Over 60% of Canadians make a New Year’s Resolution. 80% say their goal is to “live a healthier lifestyle”. Unfortunately, only half act on their resolution for a few weeks and the majority agree their resolutions never last.
Part of the problem…the goal of “living healthier” is far too big. To make a goal attainable, it needs to be specific and attainable.
With a goal of being healthier, 3 VERY do-able healthy lifestyle adjustments that can make a BIG difference over the course of the year to your health include:
- Making half your plate vegetables in most meals.
- This automatically gives you more fibre, less fat, less salt and less sugar while promoting feeling more satisfied.
- Buying fresh fruits and vegetables regularly to always have a good supply on hand is required to consistently make this happen. Pick them up at least 2-3 times each week.
- Cook at home more often and emphasize vegetables. When you do dine out, ask for more vegetables than ‘starch’ on your plate.
- Eat well-balanced meals that focus on plant-based food more than meat. I like the idea of treating meat like a ‘condiment’.
2. Be consistent in taking good quality vitamin supplements.
- All adults over age 50 should be taking vitamin D daily. Unfortunately, we just can’t get enough D from the sun and the small group of foods that contain vitamin D like fatty fish, fortified milk and egg yolks, for example)
- 60% of Canadians aren’t getting all of the nutrients they need from food alone…taking a smart multivitamin is a good option.
- 40% don’t get enough omega-3 from fish, nuts, seeds and oils…omega-3 supplements are helpful for many people.
- Before taking ANY vitamins or supplements like super greens, talk to a registered dietitian, pharmacist and/or a trusted health professional who knows you and your unique needs well.
- Never underestimate the power of 20-30 minutes. Avoid having an all-or-nothing-approach…ie “I either go to the gym for a good hour or I do nothing”.
- A 20-minute walk is just 2 chunks of 10 minutes! Walk out your door for 10 minutes, turn around and come back and you’ve done a 20-minute workout. A daily, 20-30 minute vigourous walk done consistently over the course of the year would add up to the caloric expenditure equivalent of 10-12 pounds!
- Walking is one of the best all around exercises for your heart, circulation, blood pressure, blood sugar and weight. Being active on most days also gives you more wiggle room in your diet.
There are many other spokes in the ‘wheel of health’ that contribute to well-being, for example: healthy sleep, stress management, happiness, job satisfaction, healthy relationships, living smoke-free, taking an 80-20 approach with eating…it all matters. The more CONSISTENT we can be with our healthy decisions and choices, rather than being trendy or on start-and-stop bandwagons, the more positive outcomes.
Wishing you a very happy and healthy new year!
Thanks CTV Morning Live Vancouver for the opportunity to share these tips on the show!