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Dec 29 2015
Tips for Keeping Your Health and Wellness Resolutions
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Oh fudge, caramels, cookies and wine…or whatever hits your soft spot. All of these things can distract us from the healthy lifestyle we are looking to achieve.Consuming these things over the holidays can give someone a lot of guilt along with those extra  pounds on the scale.  

With the New Year only a few days away, people often make resolutions to eat healthier and to increase their exercise. More often than not, these resolutions typically fall by the wayside by the time February rolls around. 

Here are some helpful tips to make your resolutions stick throughout the year:
• Be realistic. The easiest way to fall short of your goal is to make it unattainable. It’s okay to make gradual changes to where you want to be and take it one day at a time. For example, if you haven’t exercised for a while don’t strive to squeeze in five,one-hour workouts in a week. Instead, aim for two to three 30-minute workouts per week and gradually increase to five or six once you’re more comfortable.

• Make a plan. Decide how you will deal with that tempting piece of cake or hitting the snooze button instead of going to the gym. Practice positive thinking and let your family and friends know of your goals. Keep a journal of your plan and progress so you can look at what you’ve achieved throughout the year.

• Have fun. Exercise doesn’t have to be grueling, and on those days that you just don’t have it in you to pound away on a treadmill, perhaps a yoga class might bring you a welcome and relaxing change. Find a physical activity that you enjoy and one that doesn’t feel like exercise. In addition, eating healthy doesn’t mean it has to be plain and boring. Get out your favorite recipes and figure out how you can make healthier versions.

• Learn and experiment with new things.
They key to making a healthy lifestyle change is to find out what works for you. I recommend anyone looking to maintain or improve their health to learn more about the amazing machine that you have—your body. Try tracking your food intake, taking a new class, or even experimenting with drinking water to see how it feels when you do and don’t get those 64 ounces in. 

There are many credible online resources that provide free tracking tools for food and physical activity, and health information. There are also incredible journeys you can take right here in your home town. The Why Weight program offered through Holy Family Memorial provides information about healthy eating and can help you lose weight and reduce your chance of getting type 2 diabetes. Lean on the Lakeshore, a 100-day weight loss challenge beginning on January 10 provides you the opportunity to try different exercise programs, participate in cooking demonstrations, and receive health information and support.  I encourage anyone living or working in Manitowoc County to join this community health challenge.   

New Year's resolutions are hard to keep. But by setting realistic goals, making a plan, having fun and figuring out what works, you can keep healthy and well into the New Year and after. 

Good luck on your journey!

Joni Shavlik is a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor at HFM Wellness Center.



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