Well, here we are at the end of January already…and how are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? From the number of FitBits and step counts that I am seeing and hearing, I believe many people are enjoying being more active (or at least enjoying “competing” with themselves or friends over their numbers.) Perhaps the two most common health related resolutions are to increase exercise and to eat “better”. What does that really mean?
First let’s tackle “increase exercise”. Please, focus on the INCREASE. If you are honestly doing nothing, start with walking. Consider a “FitBit” or a smart phone or a simple $10 pedometer, and start charting how many steps you take each day. Next, challenge yourself to up that number each day by 100 steps. We as a society seem to be very motivated by video-game-like challenges, so we know what it takes to “pass” each level, right? Let’s apply that to our daily steps. For years, we have been pushing the “10,000” steps per day, which is approximately equal to 4 miles. My encouragement today is simply to see YOUR personal baseline, and push it up by SMALL increments each day.
Eating “better”. Okay, I have blogged before about the “unhealthy vegetarian”, but for those who have not yet heard my rant…here it goes. “Vegetarian” does NOT equal “HEALTHY”. It certainly CAN, and even SHOULD- if that person is concentrating their food choices on- wait for it- VEGETABLES. However, especially in my current patient population of college students, “vegetarian” can mean diets of granola bars, chips, nachos, and cheese pizza. Hmm…let’s count the fruits and veggies there- anyone have a calculator? LOL.
BOTTOM LINE: My 2016 Gift to you is that the last day of EVERY month, I wish for you a clean slate- a “do-over” for your NYE Resolutions. On this January 31st, why not pick a simple FEBRUARY healthy resolution? And feel free to share with us your success!