Dr Neil Gardner, Contributor
1. Spend more time with friends and family
2. Exercise more
3. Lose weight
Although it is very important for us to be able to spend more time with those we love, our mandate is to help persons achieve their health goals. If you have resolved to become healthier in 2013 by exercising more and losing weight, these recommendations will be of some help. The problem with resolutions is that they are destined to fail. One third of New Year's resolutions do not even last until February. They fail because they tend to be based on emotional convictions and they lack actionable steps.
Exercising more and losing weight are not good goals unless you put action steps to it; steps that are measurable and time dependent. Here are some specific steps that someone can take in order to exercise more and lose weight.
Make an exercise plan, which may include, say, walking for 10 minutes per day for the first week and then increasing it by 5 minutes per day each successive week until you are walking for 40 minutes or more per day by the end of March.
Go easy at first, especially if you have not exercised before or in a while.
Get a group of like-minded friends to walk with you and hold you accountable.
Keep it simple. The simpler the plan, the easier it will be for you to stick to it.
Make it convenient. Pick a time of day that you are most likely able to devote up to one hour for uninterrupted exercise.
Make it a routine. Exercising at the same time every day will quickly make it a habit.
Only if you have been able to keep up a routine of exercising for at least two to three months should you consider buying more expensive at-home equipment or paying for a membership at a gym. Most people think that by spending money, it will ensure their commitment, but this has not been proven to be true. In many homes, there are expensive exercise machines sitting in a corner gathering dust, and partially utilised gym memberships expiring.
Losing weight involves exercising more (see above) and eating right. What does it mean to eat right? Eating right does not include starving yourself or counting calories. Starvation is just not sustainable. A simple tool that is helpful is 'Eat Less CRAP - Eat More FOOD'.
Eat Less CRAP:
1. Carbonated drinks (all canned and bottled soft drinks, etc.)
2. Refined sugar (white or granulated sugar)
3. Artificial sweeteners and colours including high fructose corn syrup
4. Processed foods (e.g. fast food, canned foods or vegetables, white flour, white rice and donuts).
Eat More FOOD:
1. Fruits and vegetables to make up at least half your plate (half of it cooked and half raw)
2. Organic lean proteins (e.g. grass-fed, hormone-free beef and mutton)
3. Omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. cold-water fish like mackerel and salmon, but not canned)
4. Drink purified water (not coloured or flavoured).
If it is not in your house, it is less likely to get into your body. Make a shopping list before going to the supermarket. Diligently read labels, do not put CRAP on your list and do not put anything in your cart that is not on your list.
If you want to be successful at anything, you must have a plan for success. Following the above recommendations may help you achieve your goals for the year. I hope for you a wonderful and prosperous 2013.
Neil Gardner, DC, DACNB, Diplomate, American Chiropractic Neurology Board, chiropractic neurologist, Gardner Chiropractic & Neurology Ltd.Website: www.gcnjamaica.com or Phone: 876-978-1050-1/876-622-9241/214-432-5464 (From the USA).