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New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year when we all think about our health. After the Christmas and New Year festivities we often feel guilty for over indulging on all that food, drink and Christmas TV.  This guilt leads to us deciding that this year will be the year we make a change – deciding to improve our health, lifestyles and wellbeing.

We are a few weeks into the New Year so many of you will have decided to make a change, and good on you. For those of you who haven’t there is no better time than the present.

 Everybody wants to make changes in their lives but not many people are willing to actually take the steps to change. If you want to, just do it. Wake up tomorrow morning and take that first step. The only person stopping you is you.  Just break through that psychological barrier we all put up and step out of your comfort zone.  New Year's Resolutions

Probably the most common New Year’s resolution is to get fit and join a gym. There is no denying that exercise is good for you. We know that those who perform a moderate amount of exercise on a regular basis are considerably less likely to suffer from diseases such as diabetes, stroke and heart attack or experience insomnia. Exercise helps older people maintain their independence and is one of the most effective methods of weight management, a growing problem in western societies. It is also very important for our psychological health, as it stimulates the release of endorphins, natural pain killing chemicals that can also improve our mood.

Going to the gym for two weeks before you go on your summer holidays to shed a few pounds is likely to end in frustration. For some people it may take time before you start noticing the health benefits of exercise. Doing something you enjoy makes it more likely that you will persist, which is important if you don’t want all that hard work to go to waste.

But how much exercise do you need to do to be healthy? If you are aged between 19 and 64, research suggests that you perform at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise each week plus muscle strengthening exercises on at least two separate days of that week. The good news is that this exercise does not need to be all in one go, and activities such as walking briskly to work (if your journey is more than 10 minutes) can count as part of the total.

We’re now over half way through January and for those who made New Year’s resolutions the optimism you had at the start of the month may be fading a little. Now is the time to refocus your efforts. If you can get through this first month then carrying on into February should be easy, right? You can do it, and you will!

 If you want to know more about what would class as moderate or vigorous exercises, or if you are outside of this age group, visit the NHS choices website at:http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/physical-activity-guidelines-for-adults.aspx

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