January 02, 2012

What will you do this year to be healthier? You may be making bold resolutions on January 1 to eat right and exercise. Here, at the Y of Central Florida, we encourage you to think small and reach your goal – one focused step at a time. Why not start out with these few healthy living tips?

 

New Year’s Healthy Living Tip No. 1: Eat Sensibly

 

Look for healthy eating options rather than fad diets. Resolve to get more fiber in your diet this year like more fish or fresh fruit. Any diet change is easier if you take slow, small steps. For example:

 

  • Vow to add a veggies or fruits to your brown bag lunch daily.
  • Cook at home at least once per week.
  • Package up a single serving of your favorite whole-grain cereal, then treat it as your mid-morning snack.

 

New Year’s Healthy Living Tip No 2: Cleanse your Body

 

Water: The best beverage to drink and it’s cheap. 8 cups a day can be daunting, so think small.

 

  • Drink one glass first thing in the morning, before you brush your teeth.
  • Keep a glass or bottle at your desk and when it is empty, get a refill.
  • Resolve to drink one more cup of water today than you had yesterday.

 

New Year’s Healthy Living Tip No. 3: Taste the Rainbow

 

Spruce up your kitchen with colorful produce that is packed with disease-fighting plant compounds. It’s pretty and good for you, too.

 

  • Designate a color-a-day. Maybe Mondays are yellow, with grapefruit, golden apples, or corn starring in meals, while Tuesdays are purple with plum and eggplant.
  • Make it a family night and get the kids to be creative. Build a green pizza with emerald bell peppers and artichokes, or a red produce-infused chili.
  • Keep it interesting– pick up a new-to-you fruit or veggie the next time you shop.

 

New Year’s Healthy Living Tip No 4: Resist the Munchies

 

You’re hanging out with friends or watching a movie—and you just can’t stop munching. Try these tips to keep yourself in line:

 

  • Nibble on a stick of gum or a sugar-free mint.
  • Brush or floss your teeth.
  • Keep your hands busy with a glass of water, a cup of tea, or cleaning off the table.

 

New Year’s Healthy Living Tip No 5: Be Good to your Body

 

At the Y, we put a lot of emphasis on prevention. That’s why we have our YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program. It’s a lot less daunting than treating a chronic condition, so do the little things that keep your body thriving.

 

  • Get moving 30 minutes a day most days.  Enjoy a group exercise class, go for a walk, give the car a good scrub. Whatever gets the blood pumping!
  • Visit the doctor. Get those tests you know you need. Blood tests, prostate exams, pap smears — stay ahead of the game by staying healthy.
  • Set a bedtime schedule for yourself and the kids. Sleep helps body and soul recharge, stay healthy, and cope with stress.

 

These simple steps will help you reach any goal. Resolve to make small diet and exercise resolutions this year and then just watch how far you’ll go!  Visit a wellness coach at a Y near you to get expert advice on ways to stay healthy in 2012.