Some people love New Year’s resolutions. A New Year, with new goals, opportunities and challenges! A clean slate.
Some people hate them. After all, New Year is an arbitrary date which is no different to any other day. What’s more, most people break their New Year’s resolutions by halfway through January!
Whether you feel compelled to set goals now or not, it’s worth standing still for a moment and taking stock of 2020.
Obviously, the biggest health story in Australia in 2020 was COVID-19. But do you know the other big health issues facing Aussies? According to the Health Department the following chronic conditions—responsible for 9 out of 10 deaths in Australia—affect around 14 million Australians:
We can prevent or improve the outcomes of many of these conditions with changes to our lifestyles.
Here, we take you through the main things you could change in 2021 that can improve your life, or even save it.
Stopping smoking can provide major health benefits in both the short term and the long term. In fact, your health can improve as soon as you stop smoking.
Did you know that after you quit smoking:
Learn more about quitting methods and get help along the way.
Professor Paul Kelly, Australia’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, tells us:
“Every year there are more than 4,000 alcohol-related deaths in Australia, and more than 70,000 hospital admissions. Alcohol is linked to more than 40 medical conditions, including many cancers.”
To reduce the harm from alcohol, the National Health and Medical Research Council now recommends:
“Following the guidelines keeps the risk of harm from alcohol low, but it does not remove all risk. Healthy adults drinking within the guideline recommendations have less than a 1 in 100 chance of dying from an alcohol-related condition.”
Sedentary lifestyles can double the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity. And with two-thirds of Australians overweight or obese, these risks are now affecting a huge number of our population.
Health authorities around the world recommend just 30 minutes of walking every day to help:
“Walking is hugely underrated as a powerful prescription for good health, and [the] latest research shows how beneficial it can be in lowering your risk of heart disease,” says Professor John Kelly, CEO of the Heart Foundation.
Don’t stop it, swap it
A New Year is a great time to start a healthy eating habit. And the good news is that simple food and drink swaps can make a big impression on your health.
Here’s how it works. Simply swap high-sugar, high-fat or salty foods for healthier alternatives. For example, you can swap:
For more great food swap suggestions, check out the tools and tips on the Healthy Weight website.
We hope this guide gets you started on your way to a healthier life in 2021.
Happy New Year!