Make 2018 The Year of You: Live Your Healthiest Life

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The first week of January, most of us are going strong with our New Year's resolutions. We all vow to live better and do what we can to live our healthiest lives- however by the end of the month many will have fallen off the wagon. Sadly, by spring most will be back to their old ways. However just because many fail with their new year’s health resolutions doesn’t mean that you will, and if you stay strong and have clear goals in mind you can be feeling lighter, healthier, more energetic and so much better about yourself by the time it comes to a close. Here are some ways you can turn it around so you look your best and feel as healthy as possible.

Find an Eating Plan that Suits You

Whether your goal is to lose weight, put some on or maintain- don’t get into a ‘dieting’ frame of mind. When you diet, it’s easy to focus on all the things you can’t have, and it’s human nature to want anything we’re not allowed! Instead, focus on health. Think of all the wonderful things you CAN have. Browse Pinterest and healthy recipe books for meals that are well balanced and full of vitamins and minerals that will fuel your body. Experiment with new ingredients and new cooking techniques, and find healthy meals that you find genuinely delicious. Eating well isn’t about what you have to lose but what you have to gain. Tracking macros on an app like MyFitnessPal can ensure that you’re not going over the recommended amounts for you and will keep you on the path to your goals. But don’t think you have to live on ‘rabbit food’ and deprive yourself. Make healthy swaps- spiralized vegetables, for example, make a great alternative to pasta. Pop in a small amount of fruit juice into sparkling water for a much healthier alternative to fizzy drinks. Ditch the sugary cereal, and enjoy porridge for breakfast with a whole range of toppings from fruit to nuts and seeds and so much more. Come up with healthy, home-cooked versions of your favorite takeaways. Your eating plan should suit you, you should enjoy your meals and feel satisfied and you’re much more likely to stick with it in the long run.

Discover Exercise Activities You Genuinely Enjoy

Not everyone is cut out for morning runs or crowded gyms after work. Again, as with eating well you absolutely have to find an exercise that you enjoy if you want to stick with it. Have a look at your local gym or sports centre for fun classes you could attend. Sign up for a sport you used to enjoy as a child but haven’t played for many years- chances are your passion and enthusiasm for it will come back! Go on long hikes or bike rides, go swimming or rope in a friend to play badminton or squash with you. Once you’ve found classes or activities you enjoy doing exercise won’t feel like a chore. Invest in some good sportswear from a site like Proud Athletics as well as any equipment you need and you’re good to go. Slot your exercise into convenient places in your routine and soon you’ll do it without even thinking.

Make Sleep and Relaxation a Priority

Health isn’t all about nutritious food and hardcore exercise. Getting enough sleep is so important, to the point where research has shown that every time you get less than seven hours you’re causing yourself low-level brain damage. Lack of sleep is linked to obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and much more. It’s a human function that we simply cannot do without, so always prioritise sleep and your health over late nights in front of the tv or a poorly laid out schedule. Relaxation again is crucial, stress can be incredibly damaging in both the short and long run. Find ways that you enjoy relaxing and make time for them. It could be hot baths, a massage or pampering treatment at a spa or salon, or even just getting in bed and enjoying a book or a series on Netflix. Whatever helps you switch off and unwind will allow you to clear your mind, reduce blood pressure and promote wellbeing. The mind and body are closely connected, and so good mental health is essential for good physical health.

Get Help With Quitting Your Dangerous Vices

It’s all very well saying ‘I’m going to stop smoking’ or ‘I’m going to drink less’, however, if you have an addiction to these things then it’s going to be a lot more difficult in practice. If smoking is your issue, one thing you could try is switching to vaping. This has been shown to be much less damaging, and it also makes the process of quitting much easier. You can gradually reduce your nicotine intake, and many ex-smokers say it’s far easier to quit from vaping than actual cigarettes. Otherwise, you could go cold turkey or use stop smoking products like patches or gum. If you go to quit drinking and realise it’s harder than you thought, you might be addicted without even realising. People have a stereotype of alcoholics as homeless men staggering around with a bottle of cheap cider, but this isn’t the case at all. Just a couple of glasses of wine with your dinner or a beer or two after work can slowly lead to dependence, you don’t have to be drinking a lot or even getting drunk to get addicted. Addiction comes when you feel like you need these drinks, and have a hard time going an extended period without them. Don’t be ashamed or bury your head in the sand, speak to your GP who will be more than happy to advise you. Whatever your dangerous vice is, don’t feel like you need to go it alone. If you seek help you’re much more likely to quit long term as you have the correct advice and support available to you.


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