Make a healthy New Year’s resolution – and stick to it!

Clinical leaders in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven are encouraging people to make a small change this January to improve their health for years to come.

A very simple New Year’s resolution such as quitting smoking, cutting down on drinking alcohol, or exercising more can go a long way to improving health.

The three local NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs): Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven; Bradford City and Bradford Districts are urging people to make a change to their lifestyle in 2015 that could benefit them for the rest of their life.

And the NHS Choices website is providing some expert tips for sticking to those resolutions and achieving your goals.

Dr Akram Khan, clinical chair of Bradford City CCG, said: “A new year means a fresh start for many of us and if you can make one change such as giving up smoking, drinking less alcohol, eating healthier or exercising more, it’s likely to benefit you for the rest of your life.

“Regular exercise can dramatically improve your health and reduces the risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and lowers the chance of an early death.

“Giving up smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health. You are four times more likely to give up smoking with professional help, so speak to your GP or pharmacist or call the council’s stop smoking team on: 01274 437700.”

For lots of great advice on losing weight, quitting smoking, getting active, drinking less alcohol and eating more fruit and veg, visit the NHS Choices website: www.nhs.uk

Hundreds of thousands of people will make a New Year’s resolution – maybe to lose weight, quit smoking or drink less – but only one in 10 will actually achieve their goal.

NHS Choices website reports that psychologists have found people are more likely to succeed if they break their resolution into smaller goals that are specific, measurable and time-based.

Professor Richard Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, tracked 5,000 people as they attempted to achieve their New Year's resolutions.

His team found that those who failed tended not to have a plan, which made their resolution soon feel like a mountain to climb. Some focused too much on the downside of not achieveing their goal, adopted role models, fantasised about their goal or relied on will power alone.

"Many of these ideas are frequently recommended by self-help experts but our results suggest that they simply don't work," says Prof Wiseman.

"If you are trying to lose weight, it's not enough to stick a picture of a model on your fridge or fantasise about being slimmer."

He said the 10% of participants in the study who had achieved their target broke their goal into smaller goals and felt a sense of achievement when they achieved these.

"Many of the most successful techniques involve making a plan and helping yourself stick to it," says Prof Wiseman.

See Prof Wiseman’s top 10 tips for achieving your New Year resolutions at: www.nhs.uk

ENDS

For more information, contact the communications team on: 01274 237386 or email: communications@bradford.nhs.uk