How to succeed with your New Year’s resolutions

According to Dr. Andrew Yacht, vice chair of medicine atMaimonides Medical Center, most of us try to make too many changesall at once – setting ourselves up for failure. He cautions hispatients to set modest goals in order to achieve better health in2012.

First, see your doctor and find out where you stand. If you have asignificant medical problem, follow your doctor’s recommendations.If you are relatively healthy, just lacking in overall fitness, trythe following.

Instead of focusing on what you should give up, try thinking ofthings to ADD to your lifestyle. Dr. Yacht suggests adding thesefour simple things that are good for people of all ages and fitnesslevels:

•? Go for a walk – often! You’ll reduce stress, strengthen yourimmune system and increase your overall energy;

• Add a serving of vegetables to your lunch and dinner everyday;

• Add whole grains to your menus – maybe try a new one, like barleyor quinoa, or try a new recipe with familiar whole grains;

• Add a couple of glasses of water to your daily fluidintake.

If you spend January doing those four things, you will behealthier by February, says Yacht. You might want to add moreexercise or focus more on dietary changes at that time – or justmaintain those new healthy habits for a few months and get moreambitious in the spring.

Yacht has one other suggestion to improve your chances for success:ask a friend or family member to join you in these four simplelifestyle changes. Research shows that most people do better withthe buddy system.

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