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How Do You Create a New Year’s Resolution That You Can Achieve?

Written by Michael Reece, ND

It’s 2013, a brand new year! Are you one of those who make New Year’s resolutions? Many people do, but few actually follow through, especially when it comes to their health. I think one of the reasons people fall short of their goals to achieve better health is that they try to do too much at once.  “I promise to eat less and exercise more!” quickly turns into “I promise to eat less!” which then gets reduced to “I promise to eat!” I think one of the reasons people fall short of their goals to achieve better health is that they try to do too much at once.  “I promise to eat less and exercise more!” quickly turns into “I promise to eat less!” which then gets reduced to “I promise to eat!”

Life is already too full with family, friends, work and responsibilities. Trying to do too much on top of a busy schedule only leads to frustration! Unless one is faced with some life-altering illness, few are equipped to make major changes. It’s important to have a plan. Break things down into achievable (and sustainable) goals. It’s also important to not condemn yourself if you happen to fall short. Anything you can do with exercise and improving the diet will be of benefit.

In terms of exercise, any kind of motion (in addition to one’s normal activity) is helpful. Walking, swimming, dancing, and aerobics are examples. Studies show that more benefit comes from varying the routine. Alternate aerobics with weight/resistance training.  Vary the pace and intensity at which you exercise (often called interval training). Start slow if you are not used to exercise, and build up gradually. Aim for 20-30 minutes per exercise session initially, increasing the time as you are able.

Dietary changes are often a challenge for people. Most people eat about a half dozen foods on a regular basis. Many of these foods are sugar-based, have a high glycemic load, or are fat-based. And many do not get enough water to drink! Alcohol and high-caffeine drinks (like coffee and sodas) may lead to increased water excretion, so it is important to limit those beverages.

A naturopathic health consultant can help with developing a plan that can help achieve your health goals. They listen to and work with the client according to the individual needs of the client. Here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2013!

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