January is the month for making (and breaking!) New Year's resolutions, so here are our top tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in 2013.
Meditating helps reduce stress
Cut back on alcohol
If you are planning to watch your weight in 2013, don’t forget to add your alcohol intake to your daily calorie count. According to the World Cancer Research Fund, a large glass of wine has the same calories as eating two chocolate digestive biscuits, and it will take you more than a half hour's brisk walk to burn off.
Meditation has been practised around the world for thousands of years, and research has shown that that the brains of experienced meditators may actually work differently than brains of those who don't meditate. By including meditation in your daily routine you could soon benefit from improved concentration, increased awareness and a better ability to deal with stress.
Avoid yo-yo diets
Fad diets promise quick results but they are not sustainable in the long-term. Any initial weight loss is usually regained once normal calorie intake is resumed, and you could end up even heavier than when you started. Yo-yo dieting can also cause a multitude of health problems, such as depression, loss of muscular strength and a higher risk of osteoporosis.
Inactivity is as harmful as smoking cigarettes according to a 2012 study published in The Lancet, with 5.3 million deaths caused by lack of exercise worldwide. To prevent diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the NHS recommends that adults do 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. Many medical insurance policies offer discounted gym membership to encourage their customers to get fit.
Drink green tea
Green tea contains a high concentration of antioxidants which help prevent cell damage caused by harmful molecules in the body. Experts recommend drinking 2-3 cups a day to enjoy the benefits, which range from increased metabolism to cancer prevention- a recent study showed that female green tea drinkers are at a lower risk of some cancers.
Take up a hobby
Taking up a hobby isn’t just something to fill your time- science shows they actually boost your mental and physical health as well. A study carried out by experts at the Mayo Clinic found that engaging in a hobby could reduce the risk of developing memory problems by 40 per cent, and other research has indicated that hobbies can reduce blood pressure and stress levels.
Eat colourful fruit and veg
Not only do colourful fruit and veg look visually appealing, but their different colours indicate that they are full of a variety of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. The Department of Health advises that we all eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day, so make it a colourful range to maximise the health benefits.
Have regular health checks
Despite having a lower life expectancy than women, research shows that men are 20% less likely to visit their doctor than women. Not only do men see their GP less frequently, but they are also less likely to have regular dental check-ups or speak to a pharmacist. Getting prompt medical treatment with a leading specialist is one of the benefits of having private health insurance.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013