New year new you text on notepad

Wellbeing



New Year, New You

Making 2019 a healthy and happy year

As we welcome in 2019 many of us will be thinking about getting started on our New Year’s resolutions. Research suggests that the most popular resolutions are to eat better and exercise more but will focusing on fitness fads and the latest diet trends offer the most benefit?

While January’s newest diet and exercise routines may be fun to try and offer short term gains, what could be more valuable is considering resolutions which could positively impact your long-term health.

Know your heart age

One of the best indicators of assessing your overall health is understanding your blood pressure readings. If you don’t feel you understand the importance of blood pressure monitoring or your heart health, then why not take our new Heart Age Quiz and see if you should be making resolutions to improve your heart stats.

Setting a healthy resolution

Using 2019 to kick start your new approach to a healthy heart, here are our top five easy to introduce resolutions that can help you to improve your blood pressure this year and beyond!

Two colleagues in conversation while walking

Resolution 1: Walk and talk

Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day can help to reduce your risk of heart disease. So challenge yourself to add a 30 minute brisk walk into your day. It could be in your lunch hour, picking the kids up from school or walking to the shops. Take a friend and take the talk test – an easy way to work out your exercise level. Moderate exercise means “you should feel your heart pumping harder, but are still be able to hold a conversation”. If you’re struggling to talk then slow it down but if you can sing then speed it up! Chatting your way through your walk will help make it more enjoyable and you’ll have a friend by your side to help to support you.

Woman sitting on bed, writing in the notebook

Resolution 2: Write it down

Overthinking or having a mind racing with all your thoughts and worries can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep and it’s well known that sleep helps in keeping your heart healthy. A simple tip to get your full sleep allocation and reduce your risk of cardiovascular and heart disease is to keep a notepad beside your bed. Your goal is to then spend five minutes before you go to bed to write down anything that is on your mind or that you need to remember. It will leave you with a clear mind that is ready for the land of nod.

Woman enjoying the sunshine in the snow outside

Resolution 3: Get nutrient rich

Eating a healthy well balanced diet is key to both your overall and heart health. It also ensures you get enough of the nutrients you need to keep things running smoothly. A simple test at the doctors will reveal if you are lacking in any vitamins and whether you should therefore take supplements. Vitamin D deficiency for example has been identified as a risk factor in cardiovascular disease and so it’s important to keep your levels maintained. During the summer we get vitamin D through UVB rays from exposure to sunlight. However, in the winter when we spend less time outdoors and are more covered up we may not get as much as our bodies need. This is where certain foods can help. Oily fish, such as mackerel or salmon, eggs and some fortified cereals are all nutrient rich and can help boost our vitamin D levels so be sure to include these in your diet, particularly in winter.

Someone using a Braun iCheck7

Resolution 4: Monitor your Blood Pressure

We keep track of many health markers such as counting calories or daily steps, but keeping a check on your blood pressure level is the most effective way of monitoring your heart health. So, why not add regular monitoring to your at-home health checks? It doesn’t have to be chore and is simple with Braun Blood Pressure Monitors. It can help you identify any triggers which in turn will allow you to make simple lifestyle changes to get your blood pressure back on track and help keep your heart healthy. The long term benefits you will see from regular monitoring will be a great motivator to help you stick to your new routine.

Happy parents and kids having fun tickling each other on sofa in the living room at home

Resolution 5: Enjoy yourself!

Spend time making yourself happy this year. One of the big trends for 2019 is set to be the wellness world putting a focus on making sure people are happier. Reduced stress and a happier mood can have positive benefits on your heart health, such as reducing your blood pressure. So with a lack of physical interaction and huge reliance on digital devices contributing to unhappiness, make this year the one to have more tech-free time and more time dedicated to seeing friends and family. It’s got to be one of the easiest goals to maintain this year!

So don’t succumb to fickle resolutions and fads this year – instead think about some small realistic resolutions that can have a positive long-term impact on your heart health and blood pressure, making 2019 the start of a healthy and happy new you!