With less than a couple of weeks left till Christmas, most of us will already be tucking into mince pies and enjoying a few late nights out at festive parties. However, once January arrives, there will be a huge drive to detox from all the sugar and alcohol, and kickstart a new healthy lifestyle.
Millions of people make New Year’s Resolutions on January 1st, with ambitious hopes of sticking to them for the entire 12 months. However, according to MentalHealth.org.uk, as many as 80 per cent of us fail – and some people might have even given up their goals by the time February comes around.
A good incentive to maintaining your resolution is knowing that you are doing it to improve your wellbeing in the long-run, which is why it is not surprising that most of the popular New Year’s Resolutions are to do with embarking on a healthier lifestyle. By having your own strength, wellbeing and fitness as a motivation, you are more likely to stick to them, and for this reason, health kicks remain common resolutions for most Brits.
Here are just a few ways some of us will want to boost our wellbeing come January – and hopefully, stick to it by the time New Year’s Eve rolls around next year.
- Shape up
The resolution most of us put on our list is to get in shape, according to a Nielsen survey. Whether it is to lose weight, tone up, get stronger or achieve fitness goals, many people want 2019 to be the year they excel themselves physically and become proud of what they’ve achieved in the gym, on track or in exercise classes.
While fitness centres are likely to be extra busy at the beginning of the year, the motivation to sweat it out wanes as winter rolls on. However, if you really want to stick to your promise, there are some things you can do.
Firstly, try going with a friend or joining a class – if you exercise alone, you lack the obligation to go. However, if you are planning on meeting people, you will be accountable if you do not turn up. This will make give you the incentive to keep going, even when you do not feel like it and would, otherwise, find a reason not to.
It could also be a good idea to invest in a fitness tracker, as this encourages you to keep moving and helps you monitor your progress so you can see how well you’ve been doing.
Speaking with TODAY, personal trainer Larysa Didio said: “Fitbits will tell you when you’ve been sitting too long and you need to move. Food apps will tell you when you’ve eaten too much and you need to stop. Exercise apps will tell you how many calories you’ve burned. All this information will keep you aware and working toward your goals.”
- Cook More
According to a survey in the US, published by Heart.com, cooking more at home is one of the most popular resolutions people will try to stick to next year.
The fact that 77 per cent hope to cook a homemade meal more regularly rather than dine out in 2019 could be down to many reasons – whether it is to save money, to eat more healthily, or to spend more time with their family.
Indeed, there are many benefits to cooking meals at home, and it could be a more achievable goal than losing weight or spending less – which are two resolutions that people are quick to give up on.
Cooking more could help people switch off from their busy lives; be more mindful of the food they are eating; and become more conscious of their meals’ nutritional value.
While this could result in weight loss, better mental health, switching off from social media and emails, and allocating time to yourself, it can be a more sustainable New Year’s Resolution than trying to meet these end results without a proactive plan of how to do so.
- Lose weight
Regardless of this, many people still put losing weight as their number one resolution for the year. It is perhaps not surprising that millions of Brits want to shed the pounds after several weeks of gorging on chocolates, nuts, crisps, cakes and booze over the Christmas period.
Feeling a bit heavier and bloated than usual, the thought of trying to drop a bit of weight will be appealing to most of us. However, without an effective strategy of how to do this, slimming down can be one of the most difficult goals to accomplish.
One of the best ways to stick to your resolution is to pick a diet that will work for you. There is a huge variety out there to choose from – from the Mediterranean Diet, allowing you to eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, fish and nuts, but cutting back on meat and high-fat foods, to the Dukan Diet, which restricts carb and fats.
Veganism has grown in popularity over the last few years, with a huge increase in animal-free products available to buy, while many people like the flexibility of the 5:2 Diet, which allows you to eat what you want for five days but heavily cut back to 600 calories for men and 500 calories for women for two days of the week.
Whether you choose a diet plan or you simply want to eat healthier and more wholesome foods to shed the pounds, you are more likely to lose weight if you make a menu for the week to avoid the temptation of cooking something quick and naughty instead; eat brightly coloured food and limit beige produce on your plate; and drink plenty of water a day to stay hydrated and feel fuller.
- Quit smoking
Giving up cigarettes remains a hugely popular goal for many people at the turn of a new year, with smokers using this as an opportunity to make a new start and break the habit of a lifetime.
However, this is one of the most challenging things to do, with just four to seven per cent of people managing to resist the urge to pick up a cigarette after telling themselves to give up, the American Cancer Society revealed.
Those who are really serious about staying away from tobacco are more likely to succeed if they get support, with success rates increasing to 25 per cent for those who do it with the help of medication, counselling or nicotine-replacement therapies.
Many ex-smokers also extoll the use of e-cigarettes in helping them steer clear of tobacco, as they are able to get the small nicotine hit they crave while not reaching for a packet of cigarettes.
Net Doctor recently reported Dr Nicholas Hopkinson as saying: “People who use e-cigarettes to quit smoking will get a substantial health benefit.”
He added that there is a much lower level of toxic chemicals in vape than cigarette smoke, if any at all, which is why it is “much safer than smoking”.
What’s more, it is far easier to switch to e-cigarettes for a seasoned smoker than to go cold turkey, which is why they are more likely to remain smoke-free for longer.
However, those who do manage to break the habit will be able to end their year much healthier than how they began, with smoking linked to strokes, cancers, weak bones, bad skin and teeth, heart disease, and fertility problems, according to the NHS.
Get yourself a starter vape kit today, so you have everything you need to start using e-cigarettes to hand after December ends and you’re not tempted to backtrack before you’ve even got going.