Ever wondered what new year resolutions a health specialist makes? Six BMI Consultants share their top health priorities for 2018 to inspire you
1. Stay active at home or in the gym
Dr Ralph Mitchell, General Practitioner, BMI The Meriden Hospital
“I’m an ex-rugby player and referee, and although I have a young family and a busy job in a general practice, I feel it’s essential for me to stay fit, and for doctors to practice what they preach in terms of physical activity.
"I usually start the day at 7am, either with a 45min cardio session on my home exercise bike, or a weights session at the gym. I feel it’s a good way for me to get my head cleared before work and to wake me up.”
Read about the best ways to exercise more
2. Hit the five-a-day target
Mr Dave Smith, Consultant Colorectal and General Surgeon, BMI The Beaumont Hospital
“As a colorectal surgeon I try to eat healthily and keep up with the recommended five-a-day. Eating healthy foods high in fibre helps to reduce the risk of bowel cancer.
"Rather than snacking on the convenient but less healthy options, I choose fruits or vegetables instead.
"It’s important to look out for any changes in your bowel habits, blood in the stool or persistent abdominal pain. Getting these symptoms checked out sooner rather than later can lead to earlier diagnosis and better long term results if bowel cancer is found.”
Listen to the bowel cancer BMI Podcast series
3. Whittle down your waistline
Mr Tamim Siddiqui, Consultant Vascular Surgeon, BMI Carrick Glen Hospital
“In my younger years I used to play football but as the years have increased, so has my waist line. Having not done any significant exercise for many years, I started running six months ago and now I’m hooked.
"I did the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon in October 2017 and raised £700 for Cancer Research. This year I'm training towards a full marathon. Running is an excellent way to get fit and unwind after a long day at work.”
Read our guide to long-distance running, with physiotherapist Ellie Richardson
4. Apply the ‘balanced diet’ rule to your exercise regime
Mr Ahmad Malik, Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon and Sports Specialist, BMI The Shelburne Hospital and BMI The Chiltern Hospital
“It never fails to amaze me when a runner with a foot and ankle problem tells me their training regime is along the lines of 'two 5k and one 10k runs a week, and that’s pretty much it.' That’s like me saying I have a healthy diet and eat an apple for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, and nothing else. Sure, an apple is healthy and good for you, but a diet composed of nothing else? I don’t think so.
“I make sure I have a healthy ‘diet’ of exercise with elements of muscle conditioning, strengthening, core stability, flexibility and aerobic exercises. Studies have shown that many middle aged runners with Achilles pain, for example, have very poor hip and gluteal muscle strength that increases forces going through the Achilles as a result.
"So, do what I do: don’t just put your trainers on and clock up the miles, but train effectively and smart. Prevention is better than cure.”
Read more about starting a new fitness regime
5. Short on time? Try this five-minute exercise
Mr Rana Das-Gupta, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, BMI The Meriden Hospital
“I make sure I do 10 minutes on the treadmill, 10 minutes on the cycle machine and 10 minutes on the rowing machine, along with 20 lengths of the pool three times a week.
"If you are stuck for exercise ideas, you could copy the Canadian Airforce approach, which prepares them for if they’re taken prisoner: 20 press-ups, 25 sit-ups and running on the spot for five minutes each day. That keeps you fit enough to help you run away if the opportunity to escape arises!”
Read more on staying motivated through winter
6. Work that pelvic floor (it’s not just for women)
Mr Ian Currie, Consultant Gynaecologist, BMI The Chiltern Hospital
“I realise that working as a gynaecologist in the area of pelvic floor disorders is not that glamorous. In the field of medicine, urinary incontinence and prolapse has never been in the top 10 of areas for aspiring medics to climb to, but it does have its benefits.
“Approaching what is now considered established middle aged-dom, I am now having to cope with the inevitable aches and pains from years of bad posture at work. For years I have advised women to exercise their pelvic floor and strengthen their core in order to obtain an Olympic-style performance of their pelvic floor muscle. Little did I realise how valuable this would be on a personal level.
“My exposure to the field of physiotherapy and core strengthening has had a dramatic improvement on my own quality of life. As I continue to do exercises which are generally omitted from the usual male gym repertoire and more commonly in the Pilates classes, I have found my back pain has diminished to almost zero.”
Read more about the health benefits of Pilates
To get your new year off to the best possible start, you may want to consider a BMI Health Assessment. Our Health Assessments give you a chance to discuss your health and explore all of your health and lifestyle related concerns with a doctor or nurse.
To find out more about Health Assessments,
call us on 0808 101 0337 or make an online enquiry.