Monks Park Doctors Surgery's monthly column - January 2019

January 12 2019
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Our New Year resolutions can often be health related: losing weight, stopping smoking, taking exercise, drinking less alcohol and eating more healthily.

But once the champagne flutes are back on the shelf, it can be hard to make the resolution stick. Here are some tips to help and ways that you can help yourself:

Lose Weight

See your GP or practice nurse who can assess you and discuss a weight loss plan with you. Try the NHS Choices 12 week weight loss plan (you can get this online or check our Facebook page) Join a local weight loss group for extra motivation.

Stop Smoking

Your GP would be delighted to discuss stopping smoking with you. See your practice stop smoking advisors for help, support and signposting to other excellent NHS stop smoking services. Visit the NHS Choices website for advice and resources to get you started. Download the Public Health England One You Smokefree app which can help you by providing daily support and motivation.

Get Active

Boost your fitness and try classes in local community centres or local walking and running groups or try your local Parkrun. If you’re a complete beginner, try CouchTo5K – download the app and off you go! Look at the NHS Choices website and try their 12 week fitness plan. The Public Health One You Active 10 app tracks your walking and shows you when to increase your pace to benefit your health – download it and give it a try!

Drink Less Alcohol

Calculate your units, get tips on cutting down, track your drinking and find out where to get help and support by downloading the Public Health One You Drinks Free Days app. Or you could become a “Dryathlete” and raise money for Cancer Research UK in their Dry January Challenge.

Eat Healthily

Visit the NHS Choices 5 a day web page or Public Health England’s One You page and download their Easy Meals app for great healthy recipe ideas and discover foods that are healthier for you. Join a local cookery class, order a fruit and veg box weekly and include something new every day in your diet.

Top Tips to Achieving

You’re more likely to succeed if you break it down into smaller chunks :

1. Make only one change at a time and plan ahead - give yourself a timescale.

2. Create bite sized portions and be realistic – break your goal into smaller steps and do what YOU want to do.

3. Get support - tell your friends and family and you’re much more likely to succeed.

4. Write it down and keep a visual reminder - make a “motivation list” of how your life will be better once you achieve your goal. Put it on the wall, keep a spreadsheet or write a journal of your progress.

5. Treat yourself and don’t give up - reward yourself each time you achieve one of your smaller goals and treat any lapse into old habits as a temporary setback.

Good luck and stay healthy!