The holiday season does a number on the body: second helpings of high calorie foods becomes routine, complemented by sweet and salty treats between meals, and the stress of trying to balance holiday festivities with your year-round responsibilities related to home life and office business.
“Oh well,” you might be thinking. “I’ll start fresh in 2012.”
The American Heart Association recommends you pace yourself. Plan now to phase in the changes you want to make, all geared toward building a healthier you in the new year.
“You’ll do better not to plan to do everything — overhaul your diet, exercise 30 minutes a day, make an appointment to get your blood pressure checked — because the likelihood of succeeding is almost zero,” said Richard Stein, professor of medicine and cardiology at the New York University School of Medicine in New York City and a spokesman for the American Heart Association, in a prepared release. Instead, lay out realistic steps for January, February and March. Rather than joining a gym, you might want to start a vigorous walking program first. It’s free, and it’s a great way to fit in more physical activity.
Make your Midwinter Meeting experience part of your 2012 plan for healthier living. When you register for the Midwinter Meting, register for a health screening, too. Blue Apple Health is offering customizable packages for heart attack and stroke prevention screenings, in private suites in the McCormick Place West Building. Learn more about the health screenings at the CDS website.
Find more of Dr. Stein’s tips for managing stress this holiday season online.