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Home > News > Passport To Wellness: A Healthy Start To The New Year

Passport To Wellness: A Healthy Start To The New Year

December 24, 2012

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Provided by: STEPHANIE GREISMAN, For the Maryland Gazette

The New Year is upon us. It’s the time of year when people start thinking about setting resolutions for themselves. Whether it’s eating right or exercising more, a majority of the goals often are health-related. But setting New Year’s resolutions takes planning and commitment to achieve your goals.

What will your resolution be this year? Here are some popular ideas:

  • Choose healthier food options. Talk with your healthcare provider about your daily calorie needs. Create a diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts. Also, eat foods low in saturated fats, transfats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars.
  • Get moving. Add more exercise to your everyday life. You even can try simple steps like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Just be sure to stay active for at least two-and-a-half hours a week.
  • Go smoke-free. Discuss with your healthcare provider how you can quit smoking. You also can search for smoking cessation classes in your area or call the Maryland Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
  • Reduce stress. Look for ways to eliminate anxiety from your life. Also, identify activities that help you relax, such as doing yoga or meditating.
  • Get the proper amount of sleep. Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, it can affect how you feel and perform during the day. Insufficient sleep also can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, depression and other chronic diseases and conditions.
  • Schedule appointments. Be sure to make appointments for health-related check-ups, vaccinations and screenings. Remember, regular health exams and tests can detect issues early, which can increase your chances of leading a healthier life.

When creating your resolution, be realistic. Some habits can take time to change, so have patience. Try making changes gradually, which can increases your chances of succeeding. Also, be sure you have the dedication and motivation needed to reach your goal. You might want to try setting small goals on your way to a bigger goal. This will allow you to achieve small successes along the way, which can refuel your motivation. If you end up having a setback or two, don’t worry. Just refocus your attention and get back on track. To help, you can review your initial motivations for making the resolution. Finally, get support. You will need family, friends or other individuals who can understand your goal and help you to succeed.

Whatever resolution you decide on, stick with it. There was a reason you chose that particular goal in the first place.

Remember - whether you want to eat better, exercise more or quit smoking - it’s all about improving yourself. Keep focusing on your resolution, and the year 2013 might just be the year of a healthier you. Happy New Year!

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