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Healthy New Year’s Resolutions

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The New Year is right around the corner and with that comes the inevitable discussion of New Year Resolutions. Many people fall into one of two categories when it comes to resolutions. The first is setting too general of a resolution. For example, stating that your goal for 2015 is to “Be healthier or exercise more.” This is hard to measure and has no action steps to follow. The second is setting too high of a goal. For example, stating that your resolution is to “lose 100 lbs by Easter.” These types of resolutions are discouraging and look unattainable. Do not fall into these traps. If your goal is to have a happier and healthier 2015, try one of the following resolutions.

1. Get one more hour of sleep per night. The recommended amount of sleep for an adult is between 7 and 9 hours. Approximately 40% of adults get less than 7 hours of sleep. The body needs sleep to repair and rejuvenate and to prepare for the upcoming day. If you are getting less than the recommended hours make the commitment to go to bed one hour earlier.
2. Get between 7,000 and 8,000 steps per day. Pedometers are relatively inexpensive way of measuring your physical activity. Many organizations recommend 10,000 steps, but that should be your long range goal. Increasing the amount of steps you take by any amount will help your health. Some suggestions, park further away when going to the supermarket, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and go for a walk over your lunch break.
3. Cut back on pop consumption. This one is simple to do. Figure out how much pop you drink per week or per day and then cut it back by one. After one month, cut back by another one.
4. Increase your physical activity by ½ per day. The current recommendation is 150 minutes or moderate activity per week. If you do the math it translates to 5 30 minute sessions of physical activity. Go for a brisk walk at lunch or right when you get home and you will have this resolution licked in no time.
5. Unplug electronics for one hour each night. Give your brain a break by going outside, reading a book, or playing a game with the family. Get two birds with one stone and make this unplugged hour right before bedtime. It will help you fall asleep faster and have better quality of sleep.
6. Have a complete physical. When is the last time you had a health check-up? Many people only go to the doctor when they are sick. Having a health check-up can identify problems or trends that will lead to problems before they start causing issues. A check-up should include a heart/lung evaluation, spinal check, and some basic lab work. This is something that can be pursued at our office. We are fully qualified to draw blood and interpret the results.

Put your health first this year. These are only some examples of simple resolutions you can do to have a healthier 2015. Remember to keep your resolutions simple, but specific. Start your path to better health at the beginning of 2015.