• Boost your physical and mental health through exercise
After the winter festivities, we often feel a bit out of shape if we eat or drink too much.
It’s not just physical health that can suffer, your mental health can also be affected.
The good news is both can be boosted through exercise, which can help boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress and depression.
People who do regular physical activity have:
• up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
• up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
To stay healthy, adults should try to be active daily and aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week through a variety of activities.
• Stop smoking
Half of all long-term smokers die early from smoking-related diseases, including heart disease, lung cancer and chronic bronchitis.
Stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your health and there is help available from your local NHS so you can quit smoking for good.
Your GP practice will be able to provide information about your local NHS Stop Smoking Service.
Alternatively you can visit the NHS Smokefree website, or call the Smokefree National Helpline to speak to a trained adviser on 0300 123 1044.
• Cut down on sugar in your food and drink
Eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain, which increases your risk of long-term health conditions, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Cut down on sugary fizzy drinks by substituting them for water, lower-fat milks, or sugar-free, diet and no added sugar drinks.
Swap a bowl of sugary breakfast cereal for plain cereals such as porridge oats which contain vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Some packaging uses a colour-coded system that makes it easy to choose foods that are lower in sugar, salt and fat.
Look for more ‘greens’ and ‘ambers’ and fewer ‘reds’ in your shopping basket.
Choosing healthier foods is easier than you may think.
Visit the NHS Livewell website to find out more about small changes you can make when you have your next meal or drink.
• Reduce your alcohol intake and feel the benefits straight away
Long-term heavy drinking can lead to your heart becoming enlarged. D
rinking can also can disrupt your sleep patterns and stop you sleeping deeply.
When you cut down the amount you drink, you will notice the effects immediately.
These include feeling better in the mornings, being less tired during the day, and you may stop gaining weight.
Your skin may start to look better and you will start to feel fitter.
If you already feel anxious or sad, drinking can make this worse, so cutting down may put you in a better mood generally.
• For further health tips, visit the NHS Choices website.