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Here are some of the most popular new year’s resolutions our customers are tackling in 2017. We’ve looked into why these are great choices and what extra help you may need to succeed.

Stopping smoking

Kicking the habit offers many benefits which improve your short and long term health prospects. Within 9 months, you can expect your lung capacity to improve by up to 10%. Your breathing should become easier and any persistent coughs should ease off. Stopping also improves your future health prospects – having a greater lung capacity in older age can mean that you will be able to continue to be active for longer and therefore improves the quality of your later years. Quitting also reduces stress and anxiety levels – leaving you with much more energy!

Stop smoking with these top tips:

Get help with nicotine support: Cutting out smoking completely ’ can be too much for some people to handle and has a low chance of success. You may consider a phased reduction in cigarettes, why not try nicotine replacement products available at our sister company,

Track your success: Without spending on smoking, it’s easy to see a real difference in your wallet! If you’ve already planned what you’re going to do with the money, whether it’s a fancy holiday or new car – it’s motivating to keep track of how much you’re saving.

Talk to your doctor: Your GP can help you quit. Smoking is linked to many serious health conditions, so getting you to quit is a top priority for them. GPs have lots of useful advice and can prescribe medical treatments, as well as referring you to stop smoking groups in your area. With our Online Doctor service, you can take a web-based consultation with a GP to help find the best treatment for you. To start your consultation, click here.

Weight loss

If you’ve over indulged over the Christmas period – the parties, daily doses of sweets, chocolate and other foods plus excessive alcohol consumption might mean you put on a few pounds over the festive period. If this puts you into an overweight or obese category, the health implications need to be considered. If you are obese (defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more) it needs to be tackled, otherwise you increase your risk of long term health conditions such as strokes, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and an increased risk of various forms of cancer.

Top weight loss tips:

Change your diet: Switching to a healthy and balanced diet is the best start you can make. See your waistline quickly reduce by cutting out biscuits, crisps and fizzy drinks as well as other unhealthy foods.

Exercise regularly: As well as making changes to your diet, you can also aid your weight loss by exercising more. If you haven’t been to the gym recently, it might be unrealistic to enter the London Marathon but even with light walking, jogging and/or swimming you should see a difference shortly. Slow and steady at first is the right approach.

Strength in numbers: There will be groups in your local area that can provide a sense of community when it comes to slimming – regular meetings, recipe tips and friendly support can help to keep you focused. Plus, it’s a great way to make friends!

Visit our Online Doctor service for a weight loss consultation with a GP that could lead to prescription-strength weight loss treatments being prescribed. Alternatively, you can also consider using non-prescription slimming aids, such as Alli which when taken in combination with a lower-fat, reduced calorie diet can boost your weight loss by 50%.

Stress reduction

2015/16 stress accounted for 37% of all work-related illnesses in the United Kingdom, showing how serious and common stress is in the modern world. Work life, financial worries and relationship woes can contribute to feelings of stress. Aside from being deeply unpleasant, stress is also be linked to a number of serious health conditions including insomnia, depression and anxiety. If left untreated you can also experience headaches, muscle tension and dizziness.

Top tips to de-stress:

Make some changes: If something about your life is causing you to feel stressed then there may be some steps you can take to improve your situation. This could be working on your time management to improve your work – life balance. Eating a healthier diet and exercising more can also help to lower your stress levels. If you are often placed in stressful situations and suffer from palpitations, excessive sweating or trembling, our Online Doctor service offers consultations and treatments for situational anxiety

Don’t be afraid to seek help: Stress can feel like a very private prison. Don’t be embarrassed or worried about telling those closest to you how you are feeling. You should talk to your GP if you are concerned, there are many ways they can help and they may be able to refer you to local services to provide further support.

Meditation: Mindfulness is a technique that can help you deal better with stress or anxiety by teaching you to focus on the present moment, allowing you to take notice of your thoughts and feelings without being consumed by them. There are many guides and courses online and it’s an approach recommended by the NHS to improve mental wellbeing.