January 2015 – “Improve Your Wellness in the New Year—One Step at a Time”

January is a month filled with resolutions, and one of the most common is to be in better shape. While the beginning of the year is often bursting with positivity and determination that we will meet our new resolutions, this can fade quickly. You can prevent this lapse by taking a different approach: immerse yourself in the facts and take smaller steps toward your goals!

To begin, here are some quick tidbits about wellness:

  • Adults who walk 30 minutes per day three times per week experience benefits such as a strengthened heart, an alleviation of the symptoms of depression, a decrease in the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, and more.
  • Staying hydrated throughout the day helps to fill you up and curb hunger pains. Also, keeping yourself hydrated will not only make you feel better but it will prevent small health issues such as constipation, dry and itchy skin, nose bleeds, repeated urinary tract infections, dry coughs, sneezing, sinus pressure, headaches, and fatigue.
  • Adding more vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats to your diet is very important. Just switching out one fatty choice (such as chips) per day for a healthier food (such as carrots) will make a difference over time!
  • The average adult needs at least 150 minutes of moderate heart-stimulating activity every week. This can be anything from brisk walking, to playing tennis with a friend, to using an elliptical machine. If you’re pressed for time, these 150 minutes can also be split up into segments as small as ten minutes at a time.

If your goal for 2015 is indeed to promote wellness in your life more, remember that there are many ways to achieve this. Joining a gym and stressing to follow their strict regimens isn’t the only way to get in shape. Instead, try to find a routine that works better for you! Check out the following list for some ideas and inspiration.

  • Choose a realistic goal. Remember that change won’t happen overnight, so target a goal that is reasonable and hold yourself accountable by writing out the steps you’re going to follow to get there.
  • If a certain resolution didn’t work in the past, then try not to repeat it—there’s a reason it didn’t work last time. At the very least, try to switch up the specific steps and means you’re going to use to meet that resolution!
  • Get support. It’s easier to reach a goal when you have someone working towards it with you, or at least encouraging you along the way. Places such as your local community center and school district, as well as our physical therapy clinic, offer organized fitness and wellness programs that can be tailored to meet your specific goals.
  • Don’t let small stumbles discourage you. It’s impossible to be perfect, so remember that when you reach a small roadblock, all it takes is a little bit of willpower to get back on track.
  • Also, keep in mind that simple, everyday tasks burn more calories than you think! The following are a few examples of how many calories a 150-pound person burns in 30 minutes doing certain activities: vacuuming, 119; gardening, 153, mowing the lawn, 205; playing with your kids or grandkids, 136; and cooking, 93.

    If you’d like more information on wellness goals and how to reach them, talk to your local physical therapist or athletic trainer. Don’t take on your wellness initiative yourself—you’ll be able to accomplish more when you work with or confide in other people.

    Good luck, and here’s to being healthier and staying well in 2015!