New Year, new you
31 January 2012
January is a month where so many of us embark upon new health regimes whether it be the new year detox, giving up smoking or buying one of the numerous fitness DVD’s on the market. But how many of us make it past the first month or even the first week?
Here Dr Robert Richards, GP at the University’s Health Centre, offers his top tips for a healthy 2012 and beyond.
Stop Smoking – Giving up smoking is one of the most of effective ways to improve your health. When people give up tobacco, their circulation and respiration improve within a month and, depending on how heavy a smoker they've been, the risk of heart disease and lung cancer become similar to that of a lifelong non-smoker within just a few years.
If you’re looking to quit talk to your GP or contact Stop Smoking Wales
Get out from behind your desk – It’s not easy to be active when you’re sat at a desk all day but there are small changes you can make to improve your fitness levels such as:
- Take the stairs not the lift where you can.
- Inject some energy into your lunch hour – the University gym offers a number of classes over the lunchtime period or why not take advantage of our central location and take a stroll round Bute Park.
- Why not beat the traffic and get fit at the same time by cycling or walking to work.
More information on the how the University supports cyclists can be found here
Food for thought – eating more healthily doesn’t have to be a chore. Making small changes to your diet such as eating more fruit, vegetables and fish can have real benefits.
If you’re serious about losing weight try keeping a food diary to help identify your dietary strengths and weaknesses. Once you identify where you might be going wrong you can then work on trying to break those habits.
The University’s catering and bar services offer a range of healthy options – to find out more visit the University's Catering website.
Don’t let stress get the better of you – From time to time stress can affect us all and whilst we should always remember to try and address what is causing that stress, there are also ways in which we can learn to manage and mitigate its effects. The University’s online stress management programme offers quick and easy support on understanding the signs and symptoms of stress, skills to manage and adapt and assessment questionnaires to evaluate stress levels.
The Counselling Service also offer workshops focusing on giving you useful information, ideas and strategies on how to better cope with a particular difficulty.
As with any change in lifestyle success comes from the proper mindset. New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t be about extreme “all or nothing” targets. Set yourself realistic goals and expect some setbacks. Positive lifestyle changes can be tough but are achievable with time and planning.