby buddy, for example if your new hobby is to attend a dance class every Tuesday or take French lessons every Wednesday, having someone to do this with will motivate you even more. Again, be realistic with your timings; if you know Wednesdays are very busy and stressful at work, don’t book an hours French language class on Wednesday evening, because the chances are you will be too exhausted to attend it!
- Having a healthy diet
Healthy eating will help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce the chances of developing cancer, make you feel happier and more confident and improve your general health. We are what we eat, if you fuel your body with healthy foods, you will consequently become healthier.
Always remember eat the rainbow! Try and eat at least 5 fruit/vegetables a day, the more colourful the better! Never ever skip breakfast, it kicks off your metabolism and prevents you from getting hungry too quickly. It is essential to eat small portions but often. Having healthy snacks in between meals will also help maintain your blood sugar levels preventing you from binge eating or craving sugary foods. Most of the time your body is just dehydrated and begging you for water – so if you feel a bit peckish, drink some water before reaching out for food. Finally, do NOT procrastinate, there is no reason your health eating habits need to wait until Monday, it is perfectly fine to start NOW! 😊
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2018!