5 Realistic Resolutions to Improve Your Health
Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution to be healthier, exercise more or lose weight? After a few weeks or months, did you fall off the bandwagon? Don’t think that you are alone. Making sweeping changes to your lifestyle over a short period of time can be one of the hardest things you have ever done. Just remember, nobody is perfect.
If and when you fail at making positive health choices, it’s as simple as starting over again. If you feel like you can’t go cold turkey when it comes to your new healthy choices, such as quitting smoking, remember that small choices add up! Agreeing to exercise four times a week on days of your choice, planning to eat a vegetable or salad at every dinner, or limiting the amount of pop or soda that you drink are all small changes that can add up to a healthier you.
“If you totally overhaul your diet or start an ambitious exercise program, you’re less likely to stick with it,” says Nathan Wiedemann MD, a primary care physician with TriHealth’s Queen City Physicians – Western Ridge. “But making small, sustainable improvements in your lifestyle can have huge impacts on your health. It can also help you build toward more ambitious goals down the line.”
Here are some small changes that you can make today to work toward a healthier you tomorrow:
- Lose 10 percent of your body weight: While this may not seem like much, the reality is that your favorite jeans will fit a little better, and you can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, which will reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke.
- Walk the dog: Instead of watching the dog in your back yard, take the dog out for a walk. Your dog will enjoy the change of scenery and you will enjoy the extra calories that will be burned from the exercise. The dog is optional, of course, if you can find other opportunities to take regular walks.
- Watch the salt: By cutting down your salt intake you have the ability to lower your blood pressure by a whopping 10 points. You will also reduce the amount of water you retain due to the added salt.
- Put down the soda: If you cut out one 20-ounce bottle of soda per day, you can cut as much as 240 calories out of your diet. In one week you have cut out almost an entire day’s worth of calories.
- Get more sleep: This may seem odd, but studies show that well-rested people are more alert on the job, are better able to avoid depression and stress, and are less likely to reach for junk food.
Last Updated: January 14, 2021