Tips from Dr Hilary Jones
Who doesn’t start the New Year pledging to begin a new healthier lifestyle? We asked TV medic Dr. Hilary Jones what healthy habits he’ll be recommending in 2016!
I will… Rediscover my inner child!
We are all still kids at heart with the same basic need for love, laughter and excitement but sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of it as the stress of modern life overwhelms us. It’s never been easier to stay in touch with family and friends, and doing so can actually be good for your health so why not make time to rekindle the camaraderie of old friends, engineer a few belly laughs and let your hair down. All work and no play is dull remember. Life is for living!
I will… Get moving!
There are lots of ways to make exercise more appealing and convenience is key! Going for a winter’s walk is a great low impact way of burning calories and toning-up. If the colder weather leaves you yearning to stay indoors, then doing some light weight lifting is a great way to exercise at home and you don’t need to bother with expensive weights either. Start off with light items such as tins of beans, a carton of milk and work your way up to heavier items.
I will… Beat the blues!
It’s common for colder weather, lack of sunlight and post-Christmas blues to leave us feeling a bit low in January, but the good news is our diet can play a big role in improving mood and warding off those New Year blues. Researchers in Norway[i] recently found that people who took cod liver oil, which is rich in omega-3, were 30% less likely to have symptoms of low mood than those who didn’t. Boosting your intake of oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel is a great way to increase your intake of omega-3s and improve your mental as well as physical health.
I will… Safeguard my health
Visiting the dentist and opticians are often part of our annual health checks, however many of us neglect our ears! Research shows that there are 4 million[ii] people in the UK with undiagnosed hearing loss – some waiting up to 10 years before doing anything about it. A free hearing test is the first step to ensuring you stay on top of your all aspects of your health – I get mine checked every year as part of my routine health check-ups. High street hearing specialist, Hidden Hearing provide free comprehensive assessments with no obligation and have over 80 branches nationwide. For more details or to find your local branch, visit www.hiddenhearing.co.uk
I will… Eat smarter
Christmas is all about getting the family together and enjoying large meals and rich foods, however there is a lot of evidence which shows that grazing was the way our body was designed to eat. Try eating less but more frequently to help steady blood sugar levels and maintain energy throughout the day. Step away from the sweets and chocolate and snack on healthier alternatives such as dried fruits, unsalted nuts, yoghurts and whole grains instead, and remember never eat straight from the bag, always portion out an appropriate serving.
I will… Go dry during January
Alcohol often makes an appearance during the festive period so consider taking a month off. Research from University College London in 2015[iii] showed that those who gave up for four weeks saw benefits in their liver function, blood pressure and cholesterol levels and were also at lower risk of developing diabetes and liver disease. Those who took part in the month of abstinence also lost as much as 6lbs in weight and reported improvements in their concentration and sleeping. Try swapping for water and livening up your drinks with fresh mint, or fruits like lemon or a squeeze of fresh grapefruit!
[i] Raeder MB, Steen VM, Vollset SE, Bjelland I. Associations between cod liver oil use and symptoms of depression: The Hordaland Health Study. J Affect Disord. 2006 Dec 18.
[ii] Action on Hearing loss Annual Report 2014-2015: file:///C:/Users/heather.mullins/Downloads/A1017_Annual_Report%202015_interactive_v3.pdf