A Different New Year's Resolution

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Losing weight and exercising are common and very popular New Year's resolutions. If you have been motivated to attempt either one of these goals and didn't succeed, or gave up by the middle of January, the thought of retrying may be intimidating. Maybe a different approach is needed to achieve these goals.

Let's take the goal of weight loss. Instead of making the goal to lose 25 pounds, consider how you could lose the weight and establish that concept as your goal. For example, if I make my daily cappuccino with skim milk or reduce from a large to a small size I will reduce my caloric intake and eventually lose weight. Another example is changing a 12 oz can of regular soda for diet soda or water. You might want to think about reducing 100 calories a day from you usual intake. This may result in about 10 pounds of weight loss in one year. 

The same principle can be applied to exercise. If you feel you don't have time to exercise and have stairs in your home, try walking up and down the stairs for 5-10 minutes. If you do this daily, you will be amazed at how much faster you will be in one to two weeks and you will be less winded. If you have items to take up or down the stairs with each trip, you can accomplish two tasks at once. 

Another exercise option is taking the stairs whenever you can. Arrive five minutes early for an appointment and walk up the stairs or take the stairs on the way down when the appointment is finished. You could do two flights up and all the flights down as you continue to make this a daily activity.

When we look for short exercise opportunities in our daily lives and consumer smaller amounts of minimally nutritious foods, these tend to become habits and assist in overall weight loss and general health.

Shirley Poole, RD, CSP, LDN, is a dietician at SwedishAmerican.