The real new year

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Trevor Shilton

National Heart Foundation Spokesperson for Physical Activity

Get out from under the blanket and put aside your smartphone - spring is in the air. Little bursts of life are sprouting inside and out from birdlife to plants and trees and even inside our homes. We clean and tidy and refresh our wardrobes – but what about doing the same for ourselves?   

Like the rest of us, you might have found it tough over the last few months. You’ve likely hibernated indoors, heater cranked up, and confined physical activity to the odd peak through the blinds which confirmed it wasn’t worth venturing out.  

New year’s resolutions have come and gone, we're paying for unused gym memberships, but we are going to start looking after ourselves ... tomorrow. Even if you live in warmer climes, our body’s inclination to conserve energy and our brain’s fondness for procrastination can hamstring good intentions.  

But here's the thing: the real new year starts now. We can all improve our heart-health; no matter how many winters have passed us by. In a few simple steps we can put ourselves back on the right track. 

Not sure where to start? 

If you're not sure where to begin, and you haven’t been active for a while, start by heading to your doctor for a heart health check. Our BMI calculator can also help you to work out where you stand.

Once you know, it's time to dust of the sneakers, dig through your draws and get active

And don't forget – physical activity not only helps your body, it can help you shake off the winter blues too and connect with friends, family and your neighbourhood. You don't have to sweat yourself into a stupor straightaway - especially if it's been a while since you were active on a regular basis.  

Walking is a great place to start. And if you need a little extra motivation, why not find a friend or colleague to workout with for some mutual motivation or join a walking group?

What about food? No problem, we've got hundreds of heart-healthy recipes from breakfast to dinner and even snacks (yes you can still have them). 

There are loads of tasty options that prove healthy foods and good flavours aren’t mutually exclusive.  

There's never been a better time of year for a refresh start. Just swap tomorrow for today on your calendar and you’re well on your way to better heart health.