Eat right and exercise. We know.
Everybody knows how to stay healthy. It’s just so hard to do sometimes.
That’s why we regress on our New Year’s Resolutions. It’s not that we don’t know better. It’s just broccoli-and-5 am-calisthenics fatigue sets in, and a cheeseburger catches us in a moment of weakness. And so do the fries. And a shake. And maybe some mozzarella sticks.
To that end, Dr. Misty Morris visited the library Tuesday to recommend 10 ways we can get and stay healthy this year.
- What are you eating? You can exercise as much as you want. If you don’t eat healthy, then you won’t see the results you want. Lean meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and remember to shake up the menu sometimes so you don’t get bored.
- What are you drinking? And it’s not just food either. You’d be surprised how many calories can fit in a smoothie, a milkshake, a can of soda or a beer. Liquid nutrition is still nutritious and liquid junk is still junk.
- 70/30. You don’t need to be perfect. All asparagus and no play makes Jack freak out at 2 a.m. and eat a dozen soft tacos. Keep it proportional. If 70 percent of your calories are nutritious, then that 30 percent won’t undo you. (Though you’d be better off with an 80/20 or even 90/10 split, but the point is that 100/0 never lasts long.)
- No plan is a plan to fail. Plan out your meals. If you’re thinking, “I’ll come up with lunch on the fly,” you’re going to eat what’s convenient and not what’s healthy. Also, know when and how you’re going to exercise. If you think you’ll just fit in in later, you won’t.
- Have fun with motivation. Don’t be afraid to reward yourself. Give yourself goals and, when you reach them, treat yourself. (But don’t keep treating yourself. If every day was Mardi Gras, we’d all be sick by Palm Sunday.)
- Let’s get physical. Yes, exercise is important. No, exercise doesn’t need to be running marathons in the snow. Get active—go for walks, try out an exercise DVD, check out a gym or the YMCA. (Your first visit is free with your Mentor Library card.) Don’t feel the need to do everything at once. Start where you are, but try to move for at least 20 minutes a day.
- Get some sleep. While sleep requirements differ from person to person, a healthy adult needs between seven and 9 1/2 hours a day. If you don’t get enough, it hurts your metabolism, your focus, your attitude—everything.
- The first thing you need to change is your mind. It doesn’t help if you’re never satisfied. If you want to lose 30 pounds, you can still be proud of yourself for losing five. You need to look in the mirror and be happy with yourself during each step of the process.
- Get your friends involved. You’re going to run into doldrums—that day you don’t feel like getting off the couch. When that happens, lean on your friends. Instead of calling your friends to go out and eat, why not go snowshoeing or hiking? It won’t feel like a chore with your friends in tow.
- What’s your motivation? You clicked on this story for a reason. Why do you want to be healthier? So you can fit into that old dress (or suit)? So you can be there for your family as you get older? So you can lift your groceries without wheezing? Keep that motivation in mind when you’re working out or eating those carrot sticks. Ultimately, that reason will help you stay the course.