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Beat Defeat: 3 Ways to Stick with your New Year’s Resolution to get Healthy

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Each year people commit themselves to new goals and New Year’s resolutions. In 2017, NATF wants to help you stick to your resolution to live a healthier life.

The key to making resolutions stick? Make lifestyle changes instead of far off goals. How many times have you set specific time-sensitive goals, such as “I want to lose ten pounds by February?” Goals like that can become daunting and are easily abandoned. Instead, focus on a lifestyle change.

Try these 3 lifestyle changes to set yourself on a path to success:

1) Get Moving

You don’t need to run miles or spend hours in the gym to be healthy. Start with a smaller, easier goal to set yourself up for success. Small changes add up and more is not always better. According to Dr. Aaron Baggish, associate director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center, the recommended 150 minutes a week of heartbeat-raising exercise is the “optimum dose” that people need. That can be broken down to just 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Here are some easy ways to incorporate more movement into your everyday life:

  • Take a walk. Even just a simple 15 minutes a day can help put you on path towards a healthier life.
  • Sit at a desk all day? Try taking a two minute walk every hour. A new study from the University of Utah shows that this might counteract the negative effects of being so sedentary. You can also use your lunch break to get in the 15-minute walk mentioned above.
  • Ditch the elevator and take the stairs. While it seems like a simple suggestion, it’s effective. Not only does it burn calories, but it also can raise your heart rate.

2) Stay Hydrated – Embrace the Power of Water 

Did you know that water makes up about 60 percent of the human body?

Water is extremely important for the body and comes with a wide variety of benefits. It helps your digestive track run smoothly, keeps your kidneys working in top shape, prevents headaches, and more. 

So, are you getting enough water? The well-known saying states that people need 8 glasses of water a day, but that might not be true.

According to a study published in the Proceeds of the National Academy of Sciences, the key to drinking enough water is simply to listen to your body. Researchers found that when your body is sufficiently hydrated, it actually becomes more difficult to swallow liquid. This automatic response by the body helps prevent over-drinking and regulates fluid levels.

If your New Year’s goal is to stay hydrated, do it the right way. Don’t focus on getting in your 8 glasses. Instead, learn to listen to what your body is telling you.

3) Shop Smart to Eat Right

A common New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier. While that’s a great goal, making more specific life changes can help you stick to your guns. One step is to change how you shop at your local grocery store.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Bring a grocery list. By deciding what you want to buy before you go shopping, you can select nutritious options and avoid distractions in the store. Grocery stores and food brands design their packaging, placement of items, and set up to convince you to buy their products. A list can help you stay focused, fighting the temptation of a sweet treat, and stop you from buying things you don’t need.
  • Shop along the outside of the store. Most grocery stores are designed so that their fresh products are on the outside walls of the store. This includes fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meats. The inside rows contain more non-perishable foods.
  • Read your labels and be an informed shopper. Nutrition labels can help you determine what foods you should be buying. You want to avoid foods with a lot of fats, sugars, and sodium (salt). Instead, look for foods that contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

All of us here at NATF would like to wish the best with your New Year’s resolutions. We hope you have a happy, healthy 2017!

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