Weekend Diagnosis: Out with the old and in with the new healthier you

Published: 4 January 2017

Mairead McAlindenThis Weekend Diagnosis is from Mairead McAlinden, our Chief Executive

With the Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations now behind us, January often signals a new start for many — a chance to change old habits and start the year as they mean to go on by making New Year’s resolutions.

We can over indulge over the Christmas period, so the most popular New Year’s resolutions are to eat more healthily, do more exercise and give up smoking.

But the pace of modern life can make it hard to make healthy choices. Without knowing it, by the time we reach our 40s and 50s, many of us will have dramatically increased our chances of becoming ill in later life.

Whether we are eating the wrong things, drinking more than we should, continuing to smoke despite what we know about the effects, or simply not being active enough, all of these things can add up to an unhealthy you.

But it’s not all doom and gloom and there’s plenty we can do to make a difference. Although many New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside before January is even over, for those who are really committed to making their resolution a reality, it can be life changing.

Setting realistic goals and making small changes will help you along the right path to achieving your resolutions. And remember, you don’t have to do this alone – Public Health England’s ‘One You’ campaign has a free interactive health quiz called ‘How Are You?’ which helps us all identify areas in our lifestyles which might need improvement. Just search online for ‘One You’.

The main messages in the campaign are about encouraging people to ‘move more‘, ‘go smoke free‘, ‘drink less’, ‘stress less’, ‘check yourself’, ‘eat well‘ and ‘sleep better’.

There is local support on your doorstep too – the Healthy Lifestyles Team at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust offer advice and support to help you achieve your goals. Visit www.torbayandsouthdevon.nhs.uk for more information.

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2017, and remember; we are here to help you on your journey to a healthier you.