Don’t wait to make New Year’s resolutions. Start taking action for happy, healthy holidays now. Kathy Caprino writes in a Forbes article that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fizzle out by the end of February. To change our habits we need to dig deep and understand how we operate, what prevents us from changing. Professional help from a counselor, fitness or nutritional professional may be appropriate.
by Kimberly Albarran, PT, DPT, ISSA Fitness, Nutrition Specialist and Health Coach
1 SMART GOALS
to gain clarity, change behavior and set yourself up for success.
Specific: What is it you want to do (lose weight, exercise more days, whatever)?
Measurable: What will you use to measure meeting your goals (weight lost, waist/hip measurements, blood work, etc.)?
Achievable: Are the goals reachable/realistic in a certain time frame?
Relevant: Are they in synch with your values and long-term outcomes?
Time bound: By when will the goal be completed?
2 Moving more
Walking, tai chi, yoga, gentle weight lifting and other exercises improve circulation, lymphatic flow, improve output of feel-good neurotransmitters, increase blood vessel release of nitric oxide, which improves vessel opening and helps reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
3 Mindful eating
Use a 6-inch plate, and every three to five bites put your fork down, chew your food well to let your body digest and feel full. If you are feeling stressed and/or depressed and use food as a way to cope, seek professional help to discover healthier tools. I often recommend putting signs on the refrigerator and pantry to remind yourself to assess how you’re feeling before you eat. If you find you are eating out of stress, depression or boredom, go for a walk, journal or participate in an activity you enjoy.
4 Helping others
Volunteer or donate to a special cause. Helping others can create a more positive mindset and releases feel-good neurotransmitters.
5 Investing in your health, work with a coach
A health coach will provide accountability, motivation and creative ideas for movements, workouts and nutritional plans.