Have yourself a healthy 2014

This year, as always, I have come across wonderful experts with practical advice for health and wellbeing. Here are three of the best tips for 2014… Don’t take antibiotics for coughs, colds , sore throats and flu. ‘They are caused by viruses not bacteria; antibiotics are ineffective for treating viral infections,’ explains Dr Rob Hicks (www.drrobhicks.co.uk). ‘Also, you risk antibiotic resistance, meaning they may not work when you really need them.’ For more information, visit www.treatyourselfbetter.co.uk.

Log on and wise up.  Being net-savvy is vital nowadays. The overhaul of the government’s benefits system means that by 2017 it is scheduled to be all online. Increasingly, GP surgeries offer online facilities to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions. Also, a household can save about £560 a year by shopping and paying bills online, according to former banker Kelly Klein who has set up Student@Home (www.studentathome.co.uk), which employs IT students to go to people’s homes (in London only as yet) and help with computer problems, from basic tuition to using price comparison sites and much more. Local libraries also offer internet training. (PS You can save a lot on prescription specs at websites such as www.glassesdirect.co.uk.)

Rediscover eggs.  Eggs are gold-standard, low-calorie nutrition (definitely all they're cracked up to be!) ‘Eggs for breakfast stabilise your blood sugar, so you don’t spike up and down through the day,’ says nutritionist Vicky Edgson (www.vickyedgson.com). NB The British Heart Foundation has banished the myth that eggs raise cholesterol: it’s the added fat from frying that’s the problem. There are no restrictions on how many poached, boiled or scrambled eggs (without butter) we should eat as part of a balanced diet.



SARAH ROBB OSarah Robb O’Hagan, CEO of fitness company Equinox and US government adviser on women and sport, on why exercise is not only good for your health but can also help you succeed at work.

I make sure I am healthy. The most important thing for working women with young children (or elderly parents) to look after is to let go of guilt. I worked throughout my third pregnancy and my return to normal energy levels took two years. Now I know I have to look after number one. Even a brisk walk makes me a better me.

I was never an elite athlete but I played a lot of sports and learned many life lessons that helped me succeed in the working world. I’m passionate about girls and women understanding how important it is to be active and get into team sports. Ultimately it will be far more helpful than looking like Miley Cyrus!

Sport is an incredible enabler for women. You learn about teamwork and competition. Women in the workplace can be uncomfortable with competitiveness. Sport can help you be confident and be a leader.

Playing to win is better than playing not to lose. I worked with Serena Williams after she plummeted in the world rankings a few years ago due to personal issues. The media were brutal, but she used the criticism as fuel. And she’s dominant again today.

Also know when to pass the ball. We are bad at admitting that we need help. If you let yourself be vulnerable you are more likely to get support.

Many companies are successful because men have a linear focus. But women can bring an emotional investment with a more holistic approach to every aspect of life.

When you go to the gym, try not to feel you should be at home or work. At work be at work. At home be at home. With "me time", just be you.'