It’s tempting to make a long list of resolutions when January comes around. But despite your good intentions, how many times have you caved in to temptation just a few days later? The problem is, it’s never easy to commit to a lot of major changes all at the same time.
Instead, why not try taking smaller steps to reach your goal? Small changes can lead to healthy habits, and can have a big impact on your health and wellbeing.
To help you get started, here are a few easy things to try today that could help make 2018 your healthiest year yet:
1. Take the stairs Unless you live or work in a skyscraper, one way to start fitting more exercise into your daily routine is to abandon lifts and escalators and take the stairs instead. Little bursts of activity all add up.
2. Eat an extra portion of fruit or veg Instead of attempting a complete diet overhaul, increase your fruit and veg portions by just one. It hardly takes much effort and could bring you in line with the ‘Five A Day’ recommendation (recent statistics suggest adults in the UK are eating four portions of fruit and veg a day on average).
3. Set a quit date Giving up smoking is a popular resolution. But is January 1st the best time to start? Set a quit date instead that gives you time to prepare. The NHS Stop Smoking Service is available in most LloydPharmacy stores – find your nearest store.
4. Give Dry January a go Millions of people will give up alcohol in January, so why not join them? Sign up via the Alcohol Concern website and download the free app to stay motivated. Once January’s over, resist the urge to splurge and aim to drink responsibly (no more than 14 units of alcohol a week spread evenly over three or more days).
5. Go to bed half an hour earlier Getting more sleep means your mind will be sharper and you’ll have more energy. Try establishing a sleep schedule and sticking to it – go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even at weekends. Not sleeping well? You could try a gentle over-the-counter to help you nod off.
6. Pass up the Hob Nobs If drastic diet changes seem impossible, why not try small changes – like cutting out the two or three biscuits you usually have with mid-morning coffee which can help you lose weight slowly and healthily, and is far more achievable
7. Get on your feet Numerous studies suggest sitting for long periods throughout the day can damage your health in the long term. So try standing more often – get into the habit of standing up whenever you’re on the phone, or set a timer to remind you to get up and walk around for a few minutes every hour.
8. Have a fridge makeover If you have Christmas or New Year left-overs lurking at the back of your fridge, it’s time to have a clear-out. Get rid of anything that isn’t nutritious, and try putting the healthiest foods at the front of each shelf, so they’re the first thing you see when you’re searching for a snack.
9. Get checked There’s no better way to kick start a healthy year than getting an all-round health check to understand the state of your health. Understanding your vital statistics such as blood pressure and cholesterol can help you stay on top of your health and detect any issues early on.