Imagine if a New Year’s Resolution was to EAT MORE.
Well, that is one resolution Dr. Janelle Potts, with Mercy Clinic, suggests to her patients. “Eat more! Fruits and vegetables, that is. Aim for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day,” Potts said. Don’t let the fruits and vegetables part throw things for a loop. Eating more makes sense when recognizing the nutritional difference between apples and broccoli versus chips and cookies. To be successful, concentrate on the goals by making wise choices and maintaining a positive perspective.
“Many resolutions are overwhelming unless you break them into smaller, manageable steps,” Potts said. “For example, losing 50 pounds sounds unattainable, but losing five pounds in a month is reasonable. Follow the first step with a second, small step. Each step forward represents a step in the right direction."
Another place many Americans get off track is exercising.
“Move more! Going from little to no exercise to extreme exercise thwarts many a New Year’s resolution,” Potts said. “Consistency is the key, and selecting activities you might actually enjoy, like walking at the mall or by the lake, might just lead to success in 2015. It is best to exercise 30 minutes each day.”
Staying motivated will make a world of difference and keep people on track as they build a healthier lifestyle, and Potts suggests giving people themselves something to which they can look forward. “A little reward never hurt anyone,” Potts said. “For each small goal you accomplish, give yourself a reward. For example, for every month you don’t smoke, reward yourself with a massage.”
Partnering with a primary care physician and establishing health goals is another positive step. "The important thing is to pick a doctor you feel comfortable with," Potts said. "It's a very personal decision." It is also a decision that many put off until a life threatening illness strikes, or their daily routine becomes greatly affected. "As a primary care provider, it is hard seeing those very sick patients who could have saved themselves from the situation, if only they would have been more proactive with their health."
Good health is important to truly live life to the fullest. So, start today with a first postive step -- be it making fruits and vegetables the new afternoon snack,taking the stairs verses the elevator, or making an appointment with a primary care provider.