The Saline Courier Weekend
Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions
It is that time again when most of us make New Year’s resolutions. They are easy to make, but oh so easy to break, according to Teresa Henson, Extension specialist-program outreach coordinator for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences.
Often, resolutions involve healthy changes that help us feel better and live healthier lives, Henson said. To make 2023 a healthy year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes for Health (NIH) offer some tips that can improve your well-being and health.
• Set realistic goals. Make a list of small steps to help you achieve them.
• Plan for setbacks. Outline how to overcome them. Don’t give up because of it.
• Track progress. Writing in a journal is an excellent tool for helping you stay focused and recover from setbacks.
• Ask for help. Be bold and ask your friends and family for support.
• Schedule routine check-ups. Make an appointment for a physical, vaccination or screening.
Regular oral and medical exams and tests can help find problems before they start. Regular check-ups can help find problems early when your chances for a treatment and cure are better.
• Make healthy food choices. Healthy eating emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk products and lean protein.
• Get active! Start small – Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park further from your destination and pick activities you enjoy doing. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle-strengthening training a week.
• Get plenty of sleep. Insufficient sleep is associated with many chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression. Adults need seven or more hours per night.
• Treat yourself. Reward yourself with a healthy treat when you achieve a goal.
“You don’t necessarily need to start the new year by making healthy changes. You can make those changes anytime throughout the year,” Henson said. “However, the beginning of the year is a great time to start outlining goals and steps to better health. So, remember to set realistic goals and create a plan to achieve a healthier you.”