You’ll no doubt be thinking about the New Year’s resolutions you’d like to make after indulging over the festive season.
The most popular are said to be losing weight, drinking less, giving up smoking, being less stressed and saving money… these are also the most commonly broken resolutions too!
This got us thinking that a better way to start 2017 is to make a resolution to stop putting too much pressure on ourselves in January. If we make all of these resolutions in the first month of the year (let’s face it, the most depressing month of the year!), surely we are just setting ourselves up for fail? And we can’t think of a more rubbish way to start the New Year!
Instead we have put together four achievable actions to take this New Year that we reckon would benefit us all. So here’s to a happy and healthy 2017!
Get more sleep!
First things first, if you get enough sleep you are more likely to stick to any New Year’s resolutions you do make.
Studies have found that losing sleep is associated with increased appetite (particularly for junk and processed food), feelings of fatigue and unhealthy dietary choices.
Start your journey to better sleep by keeping a sleep diary, keeping a log of when you go to sleep and wake up, so you have an idea of how much sleep you get. Ideally we should 7 - 8 hours but this can be hard to get in our busy lives.
Try to get more shut eye by laying off the caffeine after 4pm; do something relaxing such as meditation or a hot bath in the hour before you go to sleep; and switching off your phones and tablets - our body clocks are affected by light and LCD screens.
Drink more water!
Water makes up about two thirds of who we are, and influences 100 percent of the processes in our body.
However, as a nation we generally don’t drink enough water. Studies have shown that we should be consuming 8 glasses of water per day. This can feel like a struggle, especially when we are busy at work and family life.
So what are the benefits of drinking that much water per day? Firstly, it can aid weight loss, it keeps your digestion moving, helps you fight fatigue and keep you alert at work, improve your mood, prevents headaches, keeps our kidneys working and energises us!
Do more steps!
A great way to get fit and active is simply by walking more!
The NHS has set a challenge of doing 10,000 steps a day to encourage people to move more.The benefits of walking are often overlooked but it builds stamina, burns excess calories and will give you a healthier heart!
Walking can be done almost anywhere, at any time, and in any weather and it’s free! It's a great way to get from A to B, which means you can fit walking into your daily routine.
Buy yourself a pedometer and see how many steps you do a day on average. If it is a lot less than 10,000 try getting off the bus a stop early, walk up the stairs rather than using the lift, walk the children to school and walk the dog more!
Eat more Veg!
Another great way to make sure you’re starting the New Year in the right way is to make sure you’re eating plenty of fresh vegetables.
After a December of indulgence, where we eat more than we normally do, our bodies are in need of plenty of nutrients as we head into January.
Eating plenty of veg helps you maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart healthy! So by filling your dinner plate with colourful veg rather than white processed carbohydrates ensures you will get a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium. Vegetables are also an excellent source of dietary fibre, which can help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation and other digestion problems - and we all know we need help in that department after feasting over the festive season!
Vegetables are also usually low in fat and calories, unless you roast them in a ton of oil! Steaming fresh veg is the healthiest option.