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FIRST-PERSON: Make a healthy resolution

DALLAS (BP)–If your New Year’s resolution is to get healthier, you’re not alone. Every year, millions of Americans resolve to make changes to improve their health. Unfortunately, most of us forget our resolutions practically before the Christmas decorations come down.

Instead of vowing completely to overhaul your life in January, why not start small? Make a list of the things you really want to achieve and set a goal to accomplish one each month throughout the year. Here are some simple ways you can improve your health this year:

— Get moving. If you spent most of ‘06 lying on the sofa in front of the TV, it’s not realistic to think you’ll run a marathon in ‘07. But you can get more exercise. Determine to spend your TV time walking on a treadmill or exercising. Or better yet, give up 30 minutes of TV three or four times a week to get out and walk.

— Control your portions. You can make an impact on your weight just by eating smaller portions. Start by dividing your regular meals in half. If you get hungry before your next meal, have a snack. But listen to your body. I usually find that I’m comfortably satisfied with half.

— Choose fresh. Stock your fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables that are cut up and ready to eat. When you feel hungry, you’ll be much more likely to make a good choice if healthy foods are convenient.

— Clean out your kitchen. Get rid of the potato chips, cookies, ice cream or whatever tempts you. I sometimes splurge a little when I go out, but by getting high calorie foods out of my house, I’m less likely to overindulge on a regular basis.

— Drink more water. Staying hydrated during the day will keep you feeling more alert and less hungry. I usually start my day by drinking a big glass of water. I keep a bottle of water at my desk throughout the day. Ordering water in restaurants can help you get your daily quota, and you’ll also save a dollar or two per meal.

— Get enough sleep. Without a good night’s sleep, you’re likely to be tired, irritable and have difficulty concentrating. Recent studies suggest that getting enough sleep actually helps you control your weight. Since I go to work very early in the morning, I just won’t let interruptions keep me from getting to bed at a decent hour.

In today’s hectic world, it’s hard to make the time to do healthy things for ourselves. By making small changes, one at a time, you’ll find you gain the energy necessary to do the rest. Make time for your good health.
Tamara Quintana is a graduate of All Saints Episcopal Hospital School of Vocational Nursing and the director of the employee wellness program for GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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  • Tamara Quintana