Cheers to a healthy New Year

By Marie Gress

It’s January and everyone has New Year’s Resolutions on their mind! Some of the more popular resolutions tend to be some version of getting healthy (like losing weight, eating better, exercising more).  Living a healthier lifestyle is a tough salad to eat, but for those who do it, particularly seniors, they report more energy, better focus, improved mental health, and more restful sleep.

You’ll find tons of suggestions on the internet of WHAT healthy choices to make, but I’ll let you in on a secret set of steps on HOW to make lasting change:

You must be motivated to change.  Someone (doctor, significant other) telling you to change what you eat and how much exercise may get you to make a change for a week or two, but won’t stick long term.  Motivation needs to come from you – you need to want it!

So you want to change, but what are you going to do?  You must be able to articulate the change you want to make. Tell your spouse, a friend, a coworker!  Expressing yourself helps solidify your resolve to change.  Bonus: by telling someone, they can help hold you accountable (if you are into that).

Plan your change, and little steps are best.  First cut out something easy – stop eating seconds.  Then a step further – stop drinking soda.  Then add something – go for a walk. Make a plan you know you can stick to and adjust as necessary.

Re-evaluate.  What is working?  What isn’t working?  Have I achieved my goal?  Do I want to make a new one?

For all you New Year Resolution people out there, MSHL is partnering with FitMod to bring some new exercise classes to you.  We now have a circuit training class and personal training sessions.  Circuit training is a fast-paced class, using “stations” (a place where an exercise is done) for 5 minutes and then moving to the next station for a new exercise – alternating an aerobic activity (like stepping or stationary cycling) with a muscle-strengthening activity (like using weight machines).

We are also offering Matter of Balance again, an evidenced based balance class designed to help you manage falls and increase your activity levels.  This eight week course teaches you to:  view falls as controllable; set goals for increasing activity; make changes to reduce fall risks at home, exercise to increase strength and balance.

For more details on these groups, please feel free to call MSHL at 734-508-6229 and mshl [at] milanseniors [dot] org or visit our website at www.milanseniors.org.

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