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New Year’s Health Resolutions to stick to

January 13, 2023
New Year’s Health Resolutions to stick to
January 13, 2023

As we go from a pandemic into a cost-of-living crisis, further disrupted by ongoing strike action, looking after our health has never been more important. And whether you want to whittle down your waistline, improve your energy levels or ease anxiety, making small tweaks can make a huge difference to your physical and mental health.


‘Just picking a couple of small bad habits to stop or one or two good habits to start can really improve your overall health and wellbeing, meaning less time off sick, less time at the doctor’s or in hospital – and we could all do with helping to free up NHS services when we can,’ says ZoomDoc’s Chief Medical Officer, Kenny Livingstone.


So, from moving more to sorting out those health niggles, these are the resolutions we should all be ticking off for a healthy and happy New Year. 


  • Move more, sit less

So many of us are guilty of sitting too much during the day but it’s actually really bad for our health. Having a desk-based job doesn’t help with this but spending too much time sitting down and not moving enough actually increases our risk of early death (source: PubMed Central).


There is increasing evidence that, unless you are a wheelchair user, sitting down too much can be a risk to your health


‘We see so many patients with back, weight or mobility problems linked to not moving enough. Luckily it is easy to fix or prevent by moving more and sitting less,’ says Dr Kenny.


Try setting reminders or use an app to count your steps. Aim to do a walk every day and try to make this year you take regular breaks from your desk – try getting up and stretching your legs for a few minutes every hour.


  • Ditch the diet

We probably all start off the New Year wanting to lose a few pounds and wondering which diet to try this time. But with research finding that most dieters fail, actually piling on the weight they lose within a year, it could be time to ditch diets this year.


Instead, your best bet is to move more (see above) and eat healthy foods such as wholegrains (brown bread instead of white), cook as much as you can from scratch, avoid processed foods and cut down on takeaways and ready meals.


While any weight loss will require a change to eating habits, it shouldn’t mean missing out on nutrients


Of course, diets can work for some people and if you’re really keen to try one, go for something that’s not ‘faddy’ and is achievable long-term such as Slimming World, WW or ask your GP for help if nothing’s working.


As well as providing phone and video consultations with GPS, ZoomDoc can also put you in touch with a Nutritional Health specialist for diet and nutrition guidance. Find out more here.


  • Watch what you drink

If you’re keen to lose weight without dieting, why not look at what you drink instead?


Alcohol is high in calories and stopping drinking or cutting down considerably could help you lose pounds but you’ll also notice a ton of other health benefits as a result.


Most people who stop drinking notice the inches fall off from around their middle, which is often where alcohol-related weight is stored.


Dry January – a health initiative to encourage and support people to give up alcohol for 31 days – is a great way to stop this calorific habit and improve your overall health at the same time, which is why Dr Kenny says it’s well worth trying:


‘In moderation, drinking alcohol can be fine, but when it becomes relied on or gets out of control, there’s no doubt it’s a bad health habit to have. Dry January not only helps you break the habit, it also helps your liver, sleep, skin, overall immune system and more.’


Read more about kicking the habit for Dry January here.


  • Talk to a doctor 

There’s no doubt GP surgeries are busier than ever right now but that doesn’t mean you should avoid going if there’s something you’re concerned about. If you’ve been putting off seeing a doctor about a worrying symptom or unusual lump, the sooner you get seen the better – both for peace of mind and starting treatment, if required.


Access on demand healthcare and support by contacting one of our GPs.



‘If you do struggle to get an appointment, or would rather speak to a doctor from the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you, you can always use ZoomDoc’s GP service,’ says Dr Kenny.


Here’s how it works …


Simply download the app and you’ll get instant access to a UK-trained GP. Appointments start from as little as £35. You can also use the service to access referral letters or sick notes for work, should you need one.


  • Get more sleep

Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, heart disease and even depression so don’t let your slumber problems carry on any longer than they have to. Try these science-backed tips to help you get a better night’s sleep, from tonight.



If you’ve tried everything and nothing’s working, talk to your GP or one of our ZoomDoc experts to get help with your sleeping patterns.  Download the ZoomDoc app now to stop sleepless nights for good.


  • Book in those overdue appointments

If you’re overdue a trip to the dentist or optician, don’t put it off any longer. 



‘These regular appointments are vital in detecting conditions from cancer to tumours that could easily be missed,’ says Dr Kenny.


‘Dentists can keep an eye on gum disease and look out for signs of mouth cancer while your eye test can check the overall health of your eye and reveal signs of heart disease, diabetes and more, as well as just checking your sight,’ he adds.


  • Spend time outdoors

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest spending time outdoors is good for our health but anyone who’s gone for a walk in the woods or a trip to the park will feel it for themselves.

Just being outside in the fresh air can lift your mood and even lower blood pressure and stress levels.


And getting outdoors even counts as daily exercise so it’s a win-win for your waistline and keeping fit, too!


  • Switch off your phone

We’re all glued to a screen, tablet or phone these days but with a strong link between screen time and anxiety and even depression [source: PubMed Central], we could all do with making sure we find time to switch off this year.


‘Having a break from screens has countless health benefits – from giving your eyes a much-needed break, it can also help reduce headaches and improve your sleep, too,’ says Dr Kenny.


Allow the mind to settle, the soul to speak and experience the clarity that time-honoured thinking allows.



To make this resolution one you can stick to, try making these small changes:


  • have a house rule that says no screens after dinner time
  • leave your phone upstairs for an hour in the evening 
  • try cutting down social media scrolling sessions to 20 minutes instead of an hour.


Every bit helps!


Whichever resolutions you choose, good luck and remember whatever health concerns you have this year, ZoomDoc medical experts are just a phone or video call away. Download our app here.


Immediate 24/7 access to our top-quality GPs

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