2015 is here! Many of you made New Year’s resolutions which is good! Most resolutions involve exercise, healthy eating and weight loss – all admirable resolutions. Unfortunately, many resolutions involve extremes and last for maybe one or two months. Let me explain. You finally decide to exercise after not doing much in the form of physical activity for five years. You have a sedentary job and once you get home you do not do much to expend calories. But you want to make a change so you join a fitness center, join a number of exercise classes and start working out for an hour a day. That kind of resolution will last maybe 30 days because it is drastically different from what you have been doing for the last 5 years. A better resolution would be to find a friend and start walking together, 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Gradually increase the time you walk as you become more conditioned. Eventually you can work your way up to that gym membership and classes. Another extreme resolution involves your diet. You decide that 2015 will be the year that you eat healthfully because the last 5 years you survived on pizza, chips, soft drinks and an occasional beer. Going cold turkey to change eating habits from unhealthy to healthy can be difficult to do. A better resolution tied into an exercise resolution would be to slowly change your diet by adding a piece of fruit or raw vegetables to your diet each day. Slowly wean yourself off the pizza and replace it with a meal of chicken or fish. Replace soda with water and 2% milk with a lower fat version or skim. Begin to include healthier snacks daily like a piece of fruit or yogurt. Replace chips with pretzels if you really need that crunchy snack. This process may take several months but it will keep your resolution intact. I hope you have selected a healthy resolution that you can keep for the entire year. If it is exercise and if you have not been active for a while, take time to learn how to exercise correctly, how to select shoes to help support your exercise routine and dress appropriately. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking water, not only during your workout, but throughout your day. Learn how to prepare foods more healthfully, avoiding fried foods and add more fresh vegetables and fruits to your diet. Start by buying healthier snacks and discard the unhealthy items lurking in your cupboards…if those unhealthy foods aren’t there, you can’t eat them! A healthy diet and regular exercise will provide benefits that will pleasantly surprise you. You will sleep better, have more energy and be healthier overall!
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