Newham CCG Chair Dr Zuhair Zarifa on getting fit for the New Year

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- Credit: Archant

Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions. Often they are about losing weight, getting fit or changing behaviour.

They start all at once by exercising every day and putting themselves on strict diets and even before February rolls around they are back to their old lifestyle.

Sound familiar? When we set resolutions or goals they have to be realistic. If you do decide to make changes for the New Year my advice is to set yourself smaller goals. Day by day, week to week these add up.

If you want to lead a healthier lifestyle there are lots of small changes you can make to your life that will over time make a big difference. Here’s a few:

Get active

Take the stairs, get off the Tube or bus one or two stops before your regular stop and walk the rest of the way home and for short trips use your feet not the car. Gardening, taking up a sport, playing outside with your children, riding a bike and swimming are all fun ways to get active and get healthy.

Eat more veg and fruit

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Fresh vegetables and fruit are usually better for you and your family than pre-packaged food.

Check the labels of the food you are eating. If there is a high percentage of fat and sugar (energy, calories) then look for something healthier.

Change the way you cook and prepare food.

Cut down on the fat, oil, butter, and sugar you use when cooking. Try grilling food rather than frying it.

Relax and reflect

Make some “you time” every week. You could use this time to think about your goals and what you’ve done towards them.

Stopping anything you believe you depend on is difficult. If your goal for 2015 is to stop smoking you can get support close to your home through the NHS Stop Smoking Service. Contact the NHS Stop Smoking Team on 0800 013 1673 or text ‘QUIT’ to 60155.

The Change4Life website has good practical advice – nhs.uk/change4life.

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