December 30, 2013
The New Year is a time of new beginnings. It’s the chance to start down a healthier path or recommit to living healthy. The key is to choose realistic goals you can stick with for more than a few weeks. The only New Year’s resolutions that really count are the ones you’re still doing when the next New Year rolls around. So make them realistic and achievable – not something you KNOW you won’t be able to sustain. Here are some resolutions that can help you to be healthier and happier in 2014.
You’ve probably made the commitment to exercise in the past. It’s a worthy resolution – but this year, make it stick. Start by committing to twenty minutes of an exercise you enjoy each day. Twenty minutes is realistic and achievable and you can always increase the time once you’re “in the groove.” If possible, work out first thing in the morning so it’s done for the day. Choose an exercise you enjoy – brisk walking, kickboxing, or Pilates are all great ways to get a workout. Don’t forget to reward yourself for following through. It’ll help to keep you motivated.
Commit to making small changes to your diet. You can’t transform a diet of fast food and processed foods into a healthy one overnight. Instead, make one small change to your diet every month of the New Year. For example, in January, substitute green tea or water for all the soft drinks you drink. In February, focus on eating a piece of fruit or a vegetable with every meal. When you make gradual, incremental changes rather than trying to completely overhaul the way you eat, you’ll be more likely to follow through. Adding probiotics to your diet is an easy New Year’s resolution that will benefit you all year long.
Not only do you need exercise – you need rest too. Skimping on sleep puts you at greater risk for a number of health problems including obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Commit to getting at least seven hours of sleep a night and eight is even better. Getting enough sleep can help you lose the post-holiday pounds you may have put on too. Lack of sleep is linked with an increase in appetite and weight gain. Make sleep a priority.
Find a new outlet for easing stress. Stress not only affects your mental health and sense of well-being, it can impact your physical health too. Exercise is one way to relieve stress, particularly mind-body exercise like yoga. Another is mindfulness meditation, something you can learn by taking a course or through a book or video. Still another way is to change the way you breathe using deep breathing techniques. Explore and find your “go to” technique for easing stress and practice it regularly.
Finally, commit to getting a yearly physical exam beginning in the New Year. It’s important to know where you stand in terms of your health. If you’re walking around with an elevated blood pressure or a very high cholesterol level, you can reduce your risk for health problems by taking control of these conditions early on.
So what’s the bottom line? It’s a New Year and another chance to get healthy! Take advantage of it.
The post New Year, New You – Healthy Resolutions You Can Keep appeared first on Natren Probiotics Blog.
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