IMPROVING our health is often at the top of our list of New Year's resolutions or goals.

But it can be quite daunting establishing new habits.

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Lee Beck, a personal trainer in Oxford, has shared his five top tips on how to live a healthy lifestlye.

1. Create more opportunities to eat fruit and vegetables

Lee said: "If you find yourself reaching for unhealthy snacks, plan ahead and swap them out. Put a fruit bowl out or make a tub of vegetable snacks that you snack on throughout the day.

"Making these items more prominent or planning ahead reduces the chance that you will grab that chocolate bar or packet of crisps. "

2. Consistency beats intensity

Lee said: "Being active for 30 minutes a day for a year is better than two weeks of daily intense exercise. It could be going to the gym, a brisk walk or swimming.

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"Don't wait for motivation. Get moving a little and keep the momentum going. It's not glamourous, but the tortoise beats the hare in the end."

3. Ensure optimal sleep 

"Sleep is essential for your health and immune function," Lee said.

He added: "Some of us need more than others, but a good rule of thumb is to get 7-9 hours sleep per night. Avoid caffeine late in the day, turn your digital devices off an hour before bed, read a relaxing book and block out any distractions."

4. Schedule your week

Lee said: "Routines improve your mental health, and ensure that you make time for your physical health. Structure your day by adding in your activities such as work, study, meals, relaxation and family-time.

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"Wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day, and protect those events where you are looking after your physical health."

5. Drink plenty of water

"Your body is approximately 60 per cent water. Get a reusable bottle and drink 2-3 litres of water per day," Lee said.

He added: "If you don't like plain water, try adding in a sugar free flavouring or adding a little fruit."

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