Cheers to a Healthier You!

If you are like many of us, making New Year’s resolutions each year may start off with a bang filled with high aspirations and hopes, only to fizzle out by February when we may find ourselves eating an entire box of chocolate on Valentine’s Day. There is a reason the fitness gyms are packed with patrons in January and sparsely attended by March. Well intentioned as we may be, it is often difficult to develop good habits and overcome bad habits that have taken years to acquire. We would do much better if we set realistic expectations and gave ourselves permission to make a few gradual changes over time. Here are just a few non-resolutions to consider:

Drink more water. Keeping our bodies hydrated and detoxified can help with overall health and weight management. Often we may feel hungry but it is actually our body signaling that we are dehydrated. So drink up in 2018.

Eat breakfast. Make breakfast a priority. Studies have shown when people tend to skip breakfast, they will over-eat during lunch and dinner. Whether it’s a piece of toast with peanut butter, or a bowl of oatmeal, do not skip breakfast.

Move your body. Waking up at 5:00 am every morning to walk one or two miles a day may be an unrealistic goal to consistently achieve, but strive instead to get in some type of movement at least three or four times a week. Even if it is a brisk 10-minute walk or a morning stretch, get out and move.

Watch your food portions. Vowing not to eat another dessert or carbohydrate may be a set up for failure, but choosing to eat a smaller sliver of pie or cutting back on the extra serving of pasta might be goal that is attainable.

Get more rest.
Getting adequate sleep not only can boost our mood, but it is a key component to a healthy lifestyle. A study found that C-reactive protein, which is associated with heart attack risk, was higher in people who got six or fewer hours of sleep at night. It is during sleep that our body rejuvenates and a good night’s sleep triggers changes in the brain that help improve memory.

Don’t beat yourself up. No one is perfect. Remember that minor missteps when striving to reach our goals is completely normal and expected. Don’t give up because you may have slipped up on your goal.

Remember that the New Year isn’t meant to serve as a catalyst for sweeping character changes. It is a time to reflect on the past year and look forward to new year filled with possibilities.