Odds are that you or someone you know is making a New Year’s resolution to be healthier in 2017. While many people make this promise to themselves each year, it seems that many of us don’t succeed. According to research conducted by the University of Scranton, http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/, 45 percent of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions but only 8 percent are successful in achieving them. How do we change that? These five tips can make staying healthy easier and make you one of the few that keeps their New Year’s resolution.
Create Modest Goals for Yourself
You may be tempted to make your goal your ideal weight, but this can be difficult and even unhealthy to attempt. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute [https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-pro/resources/heart/aim-facts-html]—which is part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services—it’s better to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week over an extended period of time than to lose a large amount of weight in a short amount of time only to gain it back.
Don’t feel like you have to start your new lifestyle at full speed, particularly if you haven’t been physically active for some time. The Institute advises starting a new exercise regime with 10-15 minutes walking three times a week and gradually increasing your time and effort until you reach your goal effort. The NLHNI recommends 30 minutes of moderate activity most days a week to reduce risk of disease, 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity most days of the week to manage body weight and prevent weight gain, and 60-90 minutes of moderate physical activity every day to maintain weight loss.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Advice
Your family or primary care physician is a font of knowledge—use it! Scheduling a physical is a great way to identify ways you could be healthier. If you’d to prefer to not make a visit, many health systems offer electronic visits or communication through online accounts. If you need some professional advice, there are many ways to connect with your doctor for little or no expense.
Find Time to Exercise Throughout the Day
Sometimes finding the time to exercise is the most difficult part of getting healthy, especially if before or after work is not an option. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do physical activity during the day. If you’d like to get outside, ask your co-workers if they’d like to form a group that takes a 15-minute walk each day during lunch. If the cold is keeping you indoors, the Internet is full of advice for exercising at your desk. Time Magazine [http://time.com/4019563/exercise-work-desk/], for example, has an interactive feature that lists 10 exercises you can do by yourself or with your co-workers.
Get Friends or Family Involved
Don’t feel like you have to do this on your own! Recruit co-workers, friends and family on your mission to be healthy. According to a study by the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Indiana, couples who workout separately had a 43 percent drop-off rate in comparison to 6.3 percent for couples who workout together.