‘Good intentions can be forgotten’ – Havering experts help with New Year’s resolutions

Personal trainer Maria Louca from Better Gym who is helping people with their resolutions (photo: Ar

Personal trainer Maria Louca from Better Gym who is helping people with their resolutions (photo: Arnaud Stephenson) - Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

The New Year is a time for reflection, a time to think about the past year’s successes and failures. It’s also a time to set yourself some goals and think about a New Year’s resolution.

Personal trainer Maria Louca from Better Gym who is helping people with their resolutions (photo: Ar

Personal trainer Maria Louca from Better Gym who is helping people with their resolutions (photo: Arnaud Stephenson) - Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

I want to lose weight...

It’s a big one but personal trainer Maria Louca from Better Gym in Market Place, Romford, has got it covered.

While traditional gym equipment has its place, Maria wants people to get to grips with “functional fitness” too.

She said: “A big thing at the moment is miniature day-to-day exercises rather than the usual treadmill or cross trainer – it’s called functional fitness.”


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Functional fitness exercises simulate everyday activities, which can include anything from lifting shopping bags to taking the baby out of the car seat.

“It’s one of the things that will be really be taking off in 2015,” said Maria.

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She added: “It can be disheartening when you don’t see results – however you’re trying to keep fit – but you’ve got to keep at it because it’s a lifestyle change, rather than just an exercise plan.

“My advice would be to keep track of your progress and take lots of photos of yourself so you can see the results in front of you.”

I want to quit smoking and drink less...

All you need is a “bit of determination” says Havering Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) chairman Dr Atul Aggarwal.

The GP suggests setting mini-goals throughout the year to ensure long term success in ditching cigarettes and reducing your alcohol intake.

Dr Aggarwal said: “Keeping a New Year’s resolution can be tough, and good intentions can be forgotten when you return to your normal routine.

“I recommend starting with gentle steps, setting yourself little targets along the way, so you have a better chance of success.”

NHS tips advise people to make just one resolution a year, to tell friends and family about it and to give themselves small rewards along the way.

Dr Aggarwal said: “Changing your lifestyle can seem daunting, but with a bit of determination and planning you can really improve how you feel and get more out of life.”

I want to be debt-free...

Insolvency specialist Tony Bayliss of debt management firm Aspect Plus in Station Road, Upminster, says it’s all about facing up to what you owe.

The key to being debt free, according to Tony, is paying creditors more than what’s required and getting better deals on every day essentials.

Tony said: “You can’t just put your head in the sand – people are happy to pay the minimum amount back to creditors and don’t face up to what they actually owe.

“Don’t pay the minimum, pay extra, pay as much as you can.”

He added: “People need to look at all the basic things you can save money on, like the gas and electric.”

Aspect Plus offers a free initial assessment for individuals and businesses trying to get out of the red.

Tony said: “If you’re struggling seek help. If there’s a situation where you’re missing payments, especially after Christmas, seek advice as soon as possible – we’re here to help along with lots of other debt charities.”

I want a better job...

“Bespoke” CVs will lead you to your dream job, according to Elaine Walsh of Romford-based Search Recruitment Services.

The Business Development Manager from Romford believes taking extra time to prepare will boost your chances in landing a dream career.

Elaine said: “Your CV has got to be on point – be specific with what experience and skills make your CV bespoke to each job.

“You have to make it clear you have a very good work ethic, but show you have a good work-life balance too.”

If you’re lucky enough to make it to the interview, Elaine recommends choosing the right clothes for the right job – she says you can be slightly more casual for creative jobs for instance.

Elaine added: “Prepare to go that extra mile for your interview, take extra time to know your stuff and impress your potential employer.”

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