As expected, the most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, stop smoking, drink less and get fitter!
We’ve picked a couple of our favourite blogs from the last few years that highlight these areas.
Did you know that, as well as harming the lungs, smoking can damage the digestive system? It contributes to disorders such as heartburn and peptic ulcers, and can increase the risk of Crohn’s disease.
But addiction to nicotine makes it hard to quit. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms include cravings, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, restlessness and disturbed sleep. It’s a real challenge to try and quit smoking, but here are some tips that may help you along the way:
- Make a date: Set a specific date for stopping … and stop on that date!
- Buddy up: Ask a friend or colleague to also stop, for mutual support.
- Chuck it out: Throw away any smoking ‘paraphernalia’ – lighters, ashtrays, etc.
- Take it slow: Take it one day at a time; don’t think ‘I can never smoke again’, but instead, simply ‘I will not smoke tomorrow.’
- Take a break: Change your routine so as to eliminate all the ‘cigarette breaks’ that have previously slotted into the day.
- Save the cash: Save up the money normally spent on cigarettes and put it towards something special. 20 cigarettes a day, means saving around £2,000 per year!
- Get advice: Make an appointment with the GP – there’s lots of advice and support available free on the NHS.
As the weather changes and it begins to get colder, it is very easy to develop a more sedentary lifestyle. Exercise offers numerous health benefits to the body and could help play a vital role in how we feel as we head towards autumn and the colder months.
Not only does exercise help with the release of our ‘happy hormones’, it can also help to keep our bowels moving regularly. Exercise helps to tighten the muscles of the digestive tract, control weight gain and reduce stress. Aerobic exercise will help to lessen constipation by improving muscular contraction and assisting with the movement of food through the body.
For adults, the government currently recommends the following:
- Adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.
- Alternatively, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.
- Adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week.
- All adults should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods.