Getting Healthy for the New Year
A new year inspires many people to make a resolution to better their lives in some way. For the majority, personal health goals such as diet, physical activity, and weight loss are top choices. Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons, only about 8% of those who make a resolution end up achieving their goal, with many throwing in the towel even before January ends. Thankfully, with the right approach, your resolution to get healthy for the New Year is possible and can even become a sustainable new long-term habit.
Set Yourself Up for Success
When you set a new goal for yourself, it’s important to think about it realistically. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and it often won’t come easily, so prepare mentally to push past plateaus and think of ways you could motivate yourself on those days you just feel like quitting. With that understanding, allow yourself to dream big, whether you want to run in your first marathon or lose 50 pounds, and share that goal with others who will support you in your journey. Of course, thinking of the big picture can quickly become overwhelming, so break it down into smaller, more easily achievable steps. If your goal is to run a marathon, you know that running 26.1 miles right away is not happening, but running a full three miles at the start of training is a much simpler achievement. As you improve, you add more miles until you reach the ultimate finish line.
Also, know that there will be some days you may consider a failure, but that should not signal you to give up. Striving for ultimate perfection will end up causing too much stress and is not sustainable long term, so go easy on yourself. Understand how and why you may have slipped up and move forward. Stay positive and realize that every step you take towards your goal, no matter how small, is still benefitting your overall health and should not be considered a waste of time and effort. Leave yourself inspirational notes or photos around the house, share your progress on social media to hold yourself accountable – no matter what you do or what happens, just keep going.
Need a Healthy Resolution? Start Here.
Whether you need a goal to strive for, or you’re searching for small steps to take, there are so many ways to get healthier in the New Year. Here are just a few great ideas to get you started, or that can help make your journey to success easier and more exciting:
- Eating Healthier: It’s easy to say you want to eat healthier, but if you aren’t sure where to start or the thought of a plain vegetable is already causing feelings of regret, mix it up a bit. Plan ahead and make a goal to cook at least one new thing every week. You’ll add new diverse foods to your diet and you may even find a new weeknight favorite. Make sure fresh produce like veggies are a regular inclusion, and get creative with salads and flavor combinations. Keep an eye on calories and portion sizes so you don’t have to give up your favorite indulgences from time-to-time.
- Being More Physically Fit: Small changes to your daily routine can help your physical fitness goals. Instead of riding the elevator to your floor at work, take the stairs. Try one new exercise move every day to get your body back into the habit. Plyometric workouts like burpees are a great place to start, and when you can, try a completely different activity, like rock climbing, Pilates, tennis lessons – whatever may pique your interest. While you’re at it, don’t forget to upgrade your gear. Studies have shown that what we wear can actually affect how we feel, so workout in clothes that make you feel strong and confident. Also, if you plan on being on your feet more, invest in a decent pair of shoes that are designed for the activities you’re doing and have the support you need to keep going.
- Improve Mental Health and Wellbeing: Taking steps to reduce stress and improve mental wellness is just as important as physical health. Start simple by focusing on one thing you love about yourself each day. If you’re feeling particularly stressed on a regular basis, try daily meditation. If you’re new to the practice, there are some free apps available to help guide you. Take the time to learn a new skill to help keep your mind sharp or try a new hobby you’ve always been interested in – it may even help improve your memory and ward off heart disease. Other activities like volunteering, taking vacations, and gardening can also provide health benefits such as lowering overall stress levels, blood pressure and heart attack risk.
Be Resolution Ready
Feeling motivated to start working towards your goals? Visit us at Midwest Express Clinic for a comprehensive wellness exam so you can begin your new routine safely and understand any potential risks you may have. Even if you are already working towards your resolution, nothing can derail you faster than an unexpected illness or injury, but we can help with that, too. We have several convenient locations available with hours that work with your schedule and no appointment is necessary.
Let us help you reach your resolution goals successfully so you can have a happy and healthy New Year.