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New Year, new resolution


(un)Stress-courtesy of HRC/Flickr

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?

As 2009 comes to a close and we reflect on the hand the past has lent us- both the good and the bad.  We sip our champagne and toast to the new year upon us, the new decade ahead.

We strive to start the New Year fresh with the hopes of starting a new career, trying to carve out more time in the day for ourselves, exercising more, eating better, kicking bad habits.. We all have our resolutions but why not try something different this year?


Sure, we get all gung ho-  buy that piece of exercise equipment that after a month becomes an extra 'hanger', completely clean out the fridge and restock with healthy foods that end up getting crowded out by take out cartons quite simply because.. well, broccoli rabe just isn't 'your thing'. We are all guilty of it, sticking to resolutions is a tough thing to do but it is possible. All you need to do is plan it out.

Gyms and weight loss centers make out like bandits during this season but the sure way to save your pennies and your sanity is by realizing that you CAN achieve your goals. The key is to not go in over your head. Habits didn't happen over night, the damage can't be undone in an instant, it takes time to undo these habits and the most effective way is by setting goals.

For instance with weight loss and exercise goals. If your diet is not well rounded and doesn't include healthy foods, trying to adapt to the opposite side of the spectrum over night (a diet rich in whole foods, veggies and fruits) will not be the easiest to stick to and the chance of reverting back to the old way of eating is almost definite. 

Start off by swapping out a refined product for it's whole grain counterpart, eat an additional fruit/vegetable serving and build from there. By 'crowding out' the less healthier counterparts and gradually introducing a healthier diet, your body will adapt as will your taste buds. Get creative with your dishes, look online for healthy reciopes or go to your local library and take out a few cook books. Believe me, as a former junk food junkie eating healthier is so much more pleasurable and FUN!

If you are someone who has not exercised a day in their life or one who does so inconsistently- start off slow and build up gradually in a manner that is tolerable, especially when strenuous exercise comes into play. In that case, it would be wise to consult with your physician and check to see if there may be any underlying issues to prevent injury from occurring. A good base line to start with (for a healthy adult) is: 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise per week along with atleast 2 or more days of muscle building exercises (weights etc) to help build and maintain muscle tone/mass which is essential as we get older.

For some, taking a 30-45 minute chunk of time out of the day may seem like alot however it can be broken up. For instance, starting the day off with a 15 minute walk/jog and doing the same during a lunch break or at night will provide you with the same benefits as doing it all in one shot.

Try to keep as active as possible. If you have a job where you are sedentary try taking a walk around the office from time to time, rather than email a coworker down the hall- walk to their office. Get off of the elevator and walk a few flights up to your office if this applies or get off the subway or bus a few stops before yours and walk the rest of the way. Every step you take adds up.

So as the year draws to a close the most important resolution should be to focus on your well being. In today's society, the economy taking it's toll on us all, try to remain positive and be thankful for the smaller things in life and for your health. We only have one body so treat it with respect and know that in the end all of the hard work will pay off.

Here's to a healthier you in 2010!