It's almost that time of year when we all start making New Year's resolutions, followed shortly by the time when most of us start breaking our New Year's resolutions. Our well-intentioned pledges are often so unrealistic that they don't last very long, which is one of the reasons to take a new approach to the New Year's tradition and start taking baby steps toward your overall goals.
Health-related pledges are the most popular New Year's resolutions, and it's no surprise they are also the ones most broken. Whether it's losing weight or quitting smoking, a cold-turkey approach works for some but not for all. Those who can't handle the sudden shift in behavior can make small changes that will help them reach your targets. Here are five simple steps you can take to improve your health in 2017:
* Drink More Water: The formula for better health could be as simple as H2O. By replacing those sugary soft drinks and calorie-filled wine, beer and mixed beverages with a simple glass of water, you will be surprised at the benefits your body will reap over time. Weight loss, more energy and better skin are among the improvements on the outside, but your internal plumbing system will also run on all cylinders. If needed, try using sugar-free sweeteners until you can make the full transition to water.
* Eat Smart: Notice that we didn't use the term “diet.” That's because strict and sudden changes to your eating habits rarely work. Your body has grown accustomed to what and how much you put in it, so a crash diet can send your system into a state of rebellion that few can withstand. Instead, make small and gradual changes to your eating habits with increases in healthy foods and decreases in portion sizes. Cut out your worst food offenses and slowly introduce new and healthy ones so your body can get used to the changes.
* Exercise: Here's the one that often becomes a deal breaker for a New Year's resolution. When the dead of winter arrives in January and February, it's too tempting to snuggle up on the couch instead of going for a run or a trip to the gym. Invest in a nice indoor piece of training equipment, or dust off that old stationary bike and spend 20 to 30 minutes on two to three days per week getting in a good workout, then slowly increase the time and frequency of your exercise sessions. Stick with it until the weather warms up and you’re ready to shift into a healthy outdoor routine. Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort guests can use our state-of-the-art fitness center on chilly days and go for a walk or jog on the beach when the weather permits.
* Sleep: This might sound contrary to the concept of being more active, but the medical community is beginning to uncover the importance of getting a good night's sleep. New research shows that those who get less than 7 hours of sleep per day are more likely to deal with high blood pressure, weight gain and a lack of mental sharpness. Do your part to exercise and burn off some energy, then give your body and mind a chance to recover with a good 8 hours of sleep.
* Vacation: Another important aspect to healthy living is to give your mind and body a break from the stresses of everyday life. Whether it's work, school or the toughest full-time job of all – being a parent – you and your family can benefit greatly by getting away from it all and enjoying some downtime together. Guests at Compass Cove can sink their toes in the sand and relax on the beach, play on our oceanfront pool deck and in our water park, and unwind on their private balconies overlooking the ocean – all excellent ways to reward yourself for all the healthy changes you've made in 2017.
Book your vacation plans to stay and play with us at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort, Myrtle Beach and enjoy a happy, healthy New Year!