Simple steps like stretching in front of the TV and adding fruit to your porridge could be your key to beating the January blues.

That's according to health experts in Hounslow and Richmond who have compiled a guide to help those struggling with the comedown as the festive season draws to a close.

Staff at Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare (HRCH) NHS Trust have concentrated on easy changes to your diet or physical activity which can easily be fitted into the daily routine - a far cry from the wildly ambitious new year's resolutions many will have set themselves.

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'Don't deny yourself what your body craves'

Health expert David Ollington says taking 10 minutes to stretch in front of the TV could help you beat the January blues

David Ollington, health lifestyle development officer at the Heart of Hounslow health centre, advises people: "Don't deny yourself what your body craves.

"Activity is an innate part of one's make up. The response to being physically inactive is restless sleep, muscle tension, stress and illness."

His top tips are:

  • Vary the activities - swim one day, walk another, cycle at the weekend
  • Take 10 minutes out to stretch in front of the TV or while listening to the radio or music
  • If going to the gym is not appealing, join a class, circuits, Zumba or any of the many classes out there
  • Be active with a friend. Go for a fast walk for 10-20 minutes and repeat during the day. If you don’t feel like being active, think how good you will feel afterwards

Eat right, feel good

Dietitian Alex Russell

Dietitian Alex Russell, meanwhile, says it is important to think about what we eat - especially following what is traditionally a season of overindulgence.

Her tips include:

  • Regular eating can help us to regulate our appetite, and starting the day with a good breakfast is the first step towards this and helps to regulate energy levels and keep us feeling more alert
  • Try things like porridge with fresh or dried fruit, poached eggs on toast or high fibre breakfast cereals to get your day off to the best start

Lose weight by going dry for January

Going dry for January and giving your liver a new year's break from alcohol is the recommendation from HRCH's health promotions manager Jennifer Banks-Smith.

"Cutting out alcohol is a great way to start the year and a whole month off is a really positive step and means that you are more likely to drink less long term," she says.

Jennifer Banks-Smith says an alcohol-free January can help you lose weight, sleep better and boost your energy levels

"The Dry January campaign will act as a reset and allow you to assess your drinking habits for the future."

She claims a break from alcohol can help increase energy levels, aid weight loss and improve your sleep.

Last year, she said, 71% of those participating in Dry January reported improved energy levels, 70% said they had lost weight and 63% found they slept better.

To find out more about the benefits of Dry January, and to sign up, visit www.dryjanuary.org.uk.