30 Dec 10 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions
Setting a New Year’s resolution is easy… sticking to it is the hard part!
While people make resolutions with the best of intentions, they often set themselves up for failure with resolutions that are unrealistic or without a plan to achieve them. To set yourself up for success: Write down your goals, share them with someone who will support you in achieving them, and be sure they are as specific and achievable as possible.
Here are 10 small but meaningful changes to consider making.
- Eat Mindfully: The idea here is pretty simple… enjoy your food! Take time to prepare it yourself, savor each bite, eat without distractions (like your phone in hand), and listen to your body. You’ll quickly discover that if you do these things, your body will tell you what it needs and when it’s full.
- Stay Connected: You’re already joined at the hip with your phone… that’s pretty much a given in our technology-fixated world. But when was the last time you connected personally with friends or shared real quality time with family? Chances are, it’s been too long. A lack of social bonds can damage your health as much as alcohol abuse and smoking, and even more than obesity and lack of exercise, says a 2010 study in the journal PLoS Medicine suggests. It’s time to reconnect.
- Drink more Water: Treat yourself to a new water bottle and keep it filled filled and ready for simple sipping throughout the day. Once in the habit, you’ll likely consume far less in the way of soft drinks, sugar-loaded juice, caffeine, and alcohol. Reaching for your water bottle can also ward of hunger and impulse snacking which can lead to unhealthy choices and weight gain.
- Manage Stress: We all experience stress from time to time. Short periods can even be good for us. But when stress becomes chronic, it can create or contribute to all sorts of health concerns. From heart disease, to depression, insomnia, and more. For tips on managing stress, click here.
- Reduce your Sugar Intake: The average American consumes over 77 pounds of sugar or sweetener each year, and I’d wager that the average Canadian isn’t far behind. Do you really want to put 77 pounds of this disease-causing substance into your body? Read labels, bake with less, and cut back gradually. You’ll soon discover you can do with far less than you thought.
- Walk 30 Minutes A Day: Give your health a great big boost this year by committing to walking every single day. Learn more about the benefits of walking.
- Achieve your Fitness Goals: What are your fitness goals? Building muscle? Building endurance? Increasing your flexibility? Find workouts that will help you achieve these goals and that you enjoy. Enjoyment is key if you’re going to stick with it. New to exercise and not sure where to start? Consider booking an appointment with a personal trainer or join a gym and ask for some guidance from a staff member.
- Learn to chill: Surprised a fitness enthusiast such as myself is advising learning to chill? Don’t be! Taking time to chill, or relax, is good for us physically and mentally. In fact, rest days or “chill” days, will likely boost your athletic performance. I’m not suggesting you become a couch potato, but meditating, doing a crossword, reading a book, soaking in a bubble bath, or just putting your feet up with a cup of tea, are all good for you.
- Stop ignoring sports injuries: So many of us put up with old injuries that never seem to improve or get better. In fact, a staggering number of people put life on hold because of pain from injuries that could be helped by evaluation, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and sports medicine. If you’re among this group and are missing out on physical activity, travel, social opportunities, etc., see a sports medicine physician to find out how they can help.
- Stick to a Sleep Schedule: Many people focus on getting enough sleep, but having a schedule — i.e. going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, can lead to better quality sleep. For tips on getting a better night’s rest, click here.
Just a reminder that every day offers the opportunity for a fresh start, not just January 1. Don’t be too hard on yourself – all progress counts!
Happy New Year!