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Don’t keep your plans for a healthier New Year a secret

Many people like to start a new year off with pledges to eat better and exercise more, drink less alcohol and give up smoking.

But South Western Sydney Local Health District’s health promotion service director Mandy Williams says many people’s best intentions fall apart because they fall back into old habits.

“It can take a couple of weeks for people to develop a new habit or a new way of living, so it is important to be as disciplined as possible in the first few weeks,” she said.

“Write down your 2018 goals and let your friends and family know your intentions for the New Year.

“Not only will this make you accountable to somebody other than yourself, they will also be able to support you along the way and help you when you are tempted to fall back into unhealthy habits.

“You may even find they will want to join in your new healthy lifestyle.”

Ms Williams said starting on the path to a healthier lifestyle didn’t need to be unpleasant, particularly during the summer months.

“This is the perfect time to get out in the backyard or in the park with the kids or family and friends and get some regular exercise,” she said.

“The hot weather is perfect salad weather and there is plenty of fresh fruit in season if you are tempted by sweet treats.

“You will quickly find eating healthy and keeping active becomes a habit you enjoy, especially if you are aiming to lose weight.”

Ms Williams said other easy ways to make 2018 your healthiest year yet included cutting down on alcohol, or cutting it out altogether, talking to your doctor about quitting smoking, and enrolling your kids in the get healthy information and coaching service.

“This service can help provide you with the support and motivation you need to reach your own healthy lifestyle goals,” she said.

“You can also enrol your kids in the District’s Go4Fun program.

“We find the program can be just as beneficial for parents as it is for kids as it educates participants about healthy foods, suitable portion sizes and the importance of regular exercise.”

For more details, visit www.gethealthynsw.com.au and www.go4fun.com.au or free call 1800 780 900.

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