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TV Interview: Dr. Ryan Shelton’s Tips for Healthy New Year’s Resolutions

We start the year with the healthiest intentions after over-indulging during the holidays and skipping exercise for shopping and spending time with family and friends. We join the gym, restock the kitchen with all-organic groceries… then life gets in the way.

The key to creating lasting New Year’s Resolutions is to set realistic goals, start small and create benchmarks to increase accountability. I recently stopped by WCNC’s Charlotte Today to share my tips to create lasting patterns to improve your health in 2019 (which follow). I hope you find them helpful.

Happy New Year!

Losing weight:

  • Rather than setting a total weight-loss goal, set mini-goals and benchmarks. For example, “I am going to lose four pounds by the fourth day of every month.”
  • Instead of setting a weight-loss goal, create a fitness goal of making it to the gym one day more each week than you already do, or walking every morning.
  • Take up an active hobby with a social component like joining a running club.
  • Decrease the amount you eat out and prepare food at home… “I am going to eat five meals at home/bring my lunch each week.”
  • Consider subscribing to a meal delivery service so you can better plan out your meals.

Stop smoking!

  • Some people can cut cold turkey and others can kick the habit with nicotine gum. Most of us need more help. See your doctor about making a plan to quit.
  • If you are concerned that you have emphysema or COPD, consult a pulmonologist.

Rest and relax:

  • Go to bed earlier (again, set a specific goal like 10pm). Practice good sleep hygiene by avoiding electronics and video games at least one hour before bedtime.
  • Try meditation! It has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety. Meditating may also lower blood pressure and reduce age-related memory loss.
  • Practice mindfulness to be more present when you are spending time with your family.