10 New Years Health Tips

What is your goal?

Many New Years resolutions revolve around losing weight and fitness.  Ask yourself, why do you want to lose weight?  Is it to look better in your clothes, have more energy, or just because you want to improve your health?  Define what you want, and then remind yourself of that every time you start to think about not exercising or eating unhealthy food.

Post a reminder, such as a note or a photo, that represents your ideal appearance or weight in a visible location such as the front of your computer or on the refrigerator.

2.  Outline the steps to your goal:

Describe each step of your fitness journey and how you will achieve your goal. Break it down in to small achievable steps such as: walking for 10-15 minutes each day and then gradually increasing to 30 minutes.  Or go to the gym and use the treadmill, elliptical or weights.  Work out for 10-15 minutes and then gradually over a few weeks increase to 30-45 minutes.  Beginner pilates or yoga are extremely rewarding and energizing exercise routines at the beginning or end of your day.

Remember, just showing up for the walk or workout is a great start and will help you begin your program.

3. Document What You Eat:

Try  FitDay’s free online Calorie Counter and Fitness Log to keep a journal of everything you consume. You don’t have to do it for the rest of your life, but it is a great habit to start. This will help you adjust your eating habits so that you can create a healthy and sustainable diet.

4. Use online resources:

The USDA offers a number of tools and references, or try a registered dietitian in your area.  Search the web for information about nutrition and experts who can give you tips and tricks to help you design healthy meal plans.

5. The Most Important Meal of the Day is Breakfast:

Our bodies and brains need fuel in order to start functioning properly early in the day. Would you drive your car without gas?  This isn’t the first time you have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Enjoy a healthy breakfast as early as possible. Protein smoothies, poached eggs and whole grain cereals will provide you more energy and will allow you to make healthier choices throughout the day,

6. Fill Up on Fiber:

Vegetables consist of nutrients, water, fiber, and fewer calories. If half of your plate contains vegetables, you’ll have a sensation of fullness and will reduce your calories without feeling hungry. Flavour your meals with herbs and spices instead of using butter and/or salt.

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7. Exercise

Exercise is critical in order to burn calories, develop muscles, strong bones and improve your fitness and sense of well being.  Start off gradually, and then increase your time and/or intensity once you are accustomed to the level of exercise you are currently at. If you haven’t exercised in a while, get a check up with your doctor to ensure that you are healthy and can start exercising.

8. One Step at a Time:

Trying to change too many things at once can be overwhelming and discouraging. Allow yourself at least a couple of months to create new habits. Work on one goal at a time. When you have developed new good habits, tackle the next goal on your list.

Taking your time and focusing on the process and not the goal is the way to make life long and sustainable changes.

9. Be Prepared to Fall off The Wagon:

Don’t beat yourself up if you skip a workout or eat too much ice cream.  We all have our moments when we stray from our plan.  Just bear in mind that each day is a new beginning and don’t look back.

10. Join a Group:

Having others to support you in your journey is one way of ensuring success and creating a healthy social outlet.  Don’t delay and do it now!