• Dr. Tania Dempsey

Health & Wellness New Year's Resolutions

New Year’s Resolution Health Goals

Health & Wellness Resolutions for every month of the year

Small health goals are more effective than setting large health goals, which can be overwhelming to think about. Keeping it simple makes it is more likely to stick.

Along with the Healthy New Year’s Resolutions you have made for 2020, here are 12 health goals to consider for every month of 2020!

Healthy Lifestyle Goals

January. Everyone seems to make going to the gym and starting an exercise routine the health goal of the New Year. I would argue that that is not the way to do it because it is not usually sustainable. Many people that join a gym in January stop going by March. I recommend January be a time to look at the months ahead to plan out a strategy that will keep you going throughout the year. Anticipating special events, travel, work commitments and thinking about how to address these and still keep the health goals in check is important.

February. February is American Heart Month, so a good health goal for February is to cut down on your processed sugar intake since we know that sugar contributes to heart disease. If you drink soda, commit to cutting out soda from your diet. If your weakness is chocolate chip cookies, then commit to stop eating them.

March. As the winter comes to a close, keeping the body moving and ready for the next season is key. Plan on doing 20 sit-ups and 20 jumping jacks every morning after getting up out of bed.

April. A small health goal could be making sure to have a good source of protein at every meal. Protein helps to balance your blood sugar and keeps your muscles strong. Have a couple of eggs for breakfast or a piece of chicken on a salad for lunch to get adequate protein.

May. Your small health goal in May could be taking 15-20 minutes to walk or do some physical activity at least 5 days a week. If the weather is nice, get outside. Otherwise, find a way to keep active indoors. If you have stairs in your home, walk up and down the stairs a few times.

June. June is a good month to start switching over to organic fruits and vegetables when possible. The conventional kind is loaded with pesticides and weed killer, not to mention GMO’s.

July. At the peak of summer, a small health goal for July should be to take care of your skin and use sunscreen to avoid burning and skin damage. Find a chemical-free sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, as many of the popular sunscreens on the market are full of toxic chemicals.

August. August is an excellent time to schedule your physical and health maintenance screening exams like colonoscopies, pap smears, and mammograms. Many people take some time off in August for vacation so squeezing in a doctor's visit so that you don't have to take additional time off from work at another time of the year can be very helpful.

September. September is back to school or back to work for a lot of people. If you need caffeine to get you through the day, try drinking matcha tea instead of coffee. Coffee can leave you jittery and anxious. Matcha is a Japanese powdered green tea that has ten times the antioxidants compared to regular green tea and has a slower releasing caffeine that keeps energy levels stable.

October. Add an orange food in honor of the Halloween and the fall season. Foods like sweet potatoes, pumpkins, or squash are rich in beta-carotene, which gives them the orange color. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A, which is important for the eyes, skin and the brain.

November. A good health goal for November is to spend a few minutes every day meditating. We live such hectic lives and often we don't take time out for ourselves. November marks the start of the holiday season, which is often very stressful for a lot of people. Stress can kill you, so take time to manage your stress. Even a 5-minute break to calm your mind and body during the day will reduce your stress and help you get through the day. If the 5 minutes seems doable, try increasing the time or do it more often during the day. There are many meditation apps available for mobile phones that can help you learn to meditate as well as help keep you on schedule to continue doing it.

December. December’s health goal should be to keep alcohol intake in check. There is a lot of celebrating in December, so be sure to keep track of how much alcohol you have at each event is helpful. One or two drinks at a party might be fine, but more can increase your risk of other health problems, including liver issues and weight gain. Drinking alcohol is not an optimal component of staying healthy and fit. Most doctors and fitness experts agree that alcohol can dehydrate you, tax your liver, and cause a myriad of other side effects, including decreased athletic performance and brain function, depending on how much and how often you drink. Alcohol is actually damaging to the body in many ways, especially with frequent consumption. In people interested in optimum health, alcohol does the exact opposite. It causes oxidative damage to cells, affects sleep, decreases muscle recovery, decreases hormones, and causes the storage of fat in the liver. Alcohol has to be processed by the liver, regardless of the source of the alcohol. Also, some people are allergic to alcohol. For example, wine contains sulfites, which many people are sensitive or allergic to.

I was recently quoted in The Healthy on my top recommended Health Goals for Every Month of The Year. You can read the full article here.

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