After the overindulgence of Christmas, many people see the New Year as an opportunity to start a healthier lifestyle. Rory O’Donnell, President of the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) says: “Whatever your New Year’s resolution, whether it’s losing weight, stopping smoking, getting fit, drinking less alcohol or making more of an effort to take your medication correctly, your local pharmacist is a good resource for support and guidance.”
The IPU, which represents 2,000 community pharmacists in Ireland, has issued the following advice to help with some of the more common New Year’s resolutions we make.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY DIET
Your pharmacist can advise you on a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) and provide practical tips to lose excess weight. Having a healthy weight can reduce the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
It is important to get support if you decide to quit smoking. You may need nicotine replacement therapy for a period of time to help with withdrawal symptoms. It is also important to track your progress and take one day at a time.
Getting fit can be fun and doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Your pharmacist may know some of the clubs and societies in the community that you can join. Getting fit means a healthier heart. Ask your pharmacist about blood pressure testing.
TAKE MEDICINE CORRECTLY
To get the maximum benefit from your medicines, it is important to take them exactly as prescribed. To help you remember to take your medication, try taking it at the same time every day. If you are taking several different medicines or are receiving treatment for a number of conditions, ask your pharmacist to help you identify ways of managing your medicines better.
“We can quickly forget about our New Year’s resolutions when we return to our normal routine in January. To stay motivated, set realistic goals, don’t just repeat last year’s resolutions and remember to reward yourself for success. Your pharmacist is a healthcare professional and is there to help so use this community resource for a healthier new you in the New Year,” Mr O’Donnell conclude