The New Year is an opportunity to make small changes to better our health, the health of those around us and the health of the planet.

1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness resets your body and allows a moment to reflect and centre your focus. There are many ways to undertake this, for example,  gardening, a yoga session, a walk along the beach or a local park . These activities rest the mind and helps you to unwind. Smiling Mind is a web and App-based program designed to introduce and teach  mindfulness techniques .

2. Walk more, Drive Less

Walking reduces emissions and is good for heart, mind and brain. Exercise protects against dementia and helps in stress management.

Choosing the activity for you  to increase your physical activity will depend on your health goals. Enjoyment is the key feature in maintaining an exercise programme. It is useful to have a check with your GP before embarking on a new physical activity if you are over 40years of age. .

Useful websites are:

- ( Physical Activity - choosing  the one for you)


-  Fit Life - American Council on Exercise.


3. Eat less Meat and more Vegetables

Eating more vegetables and fruit help prevent coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some types  of cancer,  obesity and constipation. Vegetables and fruit are low in calories and high in fibre and contain plenty of vitamins and minerals. livelighterlonger is a Western Australian website with recipes, suggestions for easy food-swaps and small changes for long term results

4. Buy Local , in Season and Fresh

Try new recipes, reduce the carbon miles and the foods usually will be cheaper, fresher and tastier. For advice, is a program designed to encourage Western Australians to lead healthier lifestyles, to make healthier changes to eating and drinking and activity by making small changes.

Preparing food from home has been shown to result in people eating smaller portions, less saturated fats, salt and sugar. 

Nutrition  has been taken out of the science world and into the world of pseudoscience. Good nutritional advice can be found at:

- The Smart Eating for You and the Nutrition A-Z sections of www.daa.asnau

- Storehouse is an online nutrition blogger's directory from qualified dieticians, nutrition scientists and mentored student dieticians


5. Reconsider the Second Drink

Try to achieve the two alcohol free days per week and review the need to accompany a difficult day at work with an alcoholic beverage. Alcohol is a carcinogen and  introduces " empty " calories to your daily intake.

6. Drink Tap Water

Plain tap water is cheap, quenches thirst and has no kilojoules. Soft drink takes enormous energy to produce, are further empty calories with strong links to obesity and diabetes ( one 600ml bottle of regular soft drink contains approximately 16 teaspoons of sugar). Diet soft drinks contain no sugar,but provide no nutritional value other than fluid,and have an erosive effect on teeth. A daily sugary drink will result in an average weight gain of 6.5kg per year.


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