Lynn Beattie, Department of Public Health.
Lynn is a Nutrition Education Specialist with DPH.
New Year’s Eve is a time for reflecting on the past year. But more importantly, it’s an occasion to look forward to the coming year. Many of us plan to make positive changes in our lives for a fresh start to the year. Would you like to spend more time with family and friends, become more physically active, manage stress, or eat healthier? These are all examples of common healthful resolutions many Americans would like to make. Make your best effort to stick to one resolution at the top of your list instead of trying to tackle several at a time. While you are working on one, you may find that other healthful changes happen on their own!
After a season of way too many cookies, treats, and holiday parties, it is only natural to want to watch what you eat and get healthy for the New Year. Start with small modifications that are easy to add into your routine. For example, try drinking seltzer water instead of soda, top your usual morning breakfast cereal with some fruit, or make the switch to whole grains. Aim for one change at a time and at the end, it adds up to a milestone!
If you plan to become more physically active, pair up with a friend and get together for a brisk walk. You’ll get a chance to spend time together and knowing others are counting on you will make it easier to stick to it! Until the weather warms up, take your walks at the mall. Luckily for us, many malls open one hour earlier than the retailers which gives you extra time to enjoy a stroll.
Get the whole family involved in fun activities, indoor and outdoor. An idea for inside the house would be to create an obstacle course for your kids with household items and time them. Take the kids sledding, go ice skating, or just trudge through the snow for some outdoor exercise. Becoming more physically active will help increase your energy levels and reduce stress. Doing it with others gives you a chance to spend more time with the ones you love.