As the year comes to a close and the New Year approaches, it’s the perfect time to look back and reflect on the things we accomplished in 2020 – a year unlike any other we’ve seen before – as well as what we want to accomplish in the year ahead. Often, our past resolutions fizzle out quickly which can make new ones seem more like short term “ideas” versus long term lifestyle changes. But this year, when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, 2021, we owe it to ourselves to wipe the slate clean and set ourselves up with resolutions that will lead us down the path of health, happiness, and wellness.
According to our founder, Robert Dean, M.D., whether or not you are likely to stick to your resolutions depends largely on how big they are. “So often, people make huge resolutions without realistic plans to accomplish them. My advice for my patients is to focus on setting goals that you can easily integrate into your daily routine and stick to over time. In other words, it’s great to say you want to lose a certain amount of weight but that is going to take time, whereas saying you resolve to exercise 3-4 times a week is something you can start doing right away. Then, the larger goal of weight loss will be a result of your commitment!”
Before we dive into some specific ideas for resolutions, Dr. Dean reminded us that you should always consult with your doctor or health care provider before adding any of these to your daily routine – whether you choose to implement these changes to your 2021 plans always start slow and start with small milestones that you can continue to do long term.
New Year’s Resolutions That You’ll Actually Keep
Eat more Lean Protein – As we age, the body processes protein less efficiently and needs more of it to maintain muscle mass, bone density, lower cholesterol and produce more energy. Adding more protein to your diet can be very simple and done in many different ways. Start by eating all of your protein packed food first and finish your meal with your carb and starch filled sides. Your proteins will also help fill you up faster and help you cut back on overeating. Make a switch: for breakfast, try swapping out your cereal for eggs or a protein shake, switch from traditional yogurt to Greek yogurt and trade snacking on chips to munching on edamame.
Keep Your Mind Healthy – Exercising your mind is just as important as exercising your body when it comes to overall health. Studies show that those over the age of 65 who practice different types of cognitive training such as speed of processing training, memory training, and reasoning training, experienced protection from age-related cognitive declines. Simples ways to keep your mind healthy in the New Year include challenging yourself to learn a new skill, reading one new book a month, working on puzzles, and dedicating time to relax and meditate.
Add 20 more minutes of exercise a day – Habits form by doing something repetitively but finding time for extensive workouts or gym time can be difficult. Often when we set challenging fitness goals and miss a day here or there, we start to lose motivation. One way to combat this is to start with exercises you can do intermittently throughout the day. Adding these small but impactful workouts will ensure you are getting your body moving without the pressures of getting to the gym. Start your day off with “Sit to Stand” while at the kitchen table. Standing in front of your chair, do about 10 reps of sitting and standing back up without using your hands for support. Repeat this 2 – 3 times a day. Try “Single Leg Stands” during commercial breaks. Lift one foot a few inches off the ground and tighten your core. When the commercial switches, switch legs. This will help improve balance and core strength. Add in a walk: before each meal, pick five different locations to walk to before eating. These locations can be as simple such as the end of the driveway, the upstairs bathroom, or your neighbor’s mailbox. These small walks will add up and add some extra steps to your daily routine!
Partner Up – It’s so much easier to accomplish a goal when you have someone beside you to cheer you on and hold you accountable. This past year especially we haven’t had as much opportunity to connect with those around us but with virtual options becoming much more obtainable and user friendly, we suggest you reconnect with friends and family and challenge them to work towards your goals with you. Healthy relationships play a major part in our overall wellness. Stronger relationships can lead to help with personal confidence, motivation, and attitude.
It’s important to remember that any and all resolutions you choose to take on do not need to be done all at once. Taking the step to create a new goal or change to better yourself is already a great start – and can be done at any time. Make sure to set aside time to reflect on how you are progressing and if there are any adjustments you can make to continue your journey.
Are you looking to stop your joint pain in the New Year so you can get back to doing the things you love? Book a free consultation with Dr. Dean now to see if you are a candidate for our non-surgical procedure by filling out the form below.
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