Don’t lose momentum with your New Year Resolution
At the start of a new year, your mind like many others may turn to a fresh start. Around 45% of the estimated 188.9 million Americans who make new year resolutions want to improve their health.
However, when it comes to new year resolutions even those with the best intentions may falter. Around 80% of people who make resolutions give up by the end of January.
Here at Urology of Greater Atlanta, we support and encourage healthy lifestyle choices. So we’re offering some advice on how to stay on track with some common health-related resolutions.
1. Lose weight
Making the necessary changes to lose weight is challenging. If it were easy, more than 73% of American adults wouldn’t be overweight or obese. Carrying extra weight doesn’t just affect how your jeans fit, it also increases your risk of health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis, and cancer.
One of the issues that many people experience is the frustration of feeling like you’ve overhauled your life and are depriving yourself of everything but not seeing a change on the scale. While we’re conditioned to want to see results right away, that’s not realistic when it comes to healthy weight loss.
We recommend making one or two small adjustments at a time, then adding additional changes over time. Before you know it, you’ll be leading a healthy lifestyle and the extra weight will have slipped away.
For example, one small adjustment is making sure to have a serving of vegetables with every meal. You could have an omelet with spinach and broccoli for breakfast, carrot sticks with your lunch, and stir-fried vegetables for supper. Another easy change is to swap your sugary afternoon snack for a piece of fruit and a cheese stick or a handful of nuts.
Once you get used to choosing healthy foods, you can make a bigger commitment and try meal planning and prepping. Yes, it takes some time to plan, shop, and prepare your meals for a week, but this approach offers multiple benefits. First, you reduce the decisions you have to make about food. When you come home after a long day at work, your supper is waiting for you to heat up. You don’t have to think about what to cook and turn to takeout. Meal planning also allows you to measure your food for extra calorie control.
2. Running a marathon (or any other distance)
When it comes to fitness goals, your mantra should be progression. This means that you should start slowly and increase the intensity and duration of your workouts gradually.
Doing too much too quickly increases your risk of injury, which will only slow down or even stop your progress. Also, it won’t feel good — we don’t know about you, but we don’t like to do things that don’t feel good.
We recommend finding a training program for your goal that is appropriate to your fitness level. The best programs combine running with strength training and core exercises. Keeping your muscles and core strong will help you build endurance and speed while reducing your risk of injury. Your program should also include warm-up and cool-down stretches. Again, this enables you to avoid injury by taking care of your muscles and connective tissue and increasing your flexibility.
3. Give up smoking (or vaping)
Smoking is terrible for your health. It introduces cancer-causing carcinogens into your body and disrupts your natural ability to regenerate cells for tissue repair. It also smells awful. But tobacco is highly addictive, so despite the well-publicized dangers of smoking, 14% of Americans still use tobacco, and 9% of Americans vape.
We suggest talking to your physician and asking for help. As physicians, we can direct you toward various resources that can help you give up the habit for good. We can also prescribe medication to help curb your cravings.
Don’t give up on leading a healthier life in 2021. If you need help improving your health or advice on adding physical activity to your day safely, don’t hesitate to ask us for assistance.