Making Your Health-Related Resolution a Reality

active-campus-stairsFor many of us, “New Year’s Resolutions” is just a fancy synonym for “lies.”

It’s okay – we all do it. We tell ourselves that this year will be different and that we’re really going to follow through with our resolutions… and then we don’t.

In our defense, it’s hard. You promise yourself you’ll lose a few pounds or work out more often, but by the time you free up some space on your calendar, the year is half way over. The biggest problem with health-related resolutions? People will see them as “all or nothing” type challenges. But, they don’t have to be that way. You don’t have to live in the gym or go on a crazy diet that only allows you to eat food that tastes about as good as cardboard. Little strides here and there can make a big difference throughout the year.

Replace Soda with Water

Cutting soda as well as other sugary drinks out of your diet and replacing them with water is an easy way to help with weight loss and overall health. Weight is gained simply by consuming more calories than you burn. With an average 12oz can of Coke containing 140 calories, it is easy to see why calorie-free water is the better option. Next time you reach into your fridge or make a purchase from a vending machine, think about grabbing a bottle of water instead of your favorite soft drink. 

Walk, Don’t Ride

As Penn Staters, we all know how massive our campus is and what a hike going to class can be. But, on days when weather permits, try making the walk instead of catching a ride on the bus. Research shows that walking anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes a day most days of the week can lead to the loss of about one to one and a half pounds per week. Walking is a gentle form of exercise that does not require heavy lifting or intense workout regimens, but can be effective in losing a number of pounds over the course of several weeks. You are going to class anyway, you might as well walk!

No More Drunk Eating

This tip, depending on how much self-control you have after a night out, may be a bit more difficult – but definitely still manageable. At Penn State, places like Taco Bell, D.P. Dough and Canyon Pizza are near and dear to our hearts (especially on Friday and Saturday nights). Unfortunately, the delicious food they serve does not go well with health resolutions. Take pizza for example. An average slice of cheese pizza can have anywhere from 250 to 350 calories and 10 to 17 grams of fat. Then, there are the mounds of ranch we drown pizza in, containing 140 calories and 14 grams of fat per serving. Yikes, talk about empty calories. If we can just muster our strength and resist the urge to buy food for our drunken cravings, our bodies will thank us.

New Year’s resolutions are no walk in the park. They are tough and take dedication, but they are not impossible. This year, consider taking these small, achievable steps to make your New Year’s resolution a reality.


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