Date Posted: 28th December 2017
A NEWPORT doctor has explained what the best and worst New Year’s resolutions are for Argus readers' health.
Resolutions are often made with the best intentions, including improving one’s health by losing weight, eating more fruit and veg or exercising more.
But some seemingly healthy goals could have hidden detrimental effects, according to Dr Isabel Echeveste, a GP at St Joseph’s Hospital.
The Malpas hospital has more than 160 leading consultants supported by a dedicated nursing and healthcare team.
Dr Echeveste said: “A New Year’s resolution can be a really positive step towards improving health, but setting unrealistic goals, putting our bodies to extremes or failing to keep to our resolutions at all can have a negative impact on our physical and mental wellbeing."
“If you’re hoping to make a healthy change in 2018, these are my three best, and worst, New Year’s resolutions for your health.”
Dr Echeveste's first tip is to get at least eight hours of sleep a night, a feat few people manage on a regular basis.
But Dr Echeveste says that putting off late housework and tasks such as answering late-night emails could help boost your mood and improve immunity to help aid weight loss and memory retention.
Taking a break from social media is another potential resolution for those who are quick to check their phone or laptop.
“Studies have repeatedly found that heavy use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can have a negative impact on our emotional wellbeing,” said Dr Echeveste.
“In 2018 why not try reducing your use of social media, or even take a short break, meet up with friends and family in person instead and see what it does for your mood?”
The final positive resolution is to be more active – but instead of reaching straight for an expensive gym membership, make small adjustments such as taking the stairs, going for short walks or cycling to work. On the flip side of the coin, weight loss resolutions which involve giving up carbohydrates completely could be bad for your health.
Dr Echeveste said: “Each food group contains nutrients that are essential for your body to function normally, and the body uses carbs to generate energy and keep you going throughout the day.
“When it comes to diet, the healthiest way to lose weight is through eating three balanced meals and two snacks a day with elements from every food group.”
Sudden changes in diet, such as going 'cold turkey', or cutting out smoking or fizzy drinks, will also not work for everyone.
Weekly targets which see gradual cutbacks on your vices should benefit you in the long run.
Dr Echeveste also believes that working overtime to clinch that promotion at work could affect one’s work-life balance.
"Working long hours and putting pressure on yourself to get a promotion can result in extra stress and have a negative impact on mental health,” she added.
“Instead, try setting yourself smaller, achievable goals at work to give your performance a general boost and see if a promotion follows."