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Ten Tips to Kick-Start Your Healthy New Year’s Resolution!

fireworks exploding in sky

Planning to get healthy in the new year?  Even small changes can make a big impact on your waistline and your health. Here are 10 things you can do to help kick-start your New Year’s resolution.
1) Hydrate.  Simply drinking adequate water each day may be all you need to reduce headaches and sinus problems, help prevent colds and flu, rejuvenate your skin, boost your energy, clear your brain fog, get a better workout and all-around invigorate yourself.
Did you know that many migraines are a result of dehydration?  The amount of water you need daily depends on your size, your physical activity level, where you live, medications you may take and other factors.  A good rule of thumb is to drink ½ your weight in pounds – in ounces.  For example, a 140 pound person would need at least 70 oz of water daily.  Are you getting enough?  Check your urine.  It should be clear to pale yellow.  If it’s not, drink more water.
2) Move.  If you already work out daily, keep it up.  If not, start small.  Begin by being active for just 10 minutes each day the first week then trying adding 10 minutes each week.
3) Park and walk and avoid elevators/escalators.  You will probably spend more time shopping this month than normal.  You’d be surprised at just how much exercise you can get by picking a spot further from the doors or choosing the stairs instead of elevators/escalators.  It might also save you some stress and time, too!
4) Join a gym. Most clubs offer trial memberships.  Try working out on your own or consult with an instructor to develop a routine that fits your specific goals.
5) Good things first. Yes, those sweets look fantastic, but you have a rule – good things first.  Find the healthiest things on the table – the veggies and fruit and any lean protein.   Fill up on the good things first and there won’t be as much room for the junk!
6) Change your oil.  It is incredibly easy and beneficial to replace butter and margarine with good-for-you olive oil.  Your heart will thank you (so will your skin and waistline).
7) Avoid refined grains and sugars at home.  You will have plenty of opportunities for these belly-bulgers at holiday events.
8) Eat breakfast.  Yes, this tip is on almost every top health habits list you will find, but it can’t be overemphasized.  Start your morning with colorful fruits and vegetables and protein, and you will have more energy, feel better and likely consume fewer calories each day.  Make it a habit now.
8) Do your research and set realistic goals.  If you’ve tried and failed before to quit smoking or lose weight, think about why you haven’t been successful and seek help.  Attaining your goals is much easier when you have a detailed and realistic plan in place that includes specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals – instead of saying you will eat healthier this year, say you will eat two extra vegetables per day this week.  Add items and adjust your goals as necessary.
10) Check your benefits. Many workplaces now offer free programs to help employees become healthier.  Most companies offer smoking cessation programs and employee assistance programs that give you access to counselors to help with goal setting, stress reduction and more.  Try it.
In Good Health,
Joan O'Keefe, RD
Picture Credit: Creative Commons Pixabay