Your New Year's health resolutions

This January, thousands of people in Camden and across the country will have resolved to start 2015 by making positive changes to their health.

To help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions, local GPs at NHS Camden Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) recommend setting realistic goals and finding ways to help you stay motivated.

Improving your diet, being more active, stopping smoking or drinking less, can help to reduce your risk of developing serious long term health problems in the future, such as diabetes and lung disease.

One way to improve your health is to join in with Alcohol Concern’s Dry January campaign, which encourages people to not drink alcohol during  January - this is not only good for your health, but it could save you money, help you lose weight and give you more energy.

In general, men shouldn’t regularly drink more than three to four units a day, and women no more than two to three units a day. As a guide, a pint of strong lager is about two units, a single shot of spirits is one unit and a large glass of wine is at least three units. Even if you think you keep within the guidelines, try keeping an alcohol diary in 2015 – you might well be surprised at how much you drink.

Dr Caz Sayer, chair of NHS Camden CCG and a local GP, said:

“Introducing healthy habits and small changes to your lifestyle now could not only help you to look and feel better, but they could also help to make a big difference to your health in the long term.

“As GPs, we recommend starting with gentle steps. Reflect on what you want to achieve, make a plan and set yourself small targets along the way. You have more chance of succeeding if you set yourself realistic goals. Treat every day as a new day. If you go back to old habits, try not to get disheartened and remember what you’re working towards.

“If you need help or encouragement, the NHS Choices website has lots of expert advice on what you can do to improve your health and how to start or stick to your resolution.

“You can also contact the local council for more information on services available in your local community to stay healthy. If you are worried about a specific health problem then don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your local GP.”

For advice and support on how to stay healthy in 2015, visit NHS Choices on www.nhs.uk.

For more information on Dry January, visit www.dryjanuary.org.uk.