Do you get excited at the prospect of a New Year — you know, the chance to commit to resolutions that will make you slimmer, fitter, and the energetic, non-stressed envy of your friends? Does that enthused approach to healthy living wane after only a few days of 60-minute workouts and stringent dieting? It doesn’t have to be that way. You truly can make — and keep — New Year’s resolutions that easily satisfy your healthy lifestyle desires. Not only are we going to share 10 can-keep health commitments, we’re also giving you the resources that will keep you on track.
1. Eat foods that won’t kill you
This is where you decide the best way for you to keep your New Year’s diet resolutions. Healthy foods won’t pollute your body with chemicals, preservatives, bad fats or a glut of
calories. This means you have many options for keeping your healthy eating on target. You can choose to include more organic foods, particularly produce, dairy and meat; become a flexitarian
and reduce your intake of hormone- and saturated fat-laden animal products; or eliminate most of the packaged, processed junk from your daily diet. Small steps will make a big
difference, and they are much easier to adopt as a habit rather than drastically revamping your entire approach to eating. A great start is by simply joining a local CSA. Find one near you at
2. Get off your butt
Instead of resolving to exercise 60 minutes every day from January 1 until eternity (which will more accurately be January 8), simply commit to replacing some of your couch time with physical
activity. In fact, you can multi-task and make the most of your channel surfing by slipping in exercises while your favorite shows are on commercial break. Purchase a pair of dumbbells or be hip
and join the fitness enthusiasts who swear by kettlebells. Sarah Lurie’s GoFit Kettlebells feature an oversized, powder-coated handle that makes them user friendly, less slippery, and easier
to transition from hand to hand. The biggest advantage of kettlebells is, when used properly, they can whip you in shape in half the time of conventional gym equipment…all the more reason to
keep a kettlebell or two next to the remote.
3. Stay hydrated
You know staying well-hydrated is good for you, but drinking a half-gallon of plain water a day is, well, plain. Aside from squeezing lemon into your glass, you can always choose from a wide
variety of flavored waters. A favorite of celebs such as Fergie, Kirsten Bell, Nicollette Sheridan, and Anna Kournikova, Skinny Water is a flavorful drink that contains no calories, sugar, sodium,
preservatives or artificial colors, and is sweetened with only a dash of Splenda. With six juicy flavors to choose from, Skinny Water is fortified with a unique combination of electrolytes (calcium
and potassium) to promote hydration and nutrient-absorption along with EGCG, an extract of green tea, for healthy weight maintenance. We’re not suggesting you drink a half-gallon of Skinny
Water (or any flavored water, for that matter), but using it to replace some of your plain water quota will make your daily hydration a little more exciting.
4. Rack up the Z’s
Women are notoriously short on sleep. If it isn’t because there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, it is due to hormones or physical changes, such as pregnancy. Snoring can also be
an impediment to sound slumber — whether it be pregnancy or weight-induced or related to structural causes in the nose and throat. To help you outsmart snoring and rack up the Z’s you
deserve, a new breathing aid called Brez can be your sound-sleep solution. Brez fits comfortably in your nasal passages, gently lifting and expanding your nostrils, providing support to the
interior walls of the nasal passages and reducing the vibrations during breathing that cause snoring. Unlike similar products that are worn outside the nose, Brez won’t irritate skin or cause
sores and acne. (Even if you don’t snore, consider this a must-get if your partner saws logs all night long.) Hours of restful slumber may only be a Brez away.
Sounds simple enough, right? But for most people, breathing is an underappreciated bodily function. Not only is it required for basic survival, it also plays a crucial role in fueling your muscles
for activity, keeping your brain sharp, and eliminating stress, tension and toxins from your body. Basic shallow breathing will get you through your day, but intentional deep breathing will not
only make you feel more alive, it will improve your health. Tim Kelly and JoAnne D’Ambrosio’s 60-minute DVD Zenhaling: The Art of Breathing will teach you how to use breathwork
(which even includes laughter) to connect your mind and body, reduce anxiety, and boost your lung power. Once you learn the importance of deep breathing, you’ll find it quite advantageous to
incorporate more of it in your every day.
6. Seek alternatives
Seeing your health care providers on a regular basis shouldn’t be a New Year’s resolution, it should be a well-established part of your lifestyle. So many medical conditions, dental
problems and even injuries can be prevented with regular check ups. To take it a step further, make this the year you take a more holistic approach to your health by including complementary and
alternative modalities, such as meditation, acupuncture, massage or herbalism. Alternative therapies can augment conventional treatments and, if nothing else, reduce stress, and help keep you
centered while you are undergoing medical care. To learn more about holistic care, visit the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at http://nccam.nih.gov/. This New Year’s resolution is especially easy to keep, especially when you realize it is encouraging you to take time out of your busy life
and take care of you. (Monthly massage, anyone?)
7. Feed your fertility (and overall health)
It’s common knowledge that diet and exercise have profound effects on your health, but they can also affect your ability to get pregnant. Supported by long-term research, The Fertility Diet:
Groundbreaking Research Reveals Natural Ways to Boost Ovulation and Improve your Chances of Getting Pregnant, describes how 10 simple changes in your lifestyle can significantly improve your
chances to conceive (some of these changes — such as eating nuts and ice cream — may surprise you). Authors Dr Jorge Chavarro, Dr Walter C Willett, and Patrick J Skerrett give you the steps you
need to not only set the stage for a healthy pregnancy, but to also lay the foundation for a diet that will serve you well for the rest of your life. The Fertility Diet also offers a
week’s worth of meal plans along with fertility-boosting recipes.
8. Better your bones
Your bone health should be a top of mind priority regardless of your age. And if swallowing calcium horse pills isn’t for you, The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic
Approach is a must-read. Author Annemarie Colbin, a maverick nutritional theorist and health educator, gives you a complete lifestyle program that includes the best foods for boosting bone
strength, foods to avoid, reasons you need to be exercising, tips to find personal balance, and vital information on hormone replacement therapy and medications that effect bone health. In
addition, Colbin provides 85 easy recipes that maximize the bone-building effects of whole foods, which prove maintaining strong bones can also be a delicious endeavor.
9. Care for your skin and look your best
Putting on your prettiest face can go beyond spackling on moisturizer and foundation. New advances in skin care have launched a number of medical makeup lines, such as Cover FX, that actually heal
the skin and improve its appearance. The only prestige line completely dedicated to creating a flawless complexion while treating a wide range of skin conditions, from vitiligo and rosacea to burns
and scars, Cover FX is formulated with high-grade mineral pigments, key vitamins, hyaluronic acid and ceramides. With products ranging from the BritePrep FX Brightening Foundation Primer, an SPF 50
primer that stops and reverses UV damage, to the MintGlaze FX Fortifying Lip Treat-Mint Primer, a protecting balm that continuously hydrates the lips, you can care for your skin and look
10. Protect yourself in the bedroom
Safe sex is a no-brainer when it comes to preventing STDs and pregnancy , but what if you are allergic to the latex in condoms or simply want a condom that is also eco-friendly? Offering the first
new condom material introduced to the market since non-latex polyurethane condoms became available in the 1990s, LifeStyles SKYN Condoms are made from a synthetic non-latex material called
polyisoprene, which has the strength of latex but the sensitivity of an ultra-thin condom. Lifestyles also has a Natural Desire Lubricant, made of 99 percent natural ingredients, that is paraben-
and fragrance-free, pH balanced, and latex compatible (if you aren’t using the SKYN condoms). With SKYN and Natural Desire Lubricant, you can practice safe sex, have good sex, and
be kind to the environment.
Even if you embrace one or two of these easy to follow New Year’s resolutions then revisit one new resolution a month, you’ll be contributing to your healthy lifestyle and keeping your
January 1 resolutions alive until the next New Year comes around.