New year, new you: Tips for a healthy start to 2018

New year, new you?
New year, new you?

The start of a new year is a good time to conduct a personal health and lifestyle audit.

Here are my New Year health tips for a new you in 2018.

Relax

Mindfulness helps to reduce stress, anxiety and depression by encouraging people to pay attention to the present rather than the past or fretting about what might happen in the future.

There’s lots of information about mindfulness and meditation online, setting yourself just a few minutes each day to look through it could help you in the long year ahead.

Diet

What we choose to eat and drink can make a major difference to your health, either increasing or reducing the risk of serious conditions including heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

If you want to lose weight for health reasons, set realistic targets and have a goal in mind – perhaps getting beach ready by summer.

Aim for a balanced diet, which is low in fat, and reduce your intake of alcohol. Cut down on unhealthy snacks too.

Exercise

Winter exercise is more difficult than at other times of the year, due to the practicalities of cold weather and short days. But it is possible and it is important, helping to reduce the risk of numerous health conditions.

Try taking a lunch break walk or joining a gym. Team sports can also be a good way of socialising too. Make 2018 the year you get moving.

Socialise

Social interaction plays an important role in supporting overall wellbeing, yet people are increasingly turning to social media to keep in touch.

Make 2017 the year you put down your mobile phone and spend more time with family and friends.

Seek professional help and peace of mind

The New Year is a good time to settle any niggles you have about your long term health. A range of tests are available, as well as further help and support, so talk to your local or online pharmacist about your options.

Dr. Alexandra Phelan is an NHS GP and Online Doctor for Pharmacy2U. Manage your repeat prescriptions by going to www.pharmacy2u.co.uk/NHS