Home  >  Carol LeBeau  >  Carol's Health Journal | 01. January 2010

Carol’s Tips for a healthy, HAPPY New Year!

01. January 2010

You’ve recycled your Christmas tree. The Menorah’s packed away. And your extended family is back where they came from. Congratulations. You’ve survived another holiday season!

But for many of us, the pressure of the holidays continues right into the New Year with a list of resolutions as long as your holiday shopping list. Well, this year, let’s keep it simple, with a few lifestyle changes guaranteed to set you up for success.

  • Start slowly. Don’t try to change everything at once. You’ll just get overwhelmed and give up. Making healthy lifestyle changes is like eating an elephant. Do it one bite at a time.
  • Move more. And I don’t mean training for a marathon or signing up for some intense boot camp at your gym. Just put on your walking shoes and head out the door. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a few minutes from your destination and walk. Take stretch breaks during the day. Find an activity you enjoy and do it a couple of times a week.
  • Eat food in its whole form. Sugary, processed snacks are “special occasion” foods. When making food choices, remember it’s what you do most of the time, not some of the time.
  • Don’t go it alone. Make and keep friends. Our high tech world, while certainly making us more efficient is also isolating us from one another. We’re relational beings and we need one another.
  • Get you ZZZZ’s.. Eight hours of sleep a night is not a luxury. It’s what you need, on average, for good health. Besides feeling better, sleep boosts your immune system and that means fewer colds and viruses.
  • Don’t forget your spiritual dimension. You’ve heard about the studies on prayer and healing. They also show people of faith who attend weekly services live longer - an average 12 years longer, than those not part of a faith community.
  • Volunteer. We all know helping others feels good. But doing good is also good for your health! Research now proves scientifically that helping others as little as an hour or two a week improves your health and longevity.
  • Laugh a lot. There’s nothing better than a belly laugh for health AND well-being. So DVR your favorite sitcom or play a silly movie once in awhile. My personal favorite? “Airplane.” [“What’s your vector, Victor?!!)
  • You can’t have it all. (women, this one’s for you!) I don’t care what Gloria Steinam said. The women’s movement afforded us much, but it’s about having choices, not having it all.
  • Take a break. You work hard, cram too much into each day and are over-stimulated by the 24/7 news cycle. At some point you need to find a peaceful time to clear your mind and re-charge your battery. Do some light reading. Listen to some classical favorites. Take a hot bath. The world will wait.

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.