Friday 24 January 2020

Real Health Podcast: 10 real resolutions for 2020

Karl Henry
Karl Henry
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Most of us start the New Year by making, breaking, and then cursing resolutions.

But it doesn't have to be that way. The key to sticking to your guns is, paradoxically, to be less virtuous. E.G: if you have a five-a-day Mars bar habit, there's no point in swearing off chocolate completely. Instead manage your expectations. and set realistic goals.

In this week's Real Health podcast, Karl Henry runs through ten simple but effective ways to maintain your physical and mental health. Karl recommends writing all your resolutions down and placing them in visible places - like placing Post It notes on your fridge) to act as a form of motivation.

1) Start saying 'No'

It's important to put yourself first and prioritise your health, and often times that means saying no to other people. It's a word many of us have difficulty in saying. We can feel that we are letting people down but you're not. "It's not selfish it's good for your health," Karl said.

2) No gimmick or quick fix diet solutions

At this time of year there are an abundance of ads hawking fad diets and quick fix weight loss programmes. We are all impatient and the promise of instant weight loss is appealing, especially after a festive period of over indulgence. But these instant weight loss programmes will not last.

"Weight loss takes time," Karl said. "Fad diets are quick fixes, you are losing water or liquid, anything that it is sold to you as a quick fix will not work long term. Don't waste your money. Instead aim to lose weight in a healthy and measured approach, one to two pounds a week.

3) Do something every month that scares you

According to Karl we are all prone to the 'grand effect'. "It's the tendency to say, 'Yes I am unhealthy and overweight but it's grand'," he explained.

To ensure that we don't get into an unhealthy rut it's imperative to do something that scares or frightens you. This can be an activity like sky diving, or a social event - trying out stand up comedy. "The whole goal of this resolution is to get you confident about what you want," Karl explained. And overcoming your fears is addictive.

4) Spring clean your life

A clean slate is conducive to a more peaceful state of mind. So start the new year by spring cleaning the different components of your life. Tidy your your home, and your car - if those spaces are messy and chaotic, you will find it harder to focus. It's also a good idea to spring clean your social media accounts; unfollow anyone you don't want to follow, or anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself or your life choices. Only follow people who you like, who enhance your life, or who empower you.

5) Create a vision board

This is a simple and effective way to visualise and achieve your goals. "It could be a wedding or a holiday, more sleep, a car anything," Karl said. "Cut out things that are important to you, out them on your vision board and it will help you achieve your goals".

6) Floss

There is increasing research to show that good oral health is linked to overall physical health. "Flossing is good for your head, because it's a mindful pleasure that comes from flossing," Karl said.

7) Read more

"Read for an actual book, reading from a Kindle is not the same," Karl said. "There is nothing to beat a new book. Read before bed, it educates you and gives you something to do that isn't technology, it slows down your thought process down before bed. Try and read for 20 minutes a night."

8) Reconnect with one old friend each week

Regular social interaction is integral to our physical and mental wellbeing; so reaching out and meeting up with old friends - in real life as opposed to online - is essential. Re-connecting with people from our past is also a great way to re-connect with ourselves and gain understanding to our own psyche.

9) Increase your daily movement

"We know that people who are more active during the day are healthier," Karl said. "So park further away from work so you have to walk, and swap the lift for the stairs. Those small changes make a big difference. Stand as much as you can - it forces your muscles to work."

10) Measurement

Monitoring your physicality helps maintain a healthy lifestyle. Once a week measure your weight, or your waist line. Or, if you don't like focusing on scales, then do a 1K test run, or a set amount of push ups. Whatever you decide on, checking in encourages you to stay on track.

Keep sending your questions in to me via email realhealth@independent.ie or contact Karl on Twitter and Instagram @karlhenryPT.

For more episodes and information from the Real Health podcast you can also go to: https://www.independent.ie/podcasts/the-real-health-podcast/

The Real Health podcast with Karl Henry in association with Laya Healthcare.

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