With the Christmas festivities coming to an end, you, along with many others, will be drawing up your list of resolutions in the hope of a healthier 2018 and a new you.
But knowing where and how to kickstart your health goals can be a challenge for many of us.
To help you get off to the best start on your 2018 health goals, here are some tips from One You Leeds, a free health service in Leeds that provides you with access to a range of free services to make simple changes to what you eat, help you get back into exercise and for those who smoke, help to quit.
- Be realistic
When thinking about making changes to your lifestyle you need to be realistic. While it is easy to start the year committing to a plant-based diet, signing up to the gym and axing bad habits like smoking, it isn’t always manageable past the first week. Your approach needs to be one that is realistic for your own lifestyle and personality.
When setting your health goals, look ahead to what have you planned over the first couple of the months and make changes that work for you.
- Tackle your goals with others
Joining a group or having a friend to join you on your journey is a great way to keep going. Try finding a friend with similar resolutions and check in with each other every week to discuss challenges and share tips for success.
If you want to learn new recipes for you and your family to cook, join a group cooking class and enjoy learning to cook with others in a similar situation to you.
- Take it slowly
After a few weeks of festive indulgence, it can be easily tempting to go and dramatically change your approach to eating and exercise routine on New Year’s Day. The problem with this is that when you try to change everything, you have less chance of sticking to your changes and it is easier to slip back to your usual ways.
Making real changes to your habits takes time and patience. Starting with smaller changes can seem frustrating at first, but once you crack your first health goal, the rest will follow.
- Commit to it
Change is only possible if you commit to it. One of the easiest ways to commit to change is to sign up to a realistic programme! For example, an exercise programme where classes fit around your schedule and become part of your routine mean improving your health doesn’t have to mean massive, sudden, extreme alterations to your lifestyle. However, we can’t get away from the fact that you do need to commit to making changes, otherwise the results you want won’t come.
- Make it enjoyable
As soon as a resolution becomes boring it becomes hard to sustain. To give yourself the best chance of sticking to the changes, make it more enjoyable. If you want to exercise more, sign up to fun exercise classes and find the class that is right for you.
If committing to resolutions for a healthier you can seem daunting, taking small steps to change your lifestyle will help you make a big difference to achieving a healthier 2018.
To find out more about ways in which you can improve your health, visit the One You Leeds website to check out classes and programmes available to help you stop smoking, manage your weight, do more exercise, eat better and learn to cook. You can also take part in the ‘How are you’ quiz to receive a personalised health score and find out what you can do in 2018 to improve your health.
To access the One You Leeds service and find out more about the programmes available, visit oneyouleeds.co.uk or call 0800 169 4219.
Five tips for a healthy heart from One You Leeds
- Give up smoking
- Get more active
- Get your five a day
- Drink less alcohol
What are the benefits of stopping smoking?
- 20 minutes after you quit there will be a drop in your heart rate
- 2 hours after you quit your blood pressure levels will return to normal
- 12 hours after you quit there are decreased levels of CO in your body
- 48 hours after you quit there is an improvement in your smell and taste
- 2 to 3 weeks after you quit you will be able to exercise with ease
- 1 to 9 months after you quit you will notice decreased coughing and shortness of breath
- 1 year after you quit you have a reduced risk of heart disease
- 5 years after you quit you have a reduced risk of stroke
- 10 years after you quit you have a reduced risk of lung cancer