The Saline Courier Weekend

Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolution­s

- By Debbie Archer

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.”

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