By Kristin Bednarski
The new year is upon us, and for many people, new calendars also bring health-related new year’s resolutions.
Julianne Nesbit, deputy health commissioner of the Clermont County General Health District, said many people choose the beginning of the year to set a health-related goal, whether it is losing weight or living a happier, healthier lifestyle.
“I certainly think it provides motivation for people,” Nesbit said about having resolution.
Nesbit said a new year’s resolution can be a good idea, but making a new year’s resolution that is attainable and not too strict is the way to go.
“I would encourage people to commit to one thing,” Nesbit said. “If you can commit to one thing, you won’t set yourself up for failure.”
Nesbit said drinking diet soda instead of regular soda, incorporating healthy snacks to replace unhealthy snacks, being more active, or quitting smoking are all examples of more focused new year’s resolutions.
Nesbit said her tip for people who are trying to lose weight, is to not focus on numbers, but instead focus on living a healthier lifestyle.
Nesbit said individuals can work toward this with either a physical activity or a nutrition-related resolution.
“Trying to get out there and move is what we would encourage people,” Nesbit said.
She said the key is to not do too much too fast.
“Have a goal to work out three times a week,” Nesbit said. “Start out with 30 minutes, three times a week, and when you get to that then you can do more.”
With diet, Nesbit said people also often try to make too many changes too quickly.
“You don’t want to go cold turkey on everything,” she said. “What we promote is being smart most of the time.”
Nesbit suggested incorporating a fruit or a vegetable instead of visiting the vending machine for candy or other snacks.
Nesbit said when it comes to beauty and skin care, a good new year’s resolution is to wear sunscreen.
“Even in the winter our faces are exposed, and it is bright and sunny out,” Nesbit said.
Nesbit said wearing sunscreen is one of the best skin-care tips she can give.
She said another good new year’s resolution is to quit smoking.
“What I would encourage them to do is talk with their physician about it,” Nesbit said. “Also, check with their insurance company.”
Nesbit said sometimes physicians and insurance companies offer programs and resources to help individuals quit smoking.
“The other thing, if we’re talking about health as a new year’s resolution, is going to your doctor and getting a physical,” Nesbit said. “We encourage you to keep up with it.”
Nesbit said once an individual has succeeded at becoming healthier in one area, they will often continue to make other healthy choices.
Lee Ann Watson, associate director of the Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board, said improving mental health is also a good resolution to have.
“New Year’s resolutions tend to focus on weight, finances and general health,” Watson said. “We often forget the importance of mental health to our overall general health.”
Watson said without good mental health individuals cannot achieve good general heath.
She said there are a variety of ways for individuals to improve their mental health.
“Treat yourself with respect and speak nicely about yourself,” Watson said. “Remind yourself of your strengths by posting 10 of your positive characteristics throughout the house.”
Watson encouraged individuals to resolve to find an activity that they find enjoyable, and take time to do it at least once a week.
“Learn to relax and enjoy,” Watson said.
Watson also encouraged people to not be too difficult on themselves, especially while trying to achieve a new year’s resolution.
“Sometimes it takes more than once to achieve your goals,” Watson said. “You only fail by not trying.”
The Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board as well as the Clermont County Coalition for Activity and Nutrition, part of the Clermont County General Health District, offer many health-related tips and resources.
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