The more vague the resolution, the less likely you are to keep it. Here are some achievable health resolutions with clear targets that you can aim for this New Year.
It doesn’t matter how fast you do it, and it doesn’t matter how long you take to build up to it; just do it. The popularity of Park Runs and similar challenges around Europe has made the 5 kilometre distance a benchmark for a basic level of fitness. If you want to step it up afterwards, then you’re in the right place – Lanzarote offers plenty of endurance events to suit all ages and levels.
Get started with the NHS’s Couch to 5K mobile app, with downloadable podcasts.
Meat-free day every week
More than 70g of red or processed meat a day can increase the risk of colon cancer, but the health advantages of shifting to a more plant-based diet are almost outweighed by the environmental benefits and the fact of living a more cruelty-free life.
Cutting down meat only really works if you cut it out, and one day a week is a good place to start – you can increase it after that if you like. It’ll almost certainly make you think about what eat and maybe explore new ingredients and recipes.
Stand on one leg for one minute
Standing on one leg is a basic health test that doctors use for elderly people all over the world. If you can’t do it for longer than 5 seconds, you’re at a much higher risk of falls.
But standing on one leg has also been shown to increase hip strength in the over-70s and will also improve your balance. Even better, you can do it anytime – while cleaning your teeth, or waiting in a queue, for example.
If you want to boost core strength, increase your times to two, three or more minutes. If you want to improve balance, do it with your eyes shut.
Pass your MOT
It doesn’t matter what age you are; it’s never the wrong time for a full check up. Book a appointment with your health centre or clinic, get your bloods and samples taken and take some time to understand the results.
And don’t forget that your teeth and your eyes are vital to your continued enjoyment of life, too. Get an eye test, and book an appointment with your dentist. If you need specs or dental work done, get it sorted out.
There’s no better way to face a New Year than having a full health check.
This one’s simple but surprisingly hard, too. It simply means eating three meals a day and refusing anything else in between. If someone brings some cake into work, just say no; if you find yourself drifting towards the fridge in the afternoon, get a grip.
You can make this easier by keeping ready-prepared foods out of the home and sticking to your eating times and not touching snacks after a certain time of night.
Focus on slow-release breakfast energy, a decent lunch and a dinner that you’ll look forward to. You don’t need anything else.
Walk 30 min a day
This sounds a pretty easy goal, but in real life you’ll find plenty of opportunities to put off that walk. You can do it by parking your car further away from work; or even adopting a dog from Sara, but the best way is to do it with friends, who’ll give you moral support and increase your sense of responsibility.
This goal could be combined with longer weekend walks that will allow you to explore little known corners of this gorgeous island.
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