Counting down to the New Year brings much excitement for the coming year and another chance for a fresh start. After celebrating another year gone by, many people begin the New Year with a resolution to “be healthier”, followed by an overwhelming health checklist.
One of the reasons why resolutions are often broken may be because we set our expectations too high to attain a very large goal. To make these resolutions stick, try setting small goals. Making small changes to your daily routine may be more manageable as you are working towards a healthier you. In 2015, try one of these resolutions for a healthier, happier and longer life.
- Be active. You don’t need an expensive gym membership to stay fit. A brisk walk in the park or a light jog in your neighborhood is a great start. Aim to stay active for 30 minutes a day or 2 ½ hours a week.
- Make healthy food choices. Instead of ordering take out, cook your own meals and pack your own lunch. Need some inspiration? Check out some of our healthy recipes here. You can also consider adding more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains into your diet. Try to drink more water and choose drinks low in sugar. Some foods may be hard to cut back on, and that is okay. Eat those less-healthy-favorites in moderation.
- Get enough sleep. A good night’s sleep prepares you for the next day. Sleeping is the body’s natural way of repairing itself. It helps the brain store all the new things learned throughout the day and helps control your appetite. Being well rested improves your mood and performance at school or at work. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each day, and check out our past newsletter for more do’s and don’ts for sleep!
- Quit Smoking. Do it for you, and do it for someone you love. Try to set a date that you would like to quit by, and ask your doctor to help you. Check out this site for all kinds of resources to help you quit smoking.
- Make an appointment for a check-up! When is the last time you had a check-up? Regular check-ups will help you and your doctor screen for health problem early, and to keep you up to date with vaccinations to avoid common illnesses and conditions. Your doctor will also be able to help you maintain a healthier lifestyle based on your age and family history. If you are looking for a new healthcare provider, read more about us on our website.
Resolutions may not be easy, but by making small changes, you can achieve better health. We wish you a happy and healthy New Year!
Written by Bonnie Tse, with contributions from Perry Pong, MD.
Bonnie Tse is part of the Health Education Department at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. She has a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Food Science from Hunter College. Dr. Pong is the chief medical officer at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. He received his medical degree from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, and completed his residency training at Veterans Affairs Medical Center New York. Dr. Pong is board-certified in internal medicine.