Happy and Healthy in 2014 January 17, 2014 General Share This Article As the New Year has begun, many people have committed to another list of New Year’s Resolutions. In many cases, the goal is to get healthy. The idea of getting healthy can mean a variety of things. Physically it might mean losing weight, lowering blood pressure or cholesterol or eating healthy. Mentally it might mean lowering stress and calming anxiety. By eliminating bad habits and replacing them with good habits, optimal health is just around the corner! According to the “Hip Hop Doc” Rani Whitfeild, M.D. of Baton Rouge, La., family practitioner and American Heart Association volunteer, here are a few of his top tips for staying on your journey to improved health: Break a big goal into smaller short-term goals. Don’t go cold turkey! Reduce the amount of unhealthy snacks to one or two per week…then move toward eliminating them. This will keep you motivated and on track to your long-term goal. Tell someone you trust. Be accountable to someone. If you have a goal, and no one knows about it, it is easy to deviate. If you have a support system, you are more likely to maintain your new lifestyle. Allow a cheat day once in a while. If you have maintained your diet and exercise program, allow one day for a crazy meal or a piece of grandma’s homemade pie. This will prevent you from feeling deprived. Break the TV habit in favor for exercise. If you have a favorite show, try to TIVO it, and watch if after you have completed your exercise…or if you have room, place your exercise equipment in front of the TV. Physical exercise can assist with physical and mental health. Options such as running, walking, weight training or attending cardio classes will assist the body physically by burning fat and improving muscle conditioning; while and yoga, mediation and massage therapy will reduce stress/anxiety and promote positive self esteem. There are several options listed on the American Heart Association’s website for Healthy Active Lifestyles. Developing healthy eating habits is also very important for optimal health. By selecting healthy food while at the grocery store, cooking a majority of your meals at home and preparing meals ahead of time, you can reduce the chances of straying from your new healthy diet. The American Heart Association also has Nutrition Center with recipes, health guides and diet goals to assist you in this process. Remember, in order to take care of others, you must take care of yourself! Are you interested in the Medical field? Contact Arizona College today to learn more about our Allied Health degree and diploma programs offered at our Glendale and Mesa campuses.