New year tips to kick start your health

Even if you don’t have real resolutions most of us see the New Year as a new start in life, when we’re going to get fit, go to the gym, lose weight, eat and drink less, exercise more, work harder…..Try these tips for a good start to the year:

 1. Drink water for more energy Cut down on tea, coffee, and colas as they contain caffeine which is a stimulant that gives a quick fix followed by a slump, and opt for water instead – eight glasses a day is recommended to flush out the toxins – and try peppermint, fruity or dandelion herbal teas instead of your normal hot drink.

2. Get plenty of zzz After partying over Christmas and New Year when the days are short and dull it’s a tiring time, but the body needs sleep to heal itself and be fit enough to fight off all the circulating winter bugs, so try to aim for seven or eight hours a night.

3. Binge on fruit and veggies

They are the healthiest thing you can eat because they are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which fight free radicals that cause cell damage, cancer and heart disease – avoid pesticides by choosing organic and try home-made soups and fresh juices.

4. Shedding those extra pounds

Don’t give up eating because you’ve overdone it but eat healthily – three meals a day and regular snacks of nuts, seeds and fruit with plenty of fruit, vegetables, rice, pasta, and pulses like lentils and cut out or reduce bread, sugary and processed foods.

5. Up your vitamin intake

Pollution, smoking, stress and alcohol all wipe out nutrients in the body, so take a good multivitamin/mineral supplement to make sure you’re not deficient in any of them. Taking Vitamin C as well helps to prevent colds and flu, reduce stress levels, ensure healthy skin and turns food into much-needed energy in the body.

6. Exercise boosts your energy

Even though you might be feeling sluggish the more exercise you do the more energetic you feel, so check out the gym or try Yoga and Pilates classes for good stretching exercise, or simply add a 20 minute walk to your daily routine to keep trim and healthy.

7. Remember to relax

Stress is the scourge of 21st Century living and too much leads to illness, so try to give yourself half an hour a day to relax – even if you’ve got kids or a hectic job – take a long aromatic bath, listen to music, read a book or learn to meditate.

8. Hide the chocolate

If you’ve eaten too much over the festive season try to keep it out of reach from Monday to Friday at least and have some on the weekends if you can’t give up altogether. Too much sugar causes blood sugar levels to fluctuate giving highs and lows so try to reduce intake of sweets to a minimum and see if you feel better.

9. Make this the year to give up smoking and start now!

There are so many ways to quit smoking from patches to pills that the doctor can give you or for something different you can try acupuncture, hypnotherapy or have a go at the charity Quit’s email support: www.quit.org.uk

10. Have a herbal boost

Herbal remedies can give you much needed support at this time of year – Echinacea enables the immune system to fight infection and stave off colds, Milk Thistle protects the liver if you’ve over-indulged this year, and Siberian Ginseng is energising and helps you to focus. (Check with a doctor if you are taking other medication or are pregnant).

To purchase A. Vogel Echinaforce Echinacea, Milk Thistle, and Eleutherococcus Siberian Ginseng, 50ml each, £9.15 go to www.superfooduk.com and put in the code HSoul1 for a 5% discount.