The new year should always be about a fresh start. Whether in the form of personal goals, financial goals or health related changes, people like to push a restart button on their lives at the beginning of the year.
Health and wellness usually tops the list for new goals. Making weight loss and dietary changes usually starts with strong intentions of slimming down and getting fit but the intentions often fade away slowly once the hard work has to really start. Here are a few tips to contribute to long term success when working towards health and wellness goals.
Dietary– If your goal was centered around cutting calories or eliminating certain types of foods you should adopt a plan to make it easy on yourself. Be careful when going cold turkey with eliminating foods that you have been eating a lot of in the recent past. Take sugar as an example. If you typically eat throughout the day, every day, you can expect to experience some withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, irritability and strong cravings if you suddenly remove sweets from your diet. Have a plan to cut out the sugar over time as opposed to all at once. Give yourself a week or two to wean your body off the sugar.
Exercise-Getting to the gym may be the new goal that you set for yourself but keeping to a strict workout schedule can be tough to keep up. A variety of factors can easily throw you off track work, children, and travel schedules can change your gym routine just as soon as you get into a good workout groove. If you miss a day or two it’s not the end of the world and you can even burn some calories away from the gym during daily activity like the following:
· Parking farther away from the store instead of closest spot you can find.
· Entering stores from the opposite end from where you know you will be shopping and checking out.
· Performing tension (isotonic) exercises while driving where you squeeze your abs or another muscle group in the car.
These are all easy ways to burn calories without going to the gym and you won’t even go out of your way to do it.
Stress reduction– Stress is a touted as the silent killer and leads to high rates of heart disease and hyper tension in our society. Managing stress is essential to reducing the stress hormones that are released and cause damage to cells in the body. Using some form of daily stress relief can do wonders for your overall health and make you feel good at the same time. Massage therapy, mediation and prayer are all great ways to balance the stress that comes with everyday life. Practice deep, full breathing while you are falling asleep at night or even when you are showering. Studies have shown that deep focused breaths can improve overall mood and decrease blood pressure.
Adopting small changes to accomplish large goals usually works out better in the long run. Remember that any positive change, albeit large or small, is a change in the right direction and will help you reach your overall health goals.