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Healthy new year tips straight from our physicians

December 28, 2021 Posted in: Blogs , English

In a survey on setting resolutions, more than half of the American population wanted to be healthier—59% wishing to exercise more, 54% saying they would eat healthier, and 48% resolving to lose weight. It’s safe to say that being healthier is one of the top goals set by people around the new year. And while this is a great goal to have, how can we break it into manageable steps to make it more attainable?

What are simple tips for setting wellness goals?

We want to help you get the most out of your New Year’s resolutions and goals by offering up some tips you can apply. It’s best to start simple and break your large goals into smaller ones. If you have the resolution of “I want to exercise more,” what are some simple steps you can take right now to accomplish that goal? You can plan out 30-minute blocks of time each day to go on a walk or another form of physical activity you really enjoy. You can sign up for a group fitness class with a friend or family member that has the same fitness goals as yourself for accountability.

If having a million broad goals, like you see people posting online, seems daunting (which it is), start small with just one goal. For example, start with increasing your steps since most phones and smartwatches track your daily movements. If you’re at 5,000 steps today, reach for 7,000 for the next month and then increase again once this daily step count begins to feel more manageable. Your resolutions can and should be updated throughout the year as things change.

More practical tips:

  • Have an accountability system.
  • Use S.M.A.R.T. while planning (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely).
  • Prioritize one goal at a time so as not to overwhelm yourself.
  • Create reminders on your phone for small tasks.
  • Set aside a specific time each day for your goals.
  • Write out any possible obstacles and how to overcome them.
  • Stay positive and remind yourself why you want to accomplish this goal.

What are examples of 2022 wellness goals?

Your wellness goals can range from a variety of topics—fitness, nutrition, finances, mental health, and more—that you can set at whatever rate you deem fit. Dr. Peter Bigler, primary care physician and chief medical officer at St. Luke’s Health, shares his personal wellness goals for 2022.

“My wellness goals for the New Year are to get no less than 7 hours of sleep per night, to end the year 5 lbs lighter than I started the year, and to have a family game night twice per month. Every year, I choose one word to be my focus. My word for 2022 is "positive." There is so much good in our relationships, our organization, and our world that needs to be recognized.”

More examples of wellness goals:

  • Keep a daily journal or gratitude log.
  • Stick to a budget every month.
  • Learn a new skill each quarter of the year.
  • Declutter around the house once a month.
  • Drink 12 cups of water a day.
  • Get 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Read a new book each month.

How much exercise should the average person be getting every day?

On average, you should be getting 30 to 45 minutes of physical activity each day. There are a lot of classes—virtual or in-person—and inexpensive online resources to get you started. Two days a week should include 10 to 15 minutes of weight-bearing exercise. If you don’t have access to traditional dumbbells, use items you have around your house, like a small box or piece of furniture.

What are the elements of a healthy diet?

According to MyPlate, you should aspire to have these five food groups on your plate for every meal—fruits, grains, vegetables, proteins, and dairy. Opt for lean meats when picking out your proteins and low-fat choices for all of your dairy.

What wellness trends are predicted for 2022?

The wellness industry is making new innovations to assist in your health goals, like sleep trackers and meal delivery services. These innovations come in all shapes and sizes to fit your needs. You can get a bed that adjusts to the forms and angles you need to get the best night’s sleep. You can even use streaming services and social media platforms to find workouts that best suit what you want. Dr. Bigler shares his predictions for this year’s wellness trends.

“In 2022, I expect to see more of the following wellness activities/trends:
1.     Emotional restoration that is physically oriented such as outdoor walks, hikes, cycling, and playing in the park with our families. So many of us continue to telecommute and limit our travels, and getting out of the house will become a physical and mental break.
2.     Continued focus on working out at home, as working out indoors in a public setting with a mask on will continue to be necessary to stay safe and challenging to do comfortably.
3.     The COVID-19 vaccine will be the ultimate ‘wellness’ trend for 2022, safely creating a powerful defense against the variants of the SARS CoV-2 virus.”

Setting goals can be a challenge if you don’t know where to start. Our physicians want to help you. If you want assistance in setting New Year’s resolutions that are just right for you, schedule an appointment with a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician today

Sources: | Goal Ideas: Set Your Yearly Goals for 2022

What is MyPlate? | MyPlate

15 Tips for Goal Setting |

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