As 2019 draws to a close and we look toward starting a new decade, many people are setting goals and resolutions. It is easy to get caught up in grandiose plans and develop unrealistic schemes for the new year. This year, I want to make simple goals. I don’t want to be disappointed or overwhelmed and I would like to build on some healthy habits that I started in December for my birthday.
Exercise is probably at the top of every list of new years’ resolutions. For me, I want to move for at least 30 minutes every day. I have a Fitbit and I track my steps but I also want to add the stationary bike when the weather is bad. And I need the social aspect of a fitness class or two each week. My most recent birthday reminded me that exercise needs to be a part of my day. It really helps with weight control and pain management for aging joints and muscles. And I find that I sleep better when I exercise.
Eat Less Meat
Several months ago, my niece came to visit me and she is vegan. She taught me that meat does not have to be part of every meal in order to feel full and satisfied. Since then, I have avoided meat at breakfast and lunch. At first, it was challenging. I pack my lunch for work, and I was accustomed to packing a sandwich with lunch meat every day. For breakfast, I did not realize how much meat I was eating. I was in the habit of heating up a microwaveable breakfast sandwich each morning which contained turkey sausage or Canadian bacon. I had to start eating oatmeal with fruit or making my own meatless breakfast sandwiches. I also learned to make tuna salad the night before work or have hummus and fresh veggies available to put in my lunch. I often eat fish for dinner so dinner was not a problem. All in all, I have greatly reduced my meat intake. When I saw my doctor for my physical recently, my blood work showed that my total cholesterol went down 30 points in five months so this little change has been well worth the effort. I can not give up meat completely, but I can reduce the amount that I eat on a consistent basis.
Drink More Water
This habit is a simple one but we often need reminders. Water is better for you than sugary drinks, soda and coffee. Substituting water for one drink per day is a great way to add water to your diet without too much effort. Water has no calories and helps you feel full plus it is great for cleansing your body of toxins. And when choosing Sports Drinks, be sure to choose low or no sugar options such as Gatorade.
Three simple steps for better health is manageable for me. I hope the new decade brings you health, happiness and prosperity. Happy New Year!
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