As the New Year starts, so begins the setting of many likely unsuccessful resolutions. Research suggests that just 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals. Why, aside from a multitude of factors, is this the case? Setting unrealistic resolutions is a key culprit.
Thirty-five percent of resolutions will involve staying fit, losing weight or exercising more. Considering that only 8 percent of these resolutions will reach the finish line, it is important to consider all of the barriers and difficulties that could be face when thriving to reach your goals in 2016. As physicians, we strive to help you set realistic resolutions for 2016, as you start your journey to a new and healthier you.
Weight Loss: Five to 10
Scientific evidence suggests that many obesity-related conditions improve with a five-pound to 10-pound weight loss, even if the final weight is not the ideal. A five-pound to 10-pound weight loss goal can help increase good cholesterol and help decrease bad cholesterol, systolic blood pressure and insulin resistance. Since these are the building blocks of heart disease, lowering them even a little can positively impact your health.
A realistic resolution for 2016 could be a 5 percent weight loss goal, which you might increase to 10 percent throughout the year.
Staying Fit – Small Steps Lead to Big Rewards
Research shows that more than 12 percent of gym members join in January compared to an average of 8.3 percent per month for the full year.
However, when springtime hits, you may forget about using those gym memberships. But, don’t forget to exercise. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. That’s about 30 minutes per day, five days per week.
Even with busy schedules, it is important to keep in mind that even light-intensity activity can be beneficial for your health. A study shows that people who spent more time moving around than sitting during the day generally had favorable outcomes in insulin resistance and triglyceride levels. These light-intensity activities included gardening, walking around the office during lunch breaks, playing Wii Fit, vacuuming, and sitting on a balance ball. Activities can be done on a daily to weekly basis and are an easy transition into more moderate exercise activities later in the year.
So, as 2016 begins, jump-start the year with healthy and realistic resolutions you can keep. Resolutions should be easy enough — and even enjoyable — to take to the finish line. Even small steps lead to big rewards.