Step Into the New Year

In Opinion by Reporter News

Want to make 2014 a year of healthy habits and real changes that you can actually keep up? Welcome to the New Year!

Everyone wants to be healthier and have more energy. There is an entire industry built on telling you how, but only if you buy their product.  If only you purchase their powders, equipment, and methods you’ll be on the fast road to happiness.  Unfortunately, the reality is that there is no magic cure that will whip you into shape.

Your health is largely in your own hands. With some effort on your part, you can make small changes that will radically improve your health.  Each change is simple, but when done together they can add up to make 2014 your healthiest year yet.  I’m not saying it will be easy, I’m just saying it will be worth it.

The first small change is to walk more.  We all know there is hardly ever anything worth watching on TV.  So instead of flipping channels in hopes of finding something to watch, take a walk.  Walks of 20 – 30 minutes will burn over 100 calories for most people, and I’m not talking about speed walking or power walking, just a simple walk at an easy pace.  Think about it, if you can walk for 30 minutes 3 times a week for the year, you’ll have burned over 15,600 calories and this is just a lowball estimate!

This is on top of the other benefits of staying active.  From making you feel better, increasing your energy, and spending some quality time with your significant other (or dog) when you drag them along.  Studies have repeatedly shown that walking is effective for helping with mood disorders like depression.  You can further boost the psychological benefits by walking out doors, without taking any technology with you.  Humans are designed to move around outside, reconnecting with your natural instincts will do you wonders.  Not to mention that sun exposure allows you to produce your own vitamin D.  Vitamin D is needed for absorption of calcium, has been linked to reduced risk of cancer, and helps boost your immunity.  While it’s available in pill form, the kind the body makes is the good stuff.

It may be difficult at first to establish this habit, but it’s worth it, and eventually your body will crave the movement.  Once that happens you’re well on your way to a healthier life.  For most people the habit can be formed within a month.  During that time be consistent and don’t skip a walk.  After the month has passed and the habit has formed, skipping a day here and there won’t be a big deal.

If you only do one thing different in 2014, make it taking regular walks.

Have any questions for me or a suggestion? I’d love to hear it.  Email me at [email protected].

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