New Year, New You

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With an exciting 2016 ahead, it’s the chance for you to put those long-held resolutions into action. Here are some great ideas that will lift your well-being and state of mind, all while leading you toward a healthier lifestyle.

It’s tempting to write a long list of New Year plans, and make them real for yourself all at once right now. But creating a healthy lifestyle is small changes – just altering a few things here and there. Why not choose one or two targets to get the next 12 months off to a good start, and track how you get on throughout the year? And don’t forget to treat your heart well as part of the new activity!

Change your diet

Look at how you can adapt your dietary pattern to be more balanced with more seasonally available and local foods. Do your best to incorporate all of the necessary food groups and consider changes like replacing butter with Flora ProActiv spread.

Get together with friends

Online can be a fun place to interact, but there’s no substitute for getting together. Build regular time into your calendar when you can meet those who you can share your thoughts and stories. And sharing activities gives an added dimension to your relationships. Meet up and take dancing or tennis classes together.

Step up your exercise

Why not include exercise in your plan for 2016? According to the International Atherosclerosis Society (IAS), half an hour of moderate intensity physical activity (jogging, cycling, tennis, and swimming) daily is ideal for maintaining health. Ideally, according to the IAS , the physical activity should be aerobic for five to seven days per week. If you’re trying to lose weight, it is suggested that you eventually progress to four to five hours of exercise a week. It’s all about your personal goals and body type and what you want to get from exercise. Everyone is different and it’s important to come up with a workout plan that will work for you.

Read a book

A long read can be a great alternative to picking up magazine articles or short online blogs. A good novel can really inspire, taking you to another place and time. You can line up a selection of must-reads for the coming year, and form a book group with local friends or work colleagues. You could even walk to meet each other once a week and get some exercise as well!

Enjoy the music

As you build up a vast digital music library at home; bring your appreciation to life by getting out and going to concerts and dancing. Music has been found to improve the body’s immune system, and to reduce levels of stress. According to Prof Daniel Levitin of McGill University in his 2013 study The Neurochemistry of Music: “music has an effect in four domains: management of mood, stress, immunity and as an aid to social bonding.” And you can combine listening to music with some exercise – put the headphones on while jogging, walking or running.

Shop online

If you find the weekly shop a chore, do it online and spend those usual supermarket hours in the garden, growing your own healthy fruit and veg. Create time for yourself by dodging the crowds, and save money by avoiding all the in-store offers. Plan your meals in peace.

The New Year is a convenient time to make lifestyle changes that will help you take care of your body and mind. Whether it’s increased exercise, improved eating or getting together with friends, it’s all about finding a healthier you.

Relevant links

http://www.athero.org/download/IASPP_Guidelines_ExSummary_2.pdf

http://www.cell.com/trends/cognitive-sciences/fulltext/S1364-6613%2813%2900049-1

https://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/channels/news/major-health-benefits-music-uncovered-225589

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