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How to get your health back on track this January

January is the month of New Year's resolutions. ‘Eat less cake’, ‘don’t eat chocolate’, ‘eat more vegetables', ‘lose weight’…. the list could on and on. Whilst I whole-heartedly support all efforts to get your health back on track post Christmas, I often find these kind of New Year's resolutions a silent trap. They are unrealistic and will inevitably make you feel completely demotivated when you don’t see them through by the second week of Jan. What I would suggest is making a few simple changes to help get your health back on track. Easy steps to leave you feeling happier, healthier and most importantly – motivated!

 

1. Exercise

 

Yes, I’m going straight in with this one. Get yourself back in the gym! This is the first sure way to get you feeling healthier post Christmas season. There are so many ways to get that body moving. First of all – find a form of exercise that you actually enjoy! Take up a new yoga class, try out zumba, go swimming or go for a run in your local park. Trying something you’ve never done before is an excellent way to reignite the exercise excitement! Why don’t you take a friend with you? Combining a bit of social and encouragement is another way to spice up your exercise routine. Finally – why not purchase some new gym gear?! Try some colourful leggings or new trainers.

 

2. Rethink your diet

 

Rethinking my diet was one the most positive things I ever did and I feel so much better for it every single day. Often we eat the same things out of habit – but this January I challenge you to evaluate what you put in your body! What things could you eliminate and replace with something healthier? Perhaps it’s your sugar filled coffee, love of biscuits or tendency to graze on processed snacks. There are so many gorgeous vegetables in season in January – including iron filled kale and vitamin packed carrots. Why not crisp your kale up with some olive oil in the oven for a healthy snack or dip carrot batons in humus. There are so many delicious herbal teas, which act as cleansers (green tea or peppermint are particularly good). Whatever it is – I challenge you to find an alternative for your guilty pleasure this January.

 

3. Pledge to learn 3 new healthy recipes

 

In hand with the previous point, I urge you to get yourself in the kitchen and get creative. Perhaps you could go for one meat dish, a fish dish and a vegetarian dish. Or maybe a breakfast, lunch and dinner! However you decide to do it – make sure you do the following. Replace your olive oil with coconut oil – it has less trans fats and cholesterol. Use at least two vegetables or fruits in your dish and a good source of protein. This could be meat, fish, tofu or beans if you’re a vegetarian. Try to avoid hard carbs – opt for sweet potato or a grain.

 

4. Give social media a break or a cleanse

 

We live extremely hectic lives – all of us, every day. We work hard, we look after our families, we maintain our homes and we still maintain a smile on our faces. The pressures of day-to-day life can be further exaggerated by the constant access to the internet and social media. Perhaps it’s not something you realise is impacting your life, but why not giving social media a break for a few days? You might find you have more time for yourself and others if you’re not distracted by the online world. You might be surprised by the results…

 

5. Look after your skin

 

The cold winter weather can be extremely harsh on the skin. Low humidity and brisk winter chills can leave skin feeling dry and chapped. Look after your skin this January by making sure you exfoliate at least twice a week, finding a face wash that works for your skin and remembering to moisturise twice a day! Make sure you keep hydrated to keep your skin from drying out – this could be from drinking water or eating vegetable with high water content, like cucumber, celery, orange or watermelon.

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