Ways to set realistic New Year resolutions
It is the time of year when resolutions to change unwanted behaviors and to adopt healthier ones often abound. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), it is important to remember that the New Year is not meant to begin sweeping character changes. But rather, it should be a time for people to reflect on previous behaviors and if needed, to make steps toward positive lifestyle changes. By making resolutions realistic and achievable, it is more likely you will keep them throughout the year and be able to incorporate these healthier behaviors into your everyday life. Here are some tips to help you do this.
- Start small. Make resolutions you think you can keep. If your goal is to exercise more and you are currently not exercising at all, aim at first for 3-4 times a week instead of everyday.
- Change one behavior at a time. If you know your lifestyle is a “trainwreck,” congratulate yourself on wanting to make changes but start with just one or two goals. It will likely take some time to make these a consistent part of your daily life. Once you have mastered these goals, reset them and/or add another goal or two.
- Talk about it. Sharing successes or challenges with family, friends, or even a support group often makes the journey easier.
- If you fall off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up. Perfection is impossible. You are likely to make some missteps on the way to your goals and that is okay. Don’t give up completely; just get back on track as soon as you can and know you are human.
Many people start an exercise program with good intentions to make it a regular part of their life, only to find a few weeks later they are no longer exercising as much as they wanted to or not at all. Here are some tips to help keep you on the right track.
- Start with setting simple goals and once you have achieved them, reset them.
- Make it fun. Participate in activities you enjoy and/or with people you like to be with.
- Make physical activity part of your daily routine and use every opportunity to fit more activity in, such as taking the stairs or parking further away from the door.
- Put it on paper. Put your goals in writing and keep a log of your activity.
- Reward yourself once you have met your goal(s).
Fitness Tip Classes for the New Year
Here are some upcoming classes offered by Lawrence Memorial Hospital to help support and educate you with some lifestyle change goals. For more information or to enroll, contact LMH Connect Care at (785) 749-5800 or log onto www.lmh.org
The Steps to Successfully Quitting Smoking, Mon. 11/10, at 6 pm.
10,000 Steps a Day, Sat. 1/15, at 9 am.
Pre Diabetes Class, Thurs. 1/20, 12 pm.
Nutrition Roundtable: January’s topic: “The D.A.S.H. Food Plan,” Thurs. 1/20, 6:30 pm
Successfully losing weight means changing the balance of calories we take in to the calories you put out (burn). If fewer calories are taken in than pended, we lose weight. To lose one pound of weight, we must burn 3500 calories. According to the American Heart Association, for most people to successfully and healthfully lose weight and to keep it off, they must subtract about 500 calories per day from their diet to lose about one pound a week. Physical activity can greatly assist with weight loss. It is recommended that for those seeking to lose weight, 150- 300 minutes of moderate level activity each week be engaged in. Ideally, the more activity the better.
For more information visit: www.aha.org
The long cold days of winter are now upon us. Many people may find themselves experiencing the “winter blues.” About four times as many women as men will have feelings of sadness or depression at this time of year, and it more often affects those in their twenties and thirties. The winter blues are often referred to as seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.). To combat the feelings that this can bring, here are some tips.
- Get moving. Exercise triggers positive changes in the immune system, minimizes sadness and depression, and can bring about all over feelings of well being.
- Eat more complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Cut back on sugary foods and foods with high fat content.
- Try aromatherapy. Certain scents can often lift mood.
- Talk with your doctor about possibly trying light therapy.
For more information on S.A.D., visit www.nami.org .
It is the time of year when many people are thinking about tuning up their exercise habit and work-out equipment is often on sale. Before you invest in an expensive piece of exercise equipment, ask yourself these questions:
- Will the equipment help you achieve your desired goals such as building strength or improving flexibility?
- Will you stick with using this equipment regularly?
- Have you checked reviews of the equipment in reputable consumer and fitness magazines?
- Does the seller advertise a “too good to be true” deal? Make sure you read the fine print.
Think carefully about purchasing used equipment; it usually does not carry a warranty.
In many parts of the country, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is thought to bring good luck. Black-eyed peas are a wonderful source of fiber so why just wait for New Year’s; eat them anytime!
Creole Style Black-Eyed Peas
3 c. water
2 c. dried black-eyed peas
1 tsp. low-sodium chicken-flavored bouillon granules
2 c. canned unsalted tomatoes, crushed
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp, ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 c. chopped parsley
In a medium saucepan over high heat, add 2 cups of water and black-eyed peas. Bring to a boil for 2 min., cover, remove from heat and let stand 1 hour. Drain the water, leaving peas in the pan. Add remaining 1 cup of water, bouillon granules, tomatoes, onion, celery, garlic, mustard, ginger, cayenne pepper and bay leaf. Stir together; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer slowly for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add water as necessary to keep peas covered with liquid. Remove bay leaf, pour into a serving bowl and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 8.
Nutritional analysis (per serving): calories: 173, protein: 11 g., carbohydrate: 31 g., total fat: 1 g., cholesterol: 0 mg., sodium: 34 mg. fiber: 5 g., potassium: 665 mg, calcium: 66 mg..
Recipe from: www.mayoclinic.com
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet, is a widely recognized healthy eating plan, that along with medical recommendations, can help to lower moderately elevated blood pressure for many people. Components of this plan include:
- Eating more fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy.
- Cutting back on foods that are high in saturated fat, cholesterol and total fat.
- Eating more whole grain products, nuts, fish and poultry.
- Eating less red meat and sweets.
- Eating foods rich in magnesium, potassium and calcium.
Another diet, the DASH Sodium, involves the above components but also includes reducing sodium (salt) intake to no more than 1,500 mg/day (2/3 tsp). Studies have shown significant reductions in blood pressure for many people following this plan. See your doctor for regular check-ups, have your blood pressure checked yearly (or more often if you have risk factors), follow medical recommendations, and talk with your doctor or a Registered Dietitian about DASH.
For more information: www.aha.org
This publication is provided as a service by Lawrence Memorial Hospital Community Education. All or part may be used for wellness education purposes with credit noted to the source of information. Thanks!