Below are 10 tips from the American Heart Association that UnitedHealthcare VP, Christine O'Brien shared with WDSU TV6 viewers for helping people achieve their New Year's resolutions.
Create realistic goals and strategies. Set a goal you know you can keep. If you are trying to eat more veggies, than don’t start by gorging. Pace yourself.
Keep it simple. If you aren’t used to eating something, try gradually adding it in your diet. Not a fan of greens? Try mixing a small amount into smoothies. Not sure you’ll like quinoa? Add a scoop to a salad to help get used to the taste and texture.
Drink more water. Drinking the right amount of water is a key ingredient in staying healthy.
Go green. Think kale chip, not tortilla chip. Stock your pantry with healthy fruits and veggies.
Eat seasonally. Good for your budget and your waistline. Eating seasonally means you are getting food at it’s peak performance and flavor level.
Cut out processed food. Say no to aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oil. Your body doesn’t need the chemicals, plus processed foods are all full of added salt.
Eat more fiber. Fiber is easy to add to your diet. Whole grains are filled with fiber, which makes digestion easier and helps you feel fuller longer.
Quit smoking. Smoking is one of the most preventable causes of premature death. But quitting you can decrease your risk of heart disease, help lower your blood pressure and lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Know your numbers. Make 2018 the year you know and monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight and discuss those numbers with your doctor. Take an active role in your health.
Get moving. It is easy to be sedentary, especially if you work at a desk. Small steps can make a big difference. Wear a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day (or a fitness tracker like the ones offered by UnitedHealthcare Motion) or plan on 30 minutes of exercise each day.
Happy New Year and Good Luck!