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Healthy new year tips straight from our physicians

December 28, 2021 Posted in: Diet & Fitness , Blogs , English

In a survey on setting resolutions, more than half of the American population wanted to be healthier—59% wishing to exercise more, 54% saying they would eat healthier, and 48% resolving to lose weight. It’s safe to say that being healthier is one of the top goals set by people around the new year. And while this is a great goal to have, how can we break it into manageable steps to make it more attainable?

What are simple tips for setting wellness goals?

We want to help you get the most out of your New Year’s resolutions and goals by offering up some tips you can apply. It’s best to start simple and break your large goals into smaller ones. If you have the resolution of “I want to exercise more,” what are some simple steps you can take right now to accomplish that goal? You can plan out 30-minute blocks of time each day to go on a walk or another form of physical activity you really enjoy. You can sign up for a group fitness class with a friend or family member that has the same fitness goals as yourself for accountability.

If having a million broad goals, like you see people posting online, seems daunting (which it is), start small with just one goal. For example, start with increasing your steps since most phones and smartwatches track your daily movements. If you’re at 5,000 steps today, reach for 7,000 for the next month and then increase again once this daily step count begins to feel more manageable. Your resolutions can and should be updated throughout the year as things change.

More practical tips:

  • Have an accountability system, either a person or a reward system.
  • Use S.M.A.R.T. while planning (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely).
  • Prioritize one goal at a time so as not to overwhelm yourself.
  • Create reminders on your phone for small tasks.
  • Set aside a specific time each day for your goals.
  • Write out any possible obstacles and how to overcome them.
  • Stay positive and remind yourself why you want to accomplish this goal.

What are examples of 2022 wellness goals?

Your wellness goals can range from a variety of topics—fitness, nutrition, finances, mental health, and more—that you can set at whatever rate you deem fit. Dr. Jennifer Culver, primary care physician with St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network, shares her personal wellness goals for 2022.

I will strive to be consistent by exercising five times a week for an average of 60 minutes at a time, getting an average of 10,000 steps per day, and logging my food and water intake to track what I am eating. I want to meet my shorter monthly goals for dietary change and fitness. By the end of the year, I would like to be able to do an unassisted strict pull-up.

More examples of wellness goals include:

  • Keep a daily journal or gratitude log.
  • Stick to a budget every month.
  • Learn a new skill each quarter of the year.
  • Declutter around the house once a month.
  • Drink 12 cups of water a day.
  • Get 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Read a new book each month.

How much exercise should the average person be getting every day?

On average, you should be getting 30 to 45 minutes of physical activity each day. There are a lot of classes—virtual or in-person—and inexpensive online resources to get you started. Two days a week should include 10 to 15 minutes of weight-bearing exercise. If you don’t have access to traditional dumbbells, use items you have around your house, like a small box or piece of furniture.

What are the elements of a healthy diet?

According to MyPlate, you should aspire to have these five food groups on your plate for every meal—fruits, grains, vegetables, proteins, and dairy. Opt for lean meats when picking out your proteins and low-fat choices for all of your dairy.

What wellness trends are predicted for 2022?

Innovations are being made in the wellness industry between sleep trackers and food services to assist in your health goals. These innovations come in all shapes and sizes to fit your needs. You can get a bed that adjusts to the forms and angles you need to get the best night’s sleep. You can even use streaming services and social media platforms to find workouts that best suit what you want. Dr. Culver shares her predictions for this year’s wellness trends.

“Being active using your favorite activity seems to be the trend, and there are a myriad of resources available out there. The important thing is that you pick something that you like and then move with it. My family is trying out a food service where healthy meals are made in advance, and we pick them up to bring them to work. Many of the grocery chains offer healthy types of meals as well.”

Setting goals can be a challenge if you don’t know where to start. Our physicians want to help you. If you want assistance in setting New Year’s resolutions that are just right for you, schedule an appointment with a St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network primary care physician today

Sources: | Goal Ideas: Set Your Yearly Goals for 2022

What is MyPlate? | MyPlate

15 Tips for Goal Setting |

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