For most, the holidays mean eating – lots of eating – followed by weight gain and a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. With more than 60% of Americans being overweight and obese, weight loss is very often the most common New Year’s Resolution.
But unfortunately, people also very commonly fail at maintaining their healthy New Year’s Resolution. The American Heart Association offers simple lifestyle tips for jump starting your goals for the New Year and achieving optimum heart health.
Mindless eating is consuming food just because it’s there, eating while distracted. It’s eating for emotional comfort instead of for hunger. Simply put, it’s not paying attention to what we eat which can lead to being overweight. The key to mindful eating is awareness. Just by paying more attention to what you eat, you’re more likely to make beneficial changes.
The American Heart Association recommends exercising 30 minutes at least five days a week. Feeling crunched for time? Get your 30 minutes of activity in at work or at home.
- Do housework yourself instead of hiring someone else to do it,
- Work in the garden or mow the grass. Rake leaves, prune, dig and pick up trash.
- Walk or bike to the corner store instead of driving.
- Stand up while talking on the telephone.
- Walk the dog.
- Park farther away at the shopping mall and walk the extra distance.
- Brainstorm project ideas with a coworker while taking a walk.
- Walk down the hall to speak with someone rather than using the telephone.
- Schedule exercise time on your business calendar and treat it as any other important appointment.
- Walk around your building for a break during the work day or during lunch.
Finally, be specific about your health and fitness goals and how you will achieve them. Vague, non-specific New Year’s resolutions are likely to fail. Simply put “joining a gym” doesn’t make you go. Make it a specific routine such as, “I will get up one hour early three days a week and go to the gym.”
More than 80% of heart disease can be prevented by simple lifestyle changes. Eating right and taking small steps such as walking for 30 minutes daily are two of the easiest ways you can achieve your goal to getting healthy. Learn more at www.heart.org/gettinghealthy.
For help making and reaching health and fitness goals, contact Answer is Fitness.