A new year is here and it’s the time we all make resolutions of what we want to do in the coming year. Have you given any thought to health related issues though? If not, it’s time to wake up to the fact that your health and wellbeing is vitally important. January is a great time to make changes that will not only last the short term, but a lifetime.
Poor health and wellbeing affects you in several ways including physically and mentally. To enjoy life to the fullest each and every day, we’ve compiled this blog post to help give you a kick-start to the ways you can improve your health.
1. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
If you are already exercising daily, good for you; if not it’s time you started. This is all the more important if you lead a sedentary lifestyle – you either sit at home or you have a job which keeps you inactive for long periods of time. As well, as the obvious health benefits associated with weight loss and improved fitness, exercise improves your strength, stamina and flexibility. You are less prone to injuries and ‘aches and pains’ such as fall, sprains, backaches, shoulder aches and so on.
2. Limit Your Screen Time
We all know many of us have to have a certain amount of screen time for our work, but too much unnecessary screen time is not good for your health. It not only makes you lethargic but also has a negative impact on your eyes and the brain. Over time, you can develop lifestyle disorders such as obesity, hypertension or diabetes as you sit for hours in front of the screen, instead of undertaking more physical activities.
Watching TV for long periods of time affects your eyes also because of the radiation from the screen. It can have a derogatory affect on your mental health, as it does nothing to stimulate your intellect.
3. Get Outdoors
Try to get out of a confined indoor space as often as you can. The fresh air, sunlight (a great source of Vitamin D) and the open ambience will do loads of good both for your mental and physical health. A walk outdoors decreases your stress levels and the fresh air energises your brain while enhancing your mood. The walk is definitely also going to improve your physical fitness.
If you’d prefer running to walking our Surgeries are now parkrun Practices. Learn more on how you can get fit and active through the friendly parkrun community here.
4. Reduce Alcohol Intake
Drinking too much alcohol has multiple side effects on your body. Alcohol interferes with your brain’s working pattern and disrupts clarity of thought and coordination. Regular intake of alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, arrhythmia or even a cardiac attack. Alcohol affects your liver too and regular consumption can cause fatty liver, cirrhosis, fibrosis or alcoholic hepatitis. It can also affect your relationships with others and your mental health if you drink in excess. Find more from the NHS here on recommended level of alcohol consumption. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/alcohol-support/calculating-alcohol-units/
5. Walk Whenever You Can
Walking is a great way to get your body moving. Walk to the supermarket, take a walk around the park and if you take public transport to your place of work, get off a few stops early and walk the rest of the way. At the office, take a tiny break every two hours or so and go for a five-minute walk. If nothing else, walk around your house and always take the stairs where possible. You can always use a step counter on your iPhone or similar device to keep track of your steps. Set yourself a target each day, and stick to it!
6. Share Your Problems with A Friend
We all have times where life is not so good and we feel depressed, stressed out or incapable of handling the situation on your own. Instead of keeping it pent up, share your problems with a friend you trust.
We’ve all heard of the common saying, “A problem shared, is a problem, halved!”. Getting a different perspective from someone close can often solve the problem. Holding up negative feelings for a long time can lead to chronic depression and other mental health issues in the long term.
If you feel that you can’t talk to a friend or loved one, there are many support groups out there to help. Visit our resources page for extra advice on where to turn for professional support in the Bridgend area.
7. Limit Processed Food
Processed foods contain a variety of additives, colours and taste enhancers. They are high in fat, sugar and salt, all of which are harmful to your health. They can also actually work out to be more expensive than eating freshly prepared food.
Processed foods have very little nutritional value and over-consumption can lead to obesity, type II diabetes, cardiac problems and digestive issues such as inflammatory bowel disease.
If you need health and nutrition advice click here.
8. Set a Fitness Goal
Getting fit will have a huge impact on your overall health. If you are obese, try to shed the pounds. If you are too lean and weak, try to build your muscles and improve your strength. However, just ‘trying’ won’t help. It is difficult to exercise on your own if you have never done it before. So, set a fitness goal and select a particular workout regime. Then join a group or a gym that offers your preferred workouts.
If you fancy joining one of the Bridgend running clubs, find out more here.
9. Stop Smoking
We all know smoking is not good for you or those around you, particularly your children. The toxic effects of the smoke leave a dark tan on your skin and make it look dull. Those who smoke regularly are more likely to develop wrinkles earlier. Smoking can lead to lung and oral cancer to name a few. It also stains the teeth and leads to several gum diseases.
In women, smoking during pregnancy can lead to abnormalities in the developing foetus. It also affects fertility in both men and women. All in all, smoking is going to lead to many health risks and complications. Stop today, with help! Find support here.
10. Find The Time to Relax
It is as important to take a break and relax, as it is to work. That’s the simple mantra of living happily. Make time to sleep at least six to eight hours a day. Spend some quality time with friends or family to take your mind off life issues. Read a book, watch a film or go for a weekend getaway to de-stress. You will be more productive, healthier and better equipped to take life on.