News

New Year, new you?

8 January 2018

Have you made your New Year’s resolution and does it involve getting healthier in 2018?

Clinicians at North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) want to help you stick to yours, by creating smaller, more manageable and achievable healthier lifestyle goals.

If you want to lose weight, then start by reducing your sugar intake such as swapping sugary drinks for tea, drinking more water, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables and foods high in fibre. Don’t skip breakfast and know your craving times so you can make a plan and be prepared.

If you want to be more active, then walk or cycle instead of taking the car.

Walking for half-an-hour a day provides heart health benefits and costs nothing.

If you can’t manage 30 minutes then start with 5-10 and work up to 30.

Increased exercise will boost your energy levels, reduce body weight and reduce your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

If it’s a habit like smoking you want to quit then firstly find your reason to quit as you need a powerful, personal reason such as protecting your family from second hand smoke, or lowering your chances of getting lung cancer or heart disease.

Smoking is an addiction so be prepared to go through nicotine withdrawal. To help you, line up support in advance such as asking your GP for advice on nicotine replacement therapies, quit-smoking classes and apps.

Dr Prashant Arora, Clacton GP, said: “Smaller goals are an important part of adopting a healthier lifestyle because they help us measure our progress.

“By breaking down our goals into more manageable steps, we stay motivated and our chances of success are far higher.

“You don’t need to go from no exercise to hitting the gym six times a week and you don’t need to cut out sugar in your tea completely.

“By making minor adjustments to your lifestyle, which may seem insignificant to you at first, these gradual changes will be less of a shock and improve your chances of success in adopting a healthier lifestyle.”

It can be difficult to make any lifestyle changes alone, so get support from your family, friends, work colleagues or anyone close to you. Let them know what you’re trying to achieve so they can be understanding and support you all the way.

Anyone wishing to make lifestyle improvements can also get support and advice from the Essex Lifestyle Service.

John Gear, Health Improvement Specialist for the service said: “Essex County Council has commissioned a number of health and wellbeing services for its residents – to help them to live happier, healthier lives. People often make lifestyle changes for their New Year’s resolutions and that’s where our team can really help with free support. Whether you’re planning to stop smoking, eat healthier or get fitter then the Essex Lifestyle Service is here to offer free support. You can call us on 0300 303 9988 to self-refer or visit www.essexlifestyleservice.org.uk for more information.

For more tips to make your New Year’s resolutions a success visit: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Healthychristmas/Pages/NewYearresolutions.aspx