Celebrate the Chinese Year of the Horse by becoming more active and healthy

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Chinese New Year is upon us and many people in the local area are celebrating.

2014 is the Year of the Horse, which according to the Chinese zodiac is a time for embracing change, self improvement and becoming more energetic.

Diabetes UK is encouraging everyone to adopt some of these positive changes throughout 2014 by eating a healthy balanced diet and doing more physical activity. These lifestyle changes can help to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and for those who already have diabetes, can help to manage their condition well.

People thinking about celebrating the New Year with a Chinese take away, says the charity, could think about making some healthy swaps or cooking a homemade Chinese feast.

Libby Dowling, Diabetes UK Clinical Advisor, said: “A popular way to celebrate Chinese New Year will be to have a treat and order a take away, and there’s certainly no harm in that. But making the right food choices is important either to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes or manage the condition if you already have it.

“If you are planning to celebrate the Chinese New Year, then consider making some healthy swaps to your Chinese take away. Try choosing dishes that contain lots of delicious dark green vegetables such as pak choi, bean sprouts and broccoli. Anything battered will be deep fried and full of fat, so perhaps switch your portion of sweet and sour chicken for chicken or vegetable chow mein. And go for boiled rice rather than egg fried rice. Or you could even get creative in the kitchen and consider making your own Chinese feast.

“The Year of the Horse is also a great opportunity to take the Chinese philosophy to heart and make a new resolution to challenge yourself to become more energetic and physically active. This doesn’t mean you need to sign up for a marathon, instead start small by taking the stairs instead of the lift, getting off the bus one stop early and parking the car in the furthest away spot in the car park. Before you know if you will have become more energetic without realising and be truly living the Year of the Horse to the full.”

For more information on eating healthily and recipe suggestions visit www.diabetes.org.uk