Every New Year’s Eve, many people create lists of resolutions that are often forgotten several weeks into the New Year. The most common aims are related to diet, exercise and self-improvement. Dr. Stephan Kamholz, Chair of the Department of Medicine at Maimonides, offers suggestions that will help you reach your goals in 2019 and make those resolutions stick.
“Most of us try to make too many changes at once,” says Dr. Kamholz. “It’s important to set modest and realistic goals so we don’t set ourselves up for failure. You can also set small, incremental goals within a larger goal.”
Many of us get lazy in the winter months, spend more time indoors and pay less attention to staying fit. For most people, it only takes a few small changes to reverse this and improve overall health and wellness.
If you have a health issue or chronic condition, Dr. Kamholz advises that you follow your doctor’s advice before embarking on any new diet or exercise regime. For those in good health, he offers the following tips to achieve improved wellness:
- Introduce healthier foods into your meals, instead of focusing on things to give up.
- Go for a walk regularly. You’ll reduce stress, strengthen your immune system and increase your overall energy. You can increase activity by walking instead of driving, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Incorporate a serving of vegetables into your lunch and dinner every day.
- Integrate whole grains into your menu. Try new grains like barley or quinoa, or experiment with a new recipe using familiar whole grains.
- Stay hydrated by adding more water to your daily routine.
“If you spend January following these suggestions, you will already have a healthier lifestyle by February,” Dr. Kamholz explains. “Maintaining those new healthy habits can be a boost throughout the year.”
A great way to improve your chances for success is to encourage friends and family members to join you in these simple lifestyle changes. Most people do better with the “buddy system” and support from loved ones.