If you could recommend one New Year’s resolution to improve health and wellness, what would it be and how would you achieve it? That’s the question we asked several local experts, and their responses may help guide you toward a healthier, happier year:
NutriFormance and Athletic Republic-St. Louis
Resolution: Initially, focus on the frequency of exercise, not the intensity.
To be successful: Pick something you enjoy, assign a frequency per week that is realistic, and settle on a duration that is palatable, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. What you will find is that you won’t dread the activity, and eventually you’ll look forward to it and begin to increase the intensity and duration as you adapt.
Fitness coach, physical therapist and GM
20 Minutes to Fitness
Resolution: Build and maintain strength. Muscle mass, which begins to decline around age 30, is essential to living an active, pain-free life.
To be successful: Find a workout that is safe, effective and that you are able to stick with. Work with a trainer who gets to know the whole you, modifies your workouts accordingly each session, and helps to keep you motivated and consistent.
Mercy Kids GI
Resolution: Improve your relationship with food.
To be successful: Start with slowing down. Sit down and give yourself time to enjoy what you are eating. Limit distractions by designating an eating area away from screens. Get all of your senses involved. A visually appealing meal, including a variety of colorful foods, is more satisfying that a meal that is all one color.
Missouri Baptist Medical Center
Resolution: Set small, specific, measurable and easy-to-achieve goals. For instance, eat at least two servings of vegetables each day, or eat fish at least once every week.
To be successful: Choose changes that are realistic but meaningful. Stay focused on your actions and track your progress. Each small accomplishment will help keep you motivated, so keep a log, especially at the beginning. Support and encouragement from others who have the same goals is also a big help. Family, friends, neighbors and coworkers are potential support networks. Finally, use a reward system to reinforce your success. Celebrate your success by treating yourself to a non-food reward you enjoy.
The Prosperous Path Life + Business Coaching
Resolution: Set intentions, not resolutions. An intention is more focused on growth and development than a resolution, which focuses on solving a problem. Intentions are a way of ap-proaching change by looking at what you want to do or bring into your life. Here are some ex-amples of intentions: to eat healthier foods, to treat others with more kindness, to be more active and exercise.
To be successful: Be clear about you really want. Ask yourself, How badly do I want this? and What will my life look like after I accomplish my goal? Then take it one day at a time. Shift your focus to showing up and doing your best each day, and schedule weekly check-ins with yourself to assess your progress. Be kind to yourself—notice what’s not working, make ad-justments and change your plans, as needed.
Camelot Life Coach
Resolution: Have faith! With all the turmoil in the world, faith gives us opportunity for harmony, peace and connection with self and others. Where does it start? It starts within. Faith is the absence of fear and worry.
To be successful: If you want to achieve a goal, it begins with your thoughts and beliefs. The only thing standing between you and your goal is the will to pursue it and the belief that it is possible. Think of yourself as already achieving it, and find a partner who will encourage, sup-port and help hold you accountable. Create the steps to each goal with specific consequences at-tached, and be one of the few to succeed.
Sahaja Meditation St. Louis chapter
Resolution: Meditate. This practice improves our physical, mental and emotional health and leads to a healthier lifestyle by reducing stress in our daily lives. With a regular meditation practice, we are able to increase our resistance to stress, which helps us gradually reduce or eliminate symptoms of stress-related disorders, like hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, etc. It also improves our outlook towards life and improves our self-control, thereby making us more successful in keeping all our healthy resolutions.
To be successful: Have patience as you wait for the positive results of meditation, and join a meditation group. Sharing the journey with other equally committed individuals keeps your motivation level high at all times.