Hello and happy 2017! I hope you had a wonderful, safe and happy new year and are well. I know we all have most likely made some resolutions, so I did a little research to find the most common resolutions. Since it is the new year, I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of the most popular new year’s resolutions and provide a couple tips on how to keep them. I know sometimes it’s hard to choose resolutions and even harder to get started on a new year, new you. Hopefully, one or two of these will help you resolve to live a happier, healthier, better life in the new year.
The Most Common New Year’s Resolutions
Most New Year’s resolutions are health conscious, which is fantastic! It really shows that people really want to make a change for the better, to live a happier healthier life and that’s great. The most common resolution that I found is to stay fit and healthy. If your goal is to STAY fit and healthy, first, I say congratulations! You’re already halfway there and maintaining is easier than making major changes. The best way to keep up with maintaining your healthy lifestyle is to try new things, whether it’s a new exercise you haven’t done, or a new food you’re curious about. Either way, keep up the good work! You’re doing great!
The second most common resolution I found is to lose weight. I’m sure this comes as no surprise to most of us. According to the National Institute of Health about two thirds of adults in America are considered to be overweight. So how do we counteract this? Here are a couple suggestions. As I’m sure most of us know, diet and exercise are paramount to losing and maintaining weight. If you’re not already exercising regularly, the best way is to start small. Don’t assume you’re going to run a marathon tomorrow if you haven’t bought a pair of sneakers since PF Flyers. Start by aiming for at least 20 minutes of increased heart rate every day. Your target heart rate can be calculated easily at http://www.active.com/fitness/calculators/heartrate by entering your information. Every week add a little more to your routine, either by adding 5 extra minutes of cardio activity or increasing weight if you’re weight lifting. Another great way to get in shape is to try new classes. There are dozens of classes offered at gyms and other studios, from aerobics to Zumba and most gyms offer a discounted first class or week so you can test it out and see what you like. The key with any exercise is to find something you enjoy doing so you don’t get bored.
Diet is a little more tricky than exercise and it is equally important (if not more) than exercise. I like to tell people, instead of taking things out of your diet, try adding new healthy stuff to your diet. For instance, if you’re not a vegetable lover, try adding a few servings of spinach or a leafy green to your meals each week. Also, when you go to the supermarket, try shopping the perimeters of the market. Most of the bad stuff is in the middle, so shop the produce, meat and dairy sections mostly. Finally, a good rule of thumb (although there are exceptions, of course) is that, if it doesn’t go bad, it’s bad for you, so try to get mostly fresh food that requires refrigeration or freezing.
Another very common resolution is to de-stress. I figured I’d put it in here because wouldn’t we all love to do that? Personally, I find that exercise and eating healthy help me, as well as, a weekly yoga class and daily meditations to manage my stress. But everyone is different so here are a few ideas and suggestions on how to relax and hopefully something speaks to you if this is something you’d like to work on. Exercise releases endorphins, which cause that happy feeling in your brain, so I always tell people try this first, if you’re not already doing so.
Also, meditation (which I mentioned) has helped me. Most people have no idea how to start meditating and it definitely seems impossible at first. Try focusing on your breath for 5 minutes per day. Imagine your lungs and belly filling with air while you inhale and then, as you exhale, imagine pushing out the air of your belly and lungs. If it helps put a hand on your belly and one hand on your heart to help focus your intention. When thoughts come into your head, let them come in freely and imagine them as little clouds or leaves that blow away as freely as they came in. Don’t try to push them out (we all know that won’t work; we’re human after all), just let them flow in and out without focusing on them or letting them linger. Other ways many people like to relax, are to walk outside (take the dog; he or she will love it), read a book or magazine, clean the house or call a friend or family member and chat. Try doing one of these (or something else you like to do) for 5 minutes a day and see how you feel. Incorporate more as you find the time and hopefully 2017 will find you the most stress free you can be!
Additionally, one of the most common resolutions people make is to travel more. This is sometimes the hardest to accomplish, as you must have time and money to do this. Again, I say start small. Make it a goal to go to a new place each year. Whether this is Albuquerque or Abu Dhabi, for 2 days or 2 weeks, make it a plan and stick to it. Exploring new areas is always fun and will most likely help you stick to your previous goal of de-stressing and relaxing.
Finally, there are a lot of people who, for whatever reason, don’t make any resolutions at all. That is completely fine, but I will say it is always good to have goals and to work towards something better to improve your life. You are all very health conscious people, or you wouldn’t be my patient in the first place, so once again, I say start small (this is quickly becoming my phrase of the new year). Try just making one this year. Make it challenging, but attainable and see how you feel. You can always add more throughout the year.
I hope this year is the best year yet, and I am confident that it will be for most of you. As always, if you ever need any suggestions on any of your wellness goals, or have any questions, please don’t ever hesitate to ask me. This is why I’m here and I’m more than happy to help you in any way I can.