The week before New Year’s Day is one where we’re often recovering from overeating and getting just a little too festive with the contents of the refrigerator. Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions Americans make, and rightfully so. Not only can it boost your confidence and help you look great, but it can also keep you from experiencing dangerous chest pain symptoms that require emergency care. However, losing weight also one of the most popular resolutions that Americans break just a few short hours after the New Year begins.
While some accidents are inevitable, many can be avoided simply by adapting a healthier lifestyle. Sticking to a health resolution may not be easy, but it can reap serious benefits – including keeping you out of the emergency room. Here are some options you have for making those health resolutions last.
Watch Out: You Might Break These Resolutions
It’s no surprise that the resolutions that get the most attention are also some of the resolutions we like to break most often. According to a list published by Time, some of the most commonly broken resolutions include losing weight, quitting smoking, eating healthier, traveling more, and volunteering.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to keep these resolutions because they require investments of time, such as volunteering and traveling, and the other commonly broken resolutions are often part of an addiction or a habit that’s incredibly difficult to break. For example, quitting smoking is no walk in the park, and eating healthy foods is extra-difficult when it’s so much easier to eat a candy bar instead of something healthy.
Choose Resolutions You Can Keep
It’s important to make your resolutions with care and to resist making too many resolutions that are ingrained in your personality or daily lifestyle. Rather than trying to quit smoking, eat healthier, and lose weight, you might choose just a single resolution and try to stick with it. Your success with that resolution might lead to new resolutions throughout the year.
“Once you understand that you have only a limited amount of willpower, it’s easy to understand why multiple resolutions aren’t likely to work… Most resolutions actually require many behavior changes.”
For example, if you choose to exercise more throughout the year, you might get to a point where your smoking habit is making it difficult to keep up with your exercise routine. You might find yourself smoking less as you begin exercising more. It’s also essential to design resolutions you can maintain. Don’t make a resolution to run a marathon if you’re sedentary. Try for a 5K race first.
Health is More than Just Food & Exercise
When you visit your family practice clinic for your yearly checkup, you’ll discuss various facets of health with your doctor, but it’s not just your eating and exercise habits that can influence your health. There are many health-oriented resolutions that you can try that may have a great, positive impact on the way you feel in 2016.
For example, many people make a resolution to speak to their family more often or to keep in touch with old friends. Doing so can help improve your mental health, which is a key component of an overall healthy lifestyle. It’s simple to keep in contact, even if you don’t want to spend hours on the telephone. Simply remembering to send a birthday card (not a birthday email!) in the mail is a great way to keep in touch.
A successfully held resolution to lose weight can dramatically improve your life, but focusing on the number you see on the scale isn’t always the best way to approach this New Year’s Resolution. Taking it slow and steady with healthy eating is an excellent way to boost your health and turn a New Year’s resolution into a habit rather than a temporary change. You might make a list of healthy foods you’d like to include in your diet and add one food each week. For example, you might start the year off by switching from sugar cereal in the morning to oatmeal. The next week, you might try adding a cup of yogurt to your midmorning snack rather than the bag of chips you usually get.
There’s no doubt about it. Health resolutions are harder to keep than ones that don’t involve food and exercise. This year, make a small resolution for your health, and you might see yourself keep that resolution throughout all of 2016.
From all of us here at Advance ER, we wish you a healthy, happy, and successful new year with as little trips to the emergency room as possible!