New Year New You
by Dr. Sarah Brewer
A Nutritionist and Doctor
One of the best health goals you can make this new year is to exercise more. It doesn't even have to be jogging, cycling or swimming – just walking more can reduce your risk of numerous long-term health problems and significantly increases your chance of living longer. Ditch the car, and walk as much as you can. By investing in a pedometer, you can also log your daily steps and aim to work up to achieve 10,000 a day, on most days.
Guidelines suggest that you should exercise at moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes, five times a week - and preferably every day. For kids, it's 60 minutes – so why not make this your goal too and enjoy a second childhood. Your half hour or hour of exercise doesn't even have to be completed in one go - dividing it into daily sessions of 10 - 15 minutes brings similar health benefits.
Even if you're busy, exercise CAN be fitted into your lifestyle. Start this week:
|From now on, walk or run up stairs rather than taking the lift or escalator.
|Choose one evening a week to avoid TV – go to the gym, kick a ball round the park or go dancing, cycling or swimming with family and friends.
|Take up a new, active hobby such as salsa, tap dancing, bowls, swimming, golf, rambling, cycling or horse-riding and make new friends.
|Dig out that old skipping rope, pogo stick, trampoline or other exercise equipment that's gathering dust in the garage or attic. Start using it regularly while watching the evening news.
|From now on, walk or cycle reasonable distances rather than taking the car. How about a walk around the block in your lunch hour? Eat in the park rather than at your desk.
|Walk or cycle to a local park, visitor attraction or country pub. Or stay at home and put extra effort into handy-man activities and gardening.
|A brisk family walk helps to work off Sunday lunch. Take a Frisbee and have fun!