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Steps for a healthier New Year

Posted at 5:35 AM, Jan 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-01 08:24:21-05

If you’re like many Americans, your New Year’s resolutions may involve eating healthier foods and getting more exercise.

And if you are like many Americans, keeping your New Years’ resolution may be easier said than done.

If you want to stick to your new healthy New Year’s resolutions in 2019, don’t dream big, dream reasonably.

Adam Farrell, owner and trainer at Pinnacle Performance and Fitness, says a lot of people want to lose weight, and his recommendation is to start off simple and then work your way up.

“You want this to be sustainable; you don’t want this to just be a flash in the pan. You want this to last throughout the year. I recommend that you start as small as possible and create those daily wins so over time you will have a lot of wins and a lot of momentum over the course of the year,” said Farrell.

It’s never too early or too late to make changes in your life. But if you don’t get the results you want right away, don’t be discouraged.

“So starting something they have never done before or never had success with is usually the biggest problem. They think they can do it and 2 weeks in, it becomes too hard, it takes up too much of their time, life gets in the way, so the simpler the better and at the same time simple isn’t always easy so maybe the easier the better so they can sustain and get those wins over time,” said Farrell.

No matter how long this motivation lasts, New Year’s resolutions always seem to be high on our priority list in January and fall to the wayside by March.

“I would recommend what you can do right now. So if 10 minutes a day of walking is realistic for you right now just with your schedule in life, lets get that done. If you can work your way up to 30 minutes, to 40 minutes, to 60 minutes, that is great. But what is reality for you and your schedule right now that you can continuously do over time so you can start to see a little bit of results every day,” said Farrell.

So what is the secret to sticking to your getting healthier New Year’s resolution?

“One of the first rules I would say is drink a glass of water every morning.  Focus on your nutrition and make sure you get lots of fruits and vegetables and lots of lean protein. Sleep is also crucial. Getting good sleep will help with your hunger. Move every day like we talked about, the body is built to move and be pushed and have some strenuous work placed on it. And also let your brain rest a little bit. Maybe some meditation or some breathing just being mindful and aware in your surroundings and giving your brain a break,” said Farrell.

Only about half of adults get the 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity per week recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And according to a 2017 analysis by the CDC, only about 11 percent of people ages 51 and older get the recommended 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day.

For those of you who want to lose weight or be healthy, here are a few things you can do:

  1. Focus on food. How many meals do you eat a day? What are your snacking habits? Do you choose foods that fuel your body and contribute to your overall well-being? If you need help, schedule an appointment with a dietitian who can provide recipes, cooking class, wellness tips, snack ideas and more.
  2. Schedule gym time.How many times a week or a month do you plan to work out? Determine what that number is and stick to it. However, be realistic. If you currently don’t work out, ease yourself back into routine so that you meet your goal. For an additional incentive, give yourself a reward for sticking to your routine: buy those new running shoes you’re eyeing or treat yourself to a special night out.
  3. Set an alarm to go to sleep.Part of a healthy lifestyle is getting an adequate amount of sleep, and research supports you should get between 7 and 9 hours each night. If you make sleep a priority, you’ll get adequate rest to stay healthy.
  4. Use an app.Downloading an app allows you to keep track of the food you eat, the amount sleep you get and the amount of exercise you do. You will also be able to track progress, set reminders and connect with friends.
  5. Get social.Research demonstrates that sharing your fitness goals on social media helps keep you accountable and receiving positive feedback helps keep you motivated.
  6. Keep a goal journal.Writing down your goals and the steps you will take to achieve them provides a visual guide. Choose a planner like Commit 30to keep you accountable. Planners like this can help you track your progress and increase your motivation for your health journey.