3 tips to help you reach your New Year’s health goals

Each January, the new year brings with it new goals and resolutions, especially where our health is concerned. Many resolutions are tied to exercising more, eating less and recovering from the deluge of sugary, salty and liquid treats over the winter holidays.

But there are good and bad ways to meet these goals. So, before you get started, get informed.

1. Start by setting the right goals

If you’re considering setting a New Year’s goal, please consider using the SMART philosophy to attain them.

To ensure your New Year’s resolutions are well defined, each goal should be:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable)
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
  • Time bound (time-based, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)

2. Exercise your options

I’m of the opinion that any movement is good movement and, typically, the more the better. Of course, jumping right into a new exercise regime after periods of inactivity should be done under supervision. Check out this article on exercise resolutions that can lead to success for a little inspiration. If you need additional help to get started, our Copeman kinesiologists have the knowledge and know-how to get you moving the right way.

3. If you’re changing your eating habits, seek help

If you’re considering changing your eating habits this New Year, seek help from your registered dietitian.

Depending on the individual and their unique circumstances, certain dietary plans can be more or less effective than others. For example, a dietary plan can differ for someone developing healthy eating habits in their teens compared to someone who is in their 50s or 60s.

Also, be wary of any diet that you can only see yourself doing short term. A good plan should be over long periods.

The same goes for the increasingly popular “cleanses” that promise to rid your body of toxins and promote weight loss. Cleanses are based on the premise that our bodies must have outside intervention from a commercial product to rid us of our contaminants. However, the most important thing to know about commercial cleanses is that there has not been one single well designed study concluding that they are effective or that they need to be done.

The idea that our bodies require help to detox and cleanse themselves of toxins is an enticing one, but our livers and kidneys can do the brunt of that job just fine (see our juice cleanse article to find out how our organs work to keep us healthy and what we can do to help them along).

If your diet requires you to eat foods that are expensive, hard to prepare or not typically on hand, the chances of following through with them over the long-term is unlikely.

If you’re changing your eating habits this New Year, check out our definitive guide on healthy eating habits for more information.

To help you on your journey to a healthier you, speak with your Copeman dietitian, who can work with you to develop a sound strategy for weight loss based on your health history and what you want to achieve.