Milton Keynes GP Dr Nicola Smith is stressing how small vital changes to lifestyle can make all the difference for people looking to improve their health in the New Year.
The Clinical Chair of NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said that anyone wanting to put better health at the top of their New Year’s Resolution List should focus on small changes that can make a big difference if sustained in the long term.
She called on people to take moderate physical exercise for half an hour five times a week.
The exercise should be strenuous enough to, at least, leave the person slightly out of breath.
She also urged people to give up smoking, drink less alcohol and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables if they are overweight or have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, although she acknowledges that is easier said than done.
She said: “I realise that the pressures, stresses and the cost of modern life make it all that much harder to give up some of life’s ‘pleasures’ and we often make bold pledges to lose lots of weight or to give up smoking completely.
“Be honest with yourself and choose the right time for you to embark on major behaviour change.
“Putting small, realistic goals on your New Year’s Resolution List is far more likely to help you achieve your aims in the long term so, whenever you can, walk or cycle and take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator.
“Gym memberships are great for those who have the time and money to make it work but running and walking is free and therefore the rewards of these forms of exercise can be much greater.”