Make good health your resolution this New Year

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IF you‘ve indulged a little bit more than usual over Christmas, leading health charity Diabetes UK has created some New Year’s resolutions to help.

Whether you live with diabetes or not, the New Year is a fantastic time to make changes that will make a difference to your long term health.

Barbara Young, Chief Executive at Diabetes UK, said: “The New Year is a good time to assess your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future and for people living with diabetes to review your self management and the care you’re receiving.

“We’ve provided some helpful advice to get you back on track for 2012, including the Diabetes UK 15 healthcare essentials to enable those of you living with diabetes to ensure you get the right level of care in the year ahead.”

Festive food tends to be higher in fat and calories than everyday food, plus we tend to indulge in a little more.

If you have slightly overindulged in food and alcoholic drinks over the festive period – don’t panic! The diet recommended for people with diabetes is the same healthy diet recommended to everyone; it should be low in fat, salt and sugar with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and alcohol should be drunk in moderation and with care.

Making these changes in the New Year might first appear challenging but the eating habits you adopt in the New Year will help you manage your diabetes and long term health.

Diabetes UK encourages every adult with diabetes to take regular exercise of moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes five days a week, while children and young people should be aiming for 60 minutes every day.

The good news is that you can become more active by making small changes to your lifestyle – and the New Year is a great time to do this.

Think about what changes you can make to your daily routine to incorporate simple exercise, such as including a brisk walk. If you’re keen to get more involved in sport then the New Year is a good time to join a gym or local sports club.

In the New Year check that you’re receiving a good standard of care to help manage your diabetes. Having the right support is essential for the wellbeing of all people with diabetes and for this reason, Diabetes UK have produced the 15 healthcare essentials.

This is a 15 point list of the checks and services you should be receiving annually. The New Year is a great opportunity to look through this list and ensure that in 2012 you receive all of your annual checks. If you’re concerned that you’ve not been receiving the right level of care then make it your New Year’s resolution to voice your concerns in 2012.

If you want to make a difference in 2012 why not share your experience of living with diabetes in the Diabetes Voices campaign? The Diabetes UK initiative uses your time and experience to help influence politicians, policymakers and the NHS.

Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK. Being overweight or obese is a main risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes. This can be due to being inactive and eating an unhealthy diet.

Diabetes UK is urging people to adopt a healthier lifestyle in 2012 to help reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes. If you’re making a resolution to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle in 2012 make sure you stick to it. It could be the best thing you ever do for your health.

To learn more about the 15 healthcare essentials and the work of Diabetes UK, visit www.diabetes.org.uk

The Diabetes UK Careline (0845-120-2960) provides trained counsellors to provide support and information on any topics relating to diabetes.