Health Matters: New Year resolutions

Graham Hibbins, from Strachan’s Chemist in Uppermill, looks at some New Year’s resolutions.

graham hibbins
Graham Hibbins

I HOPE you all had a good Christmas and by now I’m sure some of you could be considering getting healthier, possibly by giving up smoking, alcohol or trying to lose weight.

All are achievable but need a considerable amount of effort and willpower. Fortunately your pharmacist or GP should be able to offer help in achieving your goal.

Smoking is still one of the biggest causes of ill health, ranging from high blood pressure, heart disease, bronchitis, emphysema and cancer.

However people continue to smoke despite government legislation and continued negative comments because the main substance in cigarettes – “nicotine” – is highly addictive.

The good news is nicotine replacement products are available on prescription or from your pharmacy. You can enrol on a smoking cessation service and many other aids are now available on the internet and smart phones.

Discuss your needs with a healthcare professional, who is only too happy to help in a non-judgemental manner and help avoid the pitfalls.

A word of warning though – electronic cigarettes don’t contain as many harmful chemicals as cigarettes but still contain nicotine and are not without their own risks.

Losing weight is probably the next most common New Year’s resolution. Unless you are seriously overweight, I would encourage plenty of exercise, cut down on sugary, high calorific food and alcohol.

Also, try to eat more fruit and vegetables with protein, such as fish, chicken, eggs and certain types of nuts.

Aim to lose about 2lb a week and if you have a bad day try to be extra good the day after.

A weekly weight loss chart can be easily downloaded and again healthcare professionals are there to offer help and advice.

Make realistic changes and you should feel fitter and healthier – but be careful not to go back to your old ways as it is a lot easier to put weight on than lose it.

If you read my article last month you should know the benefits of cutting down alcohol. I suggest trying to abstain as long as you can, possibly dry “January” or cut down.

Next month, as it is approaching Valentine’s Day, I am going to discuss the “kissing disease”.


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