By Michael Torchia
Easy Steps To become Heathy and Fit For the New Year!
"New Year's resolutions are a great way to take some small steps to improve your health.
The key to making New Year's resolutions a success is not to make too many and to make them as achievable as possible.
"Why not use the New Year to try and change something to improve your health, either by giving up smoking, taking up regular exercise, start to eat more healthily or by drinking more responsibly in 2008?"
When it comes to exercise, most people are not physically active enough to benefit their health. You need to do at least 30 minutes of activity that makes you challenge your body on at least five days a week. Children should aim for at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise each day. You can add together 'blocks' of shorter periods of activity to reach the total.
The aim is to make physical activity part of your everyday life. Being more active could mean leaving the car at home and walking or cycling to work or the shops; taking up an 'active' hobby with the family or a friend; tackling the garden or simply taking the stairs instead of the lift.
Healthy eating is something we can all do and little things can really make a difference. Here's a few tips:
Try low-fat alternatives to dairy products, such as low-fat spreads instead of butter, and skimmed or semi-skimmed milk; Trim the visible fat from meat; Grill or oven cook rather than fry; Get out of the habit of adding salt to your food - taste it first.
Check the labels. You’d be surprised what some foods contain - and many 'convenience meals are loaded with fat and salt. It's important to eat a wide variety of foods and include a good amount - at least 3 portions a day - of fruit and vegetables.
As our country prepares to become a smoke-free nation, I encourage
people to take a New Year pledge to join the 74 per cent of adults who are non-smokers. Giving up smoking takes will power. But, as the 12 million ex-smokers in the United States prove, it can done. Some simple steps will help:
Plan ahead: Preparation is vital to any attempt to stop smoking. Think about your reasons for stopping smoking and work out how you’ll cope with situations where you would normally have smoked.
Check out the help available: Nicotine replacement products, such as gum or patches, can double your chances of quitting. The help and encouragement of friends and family can be invaluable.
Make a date: Set a date for when you'll stop smoking. When you've had your last cigarette, try to vary your routine to avoid those situations where you used to smoke. Going for a walk or taking some other form of exercise is particularly helpful.
Treat yourself: The physical craving for nicotine will pass off quite quickly. You could reward yourself, perhap by using the money you’ve saved by not smoking.
With regard to alcohol, it is important to drink responsibly and not to drink more than the recommended sensible drinking levels.