Health & Wellness

Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for the Whole Family

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Well, here we are with yet another new year upon us already! As one year ends and a new one begins many of us turn our attention to the tradition of declaring a resolution for personal betterment. A common problem is that fulfillment of our resolutions rarely comes to fruition for one reason or another. Perhaps our goals are too lofty, perhaps our complex and time consuming lives just tends to get in the way. This year, however, you can avoid the common pitfalls associated with over resolving and subsequently failing to follow through with your resolutions by adopting one or more of the following healthy – and easy to follow – resolution ideas!

Diet

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We’ve all resolved to change our diets at one time or another, right? Swearing off ice cream, cookies, fast food french fries, or heaven forbid, PIZZA at some point. Tell me, how well did that one work out? But, don’t get discouraged this year. With just a few simple changes to your diet you can dramatically improve your family’s overall health. Try adopting one or more of these easy to follow dietary resolution suggestions.

Picking an easy to follow and healthy eating plan is always a good resolution; but, the key to any successful plan should include a variety of healthy food options. That means having a well balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.

In other words, don’t just think apples and bananas when thinking about fruits. Instead, consider including strawberries, grapes, pineapple, peaches, and mangos. If some fruits aren’t available fresh, you can try frozen, canned, or even sun dried fruit options to increase your fruit variety. And the same thing goes for vegetables, too. Try canned or frozen vegetables to improve the assortment of vegetables in your diet. Remember, though, some frozen and canned fruits can contain added sugars or syrups, and, some frozen and canned vegetables can similarly contain additional salt, butter, or cream sauces. So, be sure to read labels before purchasing frozen or canned fruit or vegetables to ensure there’s no additional additives, preservatives or other undesirable ingredients.

Healthy eating – and a successful new year’s resolution – is all about balance. Remember, you can enjoy your favorite foods but the key is to eat them only once in awhile, and balance fatty and sugary foods with healthier food options and plenty of physical activity.

Fitness

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As we know all too well, the time honored resolution to “go to the gym” more often lasts a week, or maybe two if you’re lucky, before we end up skipping our gym routine for happy hour or a movie. But, don’t be afraid to make fitness a resolution this year. Just remember to make a few simple changes and adopt a few healthy routines that can greatly impact your overall health in the long run.

An important part of overall fitness includes getting plenty of aerobic activity. Aerobics, or cardio, increases your heart rate and gets you breathing harder. But remember, there are plenty of ways to get your needed cardio that don’t always have you going to a gym to workout. Simple everyday activities such as shoveling snow, taking swimming lessons, and/or bicycling to the store and back can all count towards your cardio goals as long as you do them at a moderate to vigorous intensity for at least ten minutes.

In addition to aerobic activity, you need to do things to strengthen your muscles at least twice weekly. Aim for exercises that work all the major muscle groups of your body – arms, legs, shoulders, back, chest, hips, and abdomen.

To gain health benefits from muscle-strengthening activities you should continue to the point where it’s hard to complete another repetition without assistance. While muscle strengthening activities may take a bit more dedication and planning than aerobic activities, the benefits are well worth the effort. And remember, if you have a busy schedule and are pressed for time, you can do activities that strengthen your muscles on the same days or different days that you do aerobic activity.

Health and Safety

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While it’s important to eat healthy and maintain your fitness, your family’s overall health and safety is also determined in other ways. You can make one of these resolutions to further bolster your family’s overall health and welfare.

You could quit smoking, take care to always wear sunscreen, make sure you and your children wear safety helmets when bicycling, make appointments for check-ups and for necessary vaccinations for family members (including pets), and you can do something as easy as taking a multi-vitamin as recommended by your doctor. In fact, a resolution to improve your family’s overall health and welfare this year can be as simple as seeing a doctor through MeMD when you’re not feeling well – instead of putting it off.

In the end, the important thing to remember is that you should choose a few simple and easy to follow resolutions to ensure you actually follow through with them this year. If you still can’t decide on the right resolution for you, take our quiz to help you determine what the right resolution for you might be.

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