Make a commitment to improve your health

Local doctors are encouraging people to think about making a commitment to improve their health this January.

Simple resolutions such as quitting smoking or living a healthier lifestyle can go a long way to improving personal health.

Many people do not get enough exercise and making a resolution to do so in January will dramatically improve health. It can reduce the risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower the chance of early death by up to 30%.

Regular exercise doesn’t have to mean running a marathon every week. Moderate-intensity exercise is enough to raise a person’s heart raise and break sweat. This could include:

  • Walking fast
  • Water aerobics
  • Riding a bicycle
  • A light jog

Recommended physical activity levels vary depending upon age. Children under five years of age should do 180 minutes every day, from age five to 18 should exercise for 60 minutes a day. Adults aged 19 and over should aim to get 150 minutes of exercise per week and this includes older adults (over 65) too.

Dr Tony Naughton, a local GP and clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Exercising more is a good commitment to make in the New Year. The benefits of regular exercise are well documented. From improved vascular health, to increased self-esteem and confidence, the effort is certainly worth it. People of all ages should try to exercise regularly.

“Eating healthier is also another good New Year’s resolution to make for your health. This commitment is often very difficult for some people but with a bit of determination alongside the help and support from our services it is certainly possible.”

In conjunction with more exercise, a nutritious balanced diet consisting of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats can dramatically improve health and body composition.

Many people also struggle in their fight to give up smoking. But by making a commitment to quit in January, local doctors are hoping that many smokers can kick the habit.

“Giving up smoking will dramatically improve your health and there is a range of excellent NHS support to help. I would urge smokers to quit smoking immediately for the good of their health. Make 2015 the year you quit,” added Dr Naughton.

Fylde and Wyre residents can contact their local NHS stop smoking service by calling 01524 845145.

Healthwatch Lancashire are here to listen to your experiences. If you have used the NHS stop smoking service or any other local hospital, dentist, GP or pharmacy then please share your experience here.