Published in the January 16 – 29, 2019 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Theresa McLaren

Like many Morgan Hill residents, you may have set resolutions or goals for the new year that involve health and fitness. And, like many people, by the beginning of February your resolution begins to wane. How can you keep your healthy goals through the year?

First, write your goals on paper and be specific. Stating you want to “eat healthier” is vague and hard to measure. More concrete goals may be to “make home-prepared meals with only fresh ingredients” a certain number of times per week or “eliminate added sugar” from your diet. Second, allow yourself some wiggle room, or even a day off. Eat a piece of birthday cake at a party. Just get back on track the next day. Third, keep track of how you are doing. A great idea is to take a picture of the food you eat and then review at the end of the day. Don’t hide anything and don’t cheat. Fourth, watch out for fad diets that are too hard to stick to. Occasional fasting is fine, but be sure to check with your doctor before you try something drastic.

For physical fitness, try a variety of activities to see what suits you. If you didn’t stick to running last year, you probably won’t stick to it this year. Keep doing what you like and step out of your routine once in a while. Switch up activities so you don’t get bored. You will also be more likely to avoid injuries if you do a variety of activities. Our bodies need weight bearing, stretching and cardiovascular exercise. Weight bearing exercise is essential for building and maintaining healthy bones and building bone cells and helps prevent osteoporosis. Cardiovascular exercise raises your heart rate, improves stamina and the function of your heart, lungs and circulatory system. Stretching keeps muscles strong and joints healthy. Take a vigorous walk, preferably with some elevation gain and be sure to stretch after.

One of the best ways to keep healthy goals is to have a partner. Pick someone you can trust and who can be honest with you. They don’t have to be a workout partner though, it is nice if your accountability partner and you occasionally get together for a walk, or to share a healthy meal. Your partner could even be someone remote. Share your goals and your accomplishments and even your failures. Set a specific time and day to check in, preferably several times a week. Most important, just keep moving and don’t give up. Your health is worth it!

Theresa McLaren owns Art of Yoga in Morgan Hill. She can be reached at info@artofyogamorgnahill.com.

 

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