It’s that fickle time of year again.
Yet another January arrives and we realize that we dropped the ball on last year’s resolutions to de-stress, lose a few pounds or live a healthier lifestyle.
Area experts offered to help with a few suggestions to make and keep those New Year’s resolutions for 2014.
“The New Year is a time for new beginnings and to set goals that strengthen one’s spirit, mind and body,” says Dee Dee McDevitt, vice president of membership and marketing for the B.R. Ryall YMCA of Northwestern DuPage County, in Glen Ellyn.
Experts at the Y stress that maintaining family connectedness is a top priority in living a healthier lifestyle.
“At the Y, we are committed to strengthening individuals and families to build stronger communities,” said Lynda Chott, chief executive officer at the B.R. Ryall YMCA. “When making New Year’s Resolutions, we encourage people to begin with small changes that are easy to sustain and that lead to big benefits over time. Also, set goals as a family to learn and thrive together.”
Officials at the Y recommend a few simple ideas to improve your family’s health and well-being.
• Eat together: Sitting down together for a meal is a great way for parents and children to share stories, or talk about the school day or their favorite part of the day. Set aside time for the family to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at least once a week or every day if scheduling permits.
• Volunteer as a family: Giving back and supporting your community benefits everyone involved and teaches children and teens the value of helping others. Community opportunities that the entire family could enjoy together include cleaning the neighborhood park or distributing food at a local food bank.
• Unplug from technology: Limit screen time such as watching television, playing video games, or tapping on the computer. Set aside an hour or two for activities involving interaction and camaraderie. When the weather is nice go biking together, take walks around the neighborhood or to the park, or have game night or watch a movie together at home.
• Be physically active: Children should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and adults at least 30. Get your required minutes in by incorporating physical activity into daily routines and spending more time walking to places instead of driving.
Physical fitness experts from TheraCORE, 350 E. Ogden Ave. Suite 200, in Westmont, provided tips to making and keeping your New Year’s Resolution to be more fit and healthy this year.
They key, says Amy Goebbert, physical therapist at TheraCORE, is to keep goals reasonable. “Make small, realistic goals,” says Goebbert.
For example, Goebbert recommends setting a weekly goal of exercising twice a week as opposed to saying “I’m going to drop 50 pounds.”
Goebbert also suggests:
• Keep Track: Keep a journal for workouts and/or eating. If you know you have to record it somewhere, you are more likely to do it.
• Wear a pedometer: Try to walk 10,000 steps each day. To do this, use the stairs instead of the elevator or an escalator, park at the end of the parking lot in order to get more steps in, or if at work, walk to the farther bathroom at the office. Goebbert also says to take breaks from your computer every 30 minutes to stand, stretch or take a short walk.
• Reward Yourself: After a month of sticking to your goals, reward yourself with a new pair of shoes or a massage.
• Get a Trainer: Working out with a personal trainer or friend who will hold you accountable. TheraCORE registered dietician Jenna Wardle suggests planning and preparing lunches and snacks the night before work or school. Being prepared the night before will keep you from eating out, and eating badly, for lunch, she says.
• Be Realistic: Because saying you will never eat out is so unrealistic, give yourself permission to eat out -- just once or twice a week.
• Plan Ahead: And when you know you are eating out, search the restaurant’s menu on-line beforehand. Planning out what to order before you get to the restaurant will help you make healthier choices, says Wardle. To learn more about the B.R. Ryall YMCA call 630-858-0100 or visit brryallymca.org. To learn more about ThereCORE call 630-908-7430 or visit theracorept.com