Resolutions Worth Achieving For In 2014
Our GP, Dr Lisa Neligan, shares some of the resolutions she believes should be ones to keep achieving for in 2014.
Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending! Now is the time to start thinking about those New Year’s Resolutions. Remember to set yourself realistic, achievable (yet challenging!) goals. Maybe pick just one or two resolutions, otherwise you may be setting yourself up for a fall. Here are a few ideas to help you out…
Here are a run down of the top 10:
10 - Sleep
You probably already know that a good night’s rest can do wonders for your mood and appearance. But sleep is more beneficial to your health than you might realise. A lack of sleep has been linked to a greater risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
9 - Cut Back On Alcohol
While much has been written about the health benefits of a small amount of alcohol. Overindulging is a major concern and binge drinking is on the rise.
Drinking alcohol in excess affects the brain’s neurotransmitters and can increase the risk of depression, memory loss, or even seizures.
Chronic heavy drinking boosts your risk of liver and heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and mental deterioration, and even cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, and breast.
8 - Educate Yourself
No matter how old you are, heading back to the classroom or trying something new can help revamp your career, introduce you to new friends, and even boost your brainpower.
Middle-age adults who go back to school (including night school) sometime have stronger memories and verbal skills than those who do not. What’s more, several studies have linked higher educational attainment to a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
You can gain a sense of accomplishment by gaining new knowledge, and you are out there meeting people and creating possibilities that were never there before.
7 - Help Others
Why not volunteer and help others less fortunate than ourselves? We tend to think our own bliss relies on bettering ourselves, but our happiness also increases when we help others. Research suggests that positive emotions can make people more resilient and resourceful. You are likely to gain tremendous personal benefit and lasting happiness from such endeavours.
6 - Reduce Stress
A little pressure now and again won’t kill us; in fact, short bouts of stress give us an energy boost. But if stress is chronic, it can increase your risk of—or worsen—insomnia, depression, obesity, heart disease and more.
5 - Save Money
Save money by making healthy lifestyle changes. Walk or cycle to work, if possible.
Take stock of what you have in the fridge and make a shopping list. Aimless supermarket shopping can lead to poor choices for your diet and wallet.
4 - Keep In Touch
Feel like old friends (or family) have fallen by the wayside? It’s good for your health to reconnect with them. Research suggests people with strong social ties live longer than those who don’t. In fact, a lack of social bonds can damage your health as much as alcohol abuse and smoking, and even more than obesity and lack of exercise, a 2010 study in the journal PLoS Medicine suggests.
3 - Quit Smoking
It’s time to give up this nasty habit! – this is one of the hardest habits to quit but think of the huge health benefits and also all that money you will save! It goes without saying that smoking vastly increases your risk of heart disease and cancer.
2 - Exercise
Current recommendations advise at least 5 sessions of moderate exercise lasting 30 minutes every week. These can be split over the day. Moderate exercise means getting warm, mildly out of breath and mildly sweaty, with a heart rate of about half the maximum predicted for your age. As well as making you feel good, this will help control weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
1 - Loose Weight & Eat Healthier Food
A healthy diet should include at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables per day; the bulk of most meals should be starch based foods (such as potatoes, rice, pasta, cereals and wholegrain bread); cut down on fatty foods (fatty meats, cheeses, full-cream milk, fried food, butter etc); include 2 or 3 portions of fish per week, at least one of which should be oily (salmon, mackerel); reduce red meat - take lean meat or poultry; avoid frying food and do not add salt.
Dr Lisa Neligan is one of the GPs at the 3fivetwo Group's Private GP Clinic.
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