Change your unhealthy habits this New Year

A shocking one in four adults are affected by obesity and only 26% of adults consume 5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day. One in six young people eat fast food twice a day and there are now 56,638 takeaways in England.

Obesity can lead to many serious health conditions which are potentially life-threatening including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, a stroke and some types of cancer. Here are some healthy habits to adopt in the new year:

Avoid snacks
Snacking can become a habit out of boredom, stress or frustration rather than out of hunger therefore leading to weight gain as frequent snacking is likely to take you over your daily calorie allowance. Popular widely consumed snacks aren’t normally the healthy kind, more often than not they are cookies, pastries, crisps, sweets and chocolates, all of which are high in calories. Consuming too many sugar-rich foods can cause high cholesterol and may contribute to inflammation and oxidative stress, which can increase the risk of developing heart disease. Try cutting down on snacking or if you do feel hungry throughout the day opt for healthier options such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Try cooking healthily
Fast food costs very little and tastes very good, however, the negative effects on a person’s physical health can be long lasting. Consuming high quantities of fast food can increase the risk of heart disease or stroke or depression, cause headaches, trigger acne, lead to high cholesterol or high blood pressure or weight gain, cause a blood sugar spike and bloating/puffiness. Research has shown that regularly eating home-cooked meals tend to be happier and healthier, and consume less sugar and processed foods. A healthy balanced diet can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, improve heart health, strengthen bones and teeth, and control weight.

Exercise more frequently
You will have heard it all before many times – regular exercise is good for your health. Physical activity is vital to leading a healthier life and the benefits of investing in physical activity in the workplace include maintaining a healthy body weight, reduced accident rates, increased productivity, improved morale, reduced risk of illness, and improved concentration and focus. Small changes in everyday life can you help you to become more active more frequently such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking/cycling to work instead of driving. Try making exercise fun and interesting, so why not go on a workout with friends or family.