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A healthy kick-start to your New Year
(The Irish News)  :  Jan/03/2018 05:17:PM
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A New Year is about to arrive and we are all set to celebrate and welcome 2018 which would mean bidding adieu to 2017.But what about our New Year resolutions? It is necessary to look at the health sins which you made in the year 2017? Looking back at the sins would make you realize that something needs to be done about it and hence making health related resolutions is of utmost importance. If you need to be healthy, it’s necessary to cut down the bad habits and incorporate good ones.
Cut down on smoking or better yet, quit smoking: As impossible as it might sound, smoking is a habit which you need to give up with the start of 2018, especially if you’re serious about making a New Year resolution. One does not need to go about the effects of smoking because it’s quite obvious on the cigarette packet itself. So try diverting your mind when you feel like smoking and try speaking to a person who has been an ex-smoker. You need to try multiple methods until you are successful. Not only would you save the hard earned money but would also save your body from excessive damage. Though a tough habit to give up once gone it can be the best decision you made for your well-being.
Get more sleep: Getting enough sleep is of utmost importance as a good sleep can just set everything right. Not getting enough sleep can make you irritable, tired and predispose you to obesity and type 2 diabetes. If you sleep well, not only would you be more productive at work but will also give your brain a chance to think better. In short sleeping well can do just good to the entire body. Getting enough sleep isn’t only about total hours of sleep. It’s also important to get good quality sleep on a regular schedule so you feel rested when you wake up. If you often have trouble sleeping or if you often still feel tired after sleeping, talk with your doctor.
Lose some kilos: While weight loss does not happen overnight, it is necessary to take a step in the correct direction. By that it means if you have been just thinking about losing weight, it is time to act. Visit a well-trained nutritionist and seek some advice. Get a personalized diet chart for yourself and keep reminding yourself that no matter how many hurdles come your way you have to reach the goal because determination and will power is key. Keep a food diary and update whatever you have been eating all day long.
Cut down on stress: Although a complete stress-free life is never possible, we can combat it in order to live a healthy life. Stress is a response to challenges in life, and a life without challenges is too boring to contemplate. However, most of the stress in our lives is unnecessary, and it can be eliminated by taking some simple (and some not-so-simple) steps. It can’t be accomplished overnight but it’s a worthwhile goal. Stress can lead to depression, obesity, hypertension, heart disease and much more so get yourself a good sleep, indulge in your favourite sport, talk to your family, do some meditation and pursue your passion.
Drink more water: Health and fitness mentor Sarah-Anne Lucas ( says starting a daily ritual is the answer to New Year resolutions. She suggests drinking more water: “Water intake is massive. Most people do not drink enough, but what we’d all like is more energy. That comes down to what you put in, so increase your water intake. It’s the first thing you put in your body in the morning. Go and get yourself a minimum of 100ml water and get it into you.’’
Learn to meditate: Life-coach and mindfulness practitioner Dr Caroline Hough ( says we can train our minds to reduce stress, making us more likely to achieve our goals: “It involves sitting and meditating for 20 minutes. Bring yourself into the moment and be aware. That’s an awareness of your external environment, so just looking at the flowers and the trees and the sunshine and appreciating it instead of rushing through life. Be aware of your internal environment, by noticing if you’re very stressed, for example if you’re clenching your muscles. We tend to live our lives at a level of stress which is unhealthy.’’
Start self-watching: Professor Jim McKenna, head of the Active Lifestyles Research Centre at Leeds Beckett University, advises we record our successes to motivate ourselves: “Whatever you want to do, whenever you achieve, write it down. You’re trying to achieve it every day, so it needs to be nice and small, and all your job is then is to keep the sequence running. It’s really as simple as that. What you’re capitalising on there is positive self-regard, but also the fundamental process of self-watching. There’s a lot of success in seeing your own achievements. When you collect all that up, you can start saying, ‘Actually I’ve got nearly 10 occasions there when I did well, I’m doing well, I’m someone who can change’.’’
Look after your skin: Louise Thomas-Minns (, celebrity skin therapist, recommends we pay more attention to protecting and caring for our skin: “Wash your skin nightly. Not removing make-up, daily dirt, oil, grime and pollutants from the skin every night will result in infections and outbreaks. Your skin regenerates at night too, so give it a helping hand. And don’t pick! Picking at your skin will result in scarring and create more spotty outbreaks. Wear SPF every day to slow ageing and protect from the harmful effects of UV rays. Find out your skin type from a skin health expert, so you stop wasting time and money on incorrect products.’’ 

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