Happy New Year folks!
You know what time it is—we start with a clean slate every January creating resolutions, whether they be regarding health or wellness, only to fall off a month later.
If this sounds like you, do not beat yourself up. Having high expectations is a good thing. However, starting new habits takes time and a great deal of patience.
I am currently facing the same challenge: At my age, I'm having a tug-of-war with my metabolism, and the fact that I have a love affair with food does not help either. Yet, I recently discovered that rather than going cold turkey and eliminating everything at once, jump-starting my “new” routine by taking baby steps just may do the trick.
First and foremost, be realistic with yourself regarding joining the health club or going to the gym. If you stick to it, great. However, if you have never set foot inside a workout facility, consider walking for starters—maybe take the stairs at work instead of using the elevator.
Take a few moments to stretch at your desk or during breaks. This way, you can gradually help your body adjust to using those muscles and get your blood pumping. As another alternative, yoga seems to work quite well. There is a great deal of stretching involved and you are guaranteed to use and strengthen muscles you never knew you had.
Keep in mind the “fast food bandit” is not your friend. Part of a new, healthy lifestyle is paying attention to carbs, greasy foods and saturated fat. I completely understand certain careers do not allow time to prepare healthy meals. But there are other options. You can always prepare your meals at the beginning of each week.
Also, there is a ton of restaurants and to-go spots throughout New York that offer fresh and delicious grub for those on the run.
When grocery shopping, check out the ingredients in the food you plan to purchase. Stay away from too much sodium (it contributes to high blood pressure), saturated fat (this increases cholesterol levels) and sugar.
These are just a few examples that contribute to weight gain and poor health. I prefer to buy a bunch of fruits and veggies to make smoothies for breakfast and lunch. For dinner, I stick to protein such as baked chicken with more vegetables. Sugary drinks are replaced with water or unsweetened tea and if you crave sweets such as ice cream, frozen yogurt is just as good.
If you have any New Years resolutions or alternatives you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment or two. Living a healthy lifestyle is definitely within reach. Just be easy on yourself and take it one day at a time.
Here’s to a New Year and a new YOU!