Top 10 Health Resolutions – Any Time of Year
New year, new me, or so they say. The new year has always been a time to try and better yourself, with people setting a whole host of challenges from saving money to losing weight.
It’s said that only 25% of people will stick to their New Year’s resolutions after 30 days.
Which begs the question, why make these resolutions specific to a New Year? You can choose to improve your life at any time – especially when it comes to your health.
Here are our top 10, practical and realistic resolutions for your health – start in January, or any time of the year.
Move more. Take up some form of exercise – be it walking, playing football on a Sunday, or taking the kids swimming – exercising doesn’t need to mean pounding the treadmill in a gym every day. Rather than setting yourself an unrealistic target, simply make it your resolution to move more – any progress is good progress. And even better if you can exercise in the great outdoors.
Consider counselling. If you’re dealing with mental and emotional health difficulties (like stress, anxiety or depression) rather than battling it alone why not try counselling? Counselling is a talking therapy that may help you see your thoughts from a different perspective. Whilst talking to family and friends can also be very helpful, sometimes it’s better to talk to a professional who isn’t personally involved in your life. They can be more objective, and help you to be more objective too. It can be very cathartic – even if you don’t suffer from stress, anxiety or depression, everyone can benefit from counselling. We offer counselling across Warwick, Birmingham and the Midlands.
Improve your body composition. It’s not always about weight. The questions you should be asking yourself are how much of your body is muscle, how much of your body is fat and where is the fat distributed? If your weight gain is due to muscle rather than fat (if you’re following a muscle-building exercise and nutrition plan for instance) you’re probably in a good place. However, if you have a high body fat percentage – especially visceral fat which is stored around your organs – focusing on losing ‘fat’ and changing the shape of your body rather than ‘weight’ is important. With so much contradictory dietary advice out there it can really pay to get the support of a nutrition professional. Our nutritionist can give you a personalised plan tailored to your body and lifestyle and help you set and reach goals around improving your overall health which will include fat reduction and the building of muscle rather than obsessing over the number on the scale.
Get that headache looked at. Many people with headaches suffer in silence, thinking it’s likely due to dehydration or stress. Whilst this might be the case, it’s always best to get a second opinion if they’re frequent or lingering longer than they should. We treat chronic headaches with a holistic approach where we look at physical causes – for example, the tension in the neck and shoulders, as well as triggers including food and drink, and stressors, like anxiety and poor sleep patterns.
Resolve your back pain. 43% of the population in the UK struggle with back pain, and many say they have ‘tried everything’. We have a team of sports therapists, osteopaths, physiotherapists and chiropractors, who are highly trained and experienced in treating long term back pain and sciatica. Book a consultation to take the first step in improving your back health.
Focus on your gut health. A healthy digestive system may help reduce the risk of some cancers and autoimmune diseases, as well as contributing to a strong immune system, brain health, and heart health. An overgrowth of bacteria in the gut has been linked to Irritable Bowel Syndrome which is a chronic condition that results in cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhoea. If you’ve been struggling with IBS, now is the time to seek help. We have an excellent track record of resolving IBS without the use of medication.
De-stress. Stress can increase your risk or worsen insomnia, depression, obesity and heart disease. However in the busy world we live in, often juggling work, friends, family and other commitments, it can be hard to take time out and de-stress. Simply going for a 10-minute walk, buying a plant, switching off your phone or putting on some music can help you de-stress. Start with once a week and build up from there.
Reduce your alcohol consumption. Notice how we haven’t said ‘quit’ alcohol completely? You don’t need to go cold turkey – the odd drink won’t harm. However, alcohol in excess affects the brain and can increase the risk of depression, memory loss, strokes and liver and heart disease. Just try cutting down where you can: for example instead of five beers have two, or try and avoid alcohol Monday-Friday and consider it a treat on a weekend. If you set yourself realistic goals you’re more likely to achieve them and less likely to give up.
Take up meditation. Meditation can help you achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. There are many different techniques, and apps like Headspace can help. Start with just a few minutes a day and build up from there – the benefits can include a greater sense of self-awareness, a reduction in stress and anxiety, and you may even find you become more in touch with your emotions.
Improve your sleep. Sleep is essential for both your physical and mental health. The recommended number of hours of sleep per night is between 7 and 9 hours. Meditation, as mentioned above, can help you relax before bedtime, and ‘sleep hygiene’ (which includes your bedtime routine and the set up of your bed and bedroom) can make a massive difference. It’s been shown that certain health conditions can cause different sleep issues; sleep apps can help you track your sleep patterns which can help our team identify any potential underlying issues or steps you can take to improve your sleep (this could include changes to diet, lifestyle or treatment for specific conditions like sleep apnea). Apps like Sleep Cycle (which is an intelligent alarm clock that tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up during light sleep – when you’re more likely to way to wake up feeling rested and energized) can also help you wake feeling more refreshed.
So, there’s no time like the present. Pick just one health resolution to begin with and start small – seeing a little bit of progress and feeling a change will motivate you further, and you may look to improve more areas of your health over time. If you’d like to kick off your health resolution with a consultation, contact us today.