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5 Tips For Keeping Healthy In 2013

14.01.2013

At the beginning of the New Year our thoughts turn to being fitter and healthier. Here are five easy to follow, practical tips to get you started.

 

 

 

 

1. New Year resolutions

Around 7,000,000 of us will make a New Year’s resolution to improve an aspect of our health.

After the overindulgence of Christmas, many people see the New Year as an opportunity for self-improvement.
Keeping a New Year's resolution can be tough. A promise made hastily, when you feel guilty after Christmas, can quickly be forgotten when you return to your normal routine in January.

Richard Wiseman, a professor of psychology at Hertfordshire University, gives the following tips for boosting willpower and staying motivated.

  • Make only one resolution. Choosing just one aspect of your health to improve will increase your chance of success.
  • Plan your resolution in advance. This will give you time to think about your goal and how to achieve it.
  • Don't repeat last year’s resolution. Or, if you do, at least pick a different technique to achieve it.
  • Keep the resolution specific and write it down.
  • Plan a reward for when you achieve your goal. This will give you something to focus on.


2. Reasons to avoid faddy diets

Following the latest diet is often not a good idea if you want to lose weight and keep it off.
Are you a healthy weight? Use the BMI calculator to find out.

Below are some of the problems with many diets, plus tips on how to lose weight healthily. As well as eating healthily, it’s important to be active as this burns calories and can help you lose weight.

 

Five reasons to avoid fad diets

Many weight loss diets promise to help you lose weight quickly. Often, these diets focus on short-term results and don’t work in the long term. They may also be bad for your health.

 

Here are five reasons to avoid them:

1. Many diets, especially crash diets, involve dramatically reducing the number of calories you consume. You may lose weight quickly but you risk losing muscle rather than fat. “Crash diets make you feel very unwell and unable to function properly,” says dietitian Ursula Arens. “Because they are nutritionally unbalanced, crash diets can lead to long-term poor health, including eating disorders.”

2. Some diets recommend cutting out certain foods, such as meat, fish, wheat or dairy products. Cutting out certain food groups altogether could prevent you from getting important nutrients and vitamins, which your body needs to function properly.

3. Some diets are very low in carbohydrates (such as pasta, bread, and rice), which are an essential source of energy. While you may lose weight on these types of diets, they’re often high in protein and fat, which can make you ill. “It has been suggested that the high protein content of these diets ‘dampens’ the appetite and feelings of hunger,” says Arens. Many low-carbohydrate diets allow you to eat foods that are high in saturated fat, such as butter, cheese and meat. Too much saturated fat can raise your cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

4. Detox diets are based on the idea that toxins build up in the body and can be removed by eating, or not eating, certain things. However, there’s no evidence that toxins build up in our bodies. If they did, we would feel very ill. “Detox diets do not work,” says Arens. “They are, in effect, a form of modified fasting.”

5. Some fad diets are based on eating a single food or meal, such as cabbage soup. Others make far-fetched claims, for example that eating grapefruit can help burn body fat. Often, there is little or no evidence to back up these claims. “If followed over long periods, these diets are very unbalanced and bad for your health,” says Arens. “You may lose weight in the short term, but it’s much better to lose weight gradually and to be healthy.”


3. The healthy way to lose weight

The only way to lose weight healthily and keep it off is to make permanent changes to the way you eat and exercise. These don’t have to be big changes. A few small alterations to your diet can help you achieve a healthy weight, and there are plenty of ways to make physical activity part of your everyday routine.

 

Five ways to kick-start your healthy weight loss plan

Here are five simple things you can do to eat healthily and help you lose weight.

1. To reduce the amount of fat you eat, you could trim the fat off meat, drink skimmed or semi-skimmed milk instead of full fat, choose a reduced- or low-fat spread and replace cream with low-fat yoghurt.

2. Eat wholegrain foods, such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and pasta. They’re digested more slowly than the white varieties so will help you feel full for longer.

3. Don’t skip breakfast. A healthy breakfast will give you the energy you need to start the day, and there’s some evidence that people who eat breakfast regularly are less likely to be overweight.

4. If you feel like a snack, try having a drink first, such as a glass of water or cup of tea. Often we think we’re hungry when really we’re thirsty.

5. Aim to eat at LEAST five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

 

4. Fitness tips to boost your healthy and weight loss

 

Get Active

Regular exercise will not only help you lose weight but could also reduce your risk of developing a serious illness.
Adults should do at least 30 minutes of activity five times a week for general health benefits.

There’s no better time than the beginning of a new year to start having a more active lifestyle.

The key to sticking to a fitness resolution is to set yourself simple and achievable goals. Whatever you choose to do make sure it’s something you’ll enjoy or you may find it hard to stay motivated.

 

Here are five exercise tips to help make physical activity part of your lifestyle in 2012.

Aim for 30x5

One of the best ways to keep active is to build exercise into your daily routine. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week. Being physically active includes anything from gardening and walking the dog to cycling or walking part of your journey to work.

 

Ride a bike

Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine as it is also a form of transport. That means it saves you money, gets you fit and also contributes to a cleaner environment. Cycling is a low-impact exercise and therefore easy on your joints.

 

Make it 10,000 steps

Walking is a simple and affordable way to improve your fitness. It’s good for your heart, lungs and bones while being easy on the joints. The average person walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps a day but increasing that to 10,000 steps can make a big difference.

 

Go dancing

From hip hop to the foxtrot, dance has seen a revival in the past few years in Britain. Dance class membership has increased in popularity, inspired by shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing on Ice. Dancing is a full workout, and you don't even have to be good at it. It’s suitable for people of all ages, shapes and sizes.

 

Get the kids involved

Aim to find time every weekend to do something active with the children. With activities such as cycling, football, swimming or country walks, you’re not only reaping health benefits, you’re spending quality time with loved ones.

 

5. Get organised

If you are serious about improving your general health and feeling better about your weight and fitness then to make this a reality here are five suggestions:

  • Know your starting point and write down your target weight. Set a time boundary around this - write down your goal with a date. Calculate and make a note of your BMI.
  • Keep a food diary, write down everything you eat and drink and include any exercise you take. Food diary template can be found here
  • Get a good weight loss/diet improvement programme to ensure you reach your target weight in a healthy way. A programme that re-educates about food habits and eating habits ensuring that you keep your weight off for good, eat good quality healthy food, improve your energy levels on a day to day basis. We can help you with this in a number of different ways from workshops to one to one programmes, please contact us for details.
  • Get organised and buy the foods you need, with easy to follow family friendly recipes, plan your food on a daily basis, plan to learn new habits around food and keep at it until they become a way of life. Go to our Recipe Blog for delicious weight friendly, energy giving recipes for all the family.
  • Take exercise you enjoy, vary your exercise regularly, exercise with a friend or take part in a team sport. 


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