Make it a healthy 2014 with the NHS

Get fit, lose weight, cut down drinking, quit smoking – how many of us struggle to keep these New Year resolutions beyond the first week in January?

The NHS can help. There is a huge range of expertise and advice available to make 2014 your healthiest year yet.

Dr Andy Whitfield, chair of NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Deciding to improve your lifestyle can seem a bit daunting, but making the decision to change is often the most difficult bit."

"The good news is that you don't have to do it alone – help from your local NHS is always on hand as you take steps to improve your physical health.

"You are never too old to make small changes to your lifestyle, so if you're feeling a bit washed out after the festivities, take a step back to see if the time is right to start making those changes."

Get fit

They say that if exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented. Improving your fitness is one of the best things you can do for your body and health – and it doesn't have to mean running yourself ragged.

The NHS Choices website has lots of exercise advice, and simple workouts that will start you off on the road to becoming a fitter you.

Top tips, plans and advice on health and fitness: www.nhs.uk/livewell/fitness/Pages/Fitnesshome.aspx
These tools will help you keep on track: www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Toolslibrary.aspx?Tag=Fitness&Page=1
Quit smoking

Smokers are four times more likely to quit with help from the NHS, so make 2014 the year you become a non-smoker.

Quit4Life, run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, runs more than 50 free sessions across Hampshire so there is bound to be one near you. If you find it hard to attend regular sessions you can still get NHS support with QuitLine. Visit www.quit4life.nhs.uk for more information.

In Surrey, find out about weekly clinics, telephone or GP support, by logging on to http://www.healthysurrey.org.uk/your-health/smoking/

Cut down your alcohol intake

If the festive season has made you think a little harder about the amount of alcohol you drink, the NHS can help you get back on track.

Drinking too much alcohol regularly increases your risk of liver problems, reduced fertility, high blood pressure, heart attacks and numerous cancers.

For tips on cutting down, reducing the effects of hangovers and help available, visit www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/Alcohol/Pages/Alcoholhome.aspx.

Dr Whitfield added: "As we start 2014, why not make these all important changes and you and your family will see the benefits almost immediately.

"Have a happy and healthy New Year."

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