Thinking about your New Year’s resolution? Talk to your local pharmacist for advice and support on a healthier lifestyle - be it losing weight or quitting smoking.
Ahead of the New Year, pharmacists are issuing a reminder that achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight prevents weight-related risks such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and elevated blood glucose levels. It also means a reduced risk of ill-health from cardiovascular disease, which causes strokes, heart attacks and type 2 diabetes.
If smoking is your vice, the message for those thinking of quitting is that after just eight hours you can expect oxygen levels in your blood to return to normal and the chance of serious illness, including a heart attack, starting to fall. After two weeks of quitting, circulation improves, making walking and exercise easier. After five years, the risk of heart attack falls to that of a non-smoker. Half of all smokers die from smoking-related diseases.
According to Pharmacist Ann Marie Horan, member of the Executive Committee of the Irish Pharmacy Union, “After the overindulgence of Christmas, many people see the New Year as an opportunity to start a healthier lifestyle. Losing weight and quitting smoking are two changes that have a very positive impact on a person’s health and well-being and the benefits of each can be felt in a very short period of time.
Pharmacists are available to help people approach their goals in a sensible, practical and realistic way. It is very important that the approach fits in with a person’s lifestyle and is not so regimented that it sets a person up for failure from the very start. We are encouraging people to talk to their local pharmacist in confidence. We are here to help, not to judge.”