HEALTH MAT­TERS

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR VIEWS -

DR Paul Bowen, clin­i­cal chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group and GP with McIlvride Med­i­cal Prac­tice, Poyn­ton.

MANY of us will make a healthy New Year’s res­o­lu­tion – maybe to lose weight, quit smok­ing or get ac­tive – but what’s the best way to stick to it?

Psy­chol­o­gists have found we’re more likely to suc­ceed if we break our goal into a series of steps. Top 10 goal-set­ting tips: • Make only one res­o­lu­tion. Your chances of suc­cess are greater when you chan­nel en­ergy into chang­ing just one as­pect of your be­hav­iour.

• Don’t wait un­til New Year’s Eve to choose your res­o­lu­tion. Take some time out and think about what you want to achieve.

• Avoid pre­vi­ous res­o­lu­tions. De­cid­ing to re­visit a past res­o­lu­tion sets you up for dis­ap­point­ment.

• Think about what you re­ally want from life.

• Tell your friends and fam­ily about your goals. You’re more likely to get sup­port.

• Make a check­list of how achiev­ing your res­o­lu­tion will help you.

• Give your­self a small re­ward when­ever you achieve a mile­stone.

• Keep a hand­writ­ten jour­nal of your progress.

• Treat any fail­ure as a tem­po­rary set­back rather than a rea­son to give up al­to­gether.

Below are some of the most com­mon New Year health res­o­lu­tions to help you get started:

Lose weight: get prac­ti­cal tips to lose ex­cess weight, in­clud­ing get­ting started, healthy food swaps, down­load the NHS weight loss guide a free 12-week diet and ex­er­cise plan at as­sets. nhs.uk/tools/down­load­pan­els/data/weight-loss/pdf/ all-weeks.pdf.

Quit smok­ing: There’s a free lo­cal Stop Smok­ing Ser­vice near you. Stud­ies show that you’re four times more likely to quit with help. De­vel­oped by ex­perts and ex-smok­ers and de­liv­ered by pro­fes­sion­als, your lo­cal Stop Smok­ing Ser­vice pro­vides ex­pert ad­vice, sup­port and en­cour­age­ment to help you stop smok­ing for good. For more in­for­ma­tion visit www. nhs.uk/smoke­free or speak to your lo­cal phar­ma­cist.

Get ac­tive: Walk­ing is one of the eas­i­est ways to get more ac­tiv­ity into your day and be­come health­ier. Re­search shows peo­ple who fit mod­er­ate ac­tiv­ity like walk­ing into their daily life burn more en­ergy than those who make weekly vis­its to the gym.

Try to fit walk­ing into your rou­tine by ditch­ing the car for short jour­neys, get­ting off the bus or train one stop early, and plan­ning longer walks at the week­ends.

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