Much like babies, New Year’s resolutions are fun to make but hard to maintain. Here are a few tips that can help you stay on track.
1. Try wearing a pedometer. They say, “Out of sight, out of mind.” New research suggests that wearing a pedometer encourages people to walk about an extra mile each day, and in effect lose weight, and lower their blood pressure. Having a constant reminder helps, and you can get a decent one for about $20. Make your goal 30 minutes of walking a day or 10,000 steps per day.
2. Lift weights! Too many people neglect resistance exercise, especially women. Strength training is crucial for preventing muscle and bone loss with age. Lift weights for at least 20 minutes, two- to three-times per week. Don’t forget strength training, involving both the upper and lower body.
3. Eat more fish. Try eating least two fish meals per week. The evidence is strong that the oils in darker types of fish, such as tuna, salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring, are very beneficial for the brain and hart, and may even lower risk of cancer.
4. Drink water. You’ve heard it a hundred times before, because its true- drink more water! Water truly is essential and should always be the first thing you reach for when you’re thirsty.
5. Sleep 8 hours a night. Studies have confirmed that you really do need at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Some of the many benefits: You feel better, decreases risk for cardiovascular disease, and boosts memory.
6. Consider reflexology, acupressure and massage as valid therapies for chronic problems. Seeing a good massage therapist for neck strain may work better than taking extra strength Tylenol and/or Advil regularly. At the very least, these holistic options will help decrease stress and maintain overall wellness.
7. Keep sugar and caffeine to a minimum. Decreasing sugar actually increases your energy, by minimizing the highs and lows and preventing a sugar crash. People react differently to caffeine, but most of us are already overstimulated and could do without the additional boost. Drink green instead of coffee, the added bonus is weight loss.
8. Don’t pop too many vitamins, evidence for their benefits are low. Try getting your daily vitamins from foods and consider taking a multivitamin right before bed.
9. Don’t focus on dieting. Focus on eating, and WHAT you’re eating. If you’re hungry, just eat something- otherwise you’re more likely to overeat, especially in the evening. Instead, of sacrificing all day and gorging later, it’s better to eat enough during the day to avoid hunger pangs and uncontrolled eating at night. Eat every four hours or so, to keep your energy up and make you less hungry in the evening. And mix it up by eating different foods at every meal.
10. Don’t drink all your calories. It’s easy to drink calories without noticing: that eggnog latte at Starbucks has nearly as many calories as a Big Mac. It’s okay to have one as an occasional treat, but consider it a meal, not a drink.
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