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From Sharp Health News, a publication of Sharp HealthCare

As we start the new year, it’s important to remember that there is no short-term meaningful approach to healthy living. Rather, it is a concerted daily effort to make healthy choices.

Begin with making a schedule and setting realistic goals. Here are four tips to keep in mind when you are goal setting:

  1. Set achievable weight-loss goals. If fat loss is your goal, consider reducing carbohydrate intake after 3 pm and don’t eat large meals immediately before bedtime. Also, consider adding more physical activity. Between these two changes, you’ll have created a meaningful caloric deficit that can help reduce fat.
  2. Know that gaining strength takes time. Don’t expect to hit new “personal bests” each day at the gym. Instead, try lifting a certain weight through a full range of motion for a given number of repetitions. In a few weeks, the weight that started off challenging will now be a warmup.
  3. Set specific healthy-eating goals. Eating healthier is essential to overall wellness. However, while “eating better” is a great goal, it’s too generic. Be specific with goals, such as “I will eat more whole foods.” Try to change one thing about one meal. Each week, continue to make similar small adjustments to other meals.
  4. Feeling good is the real goal. Feeling good is an immediate and often overlooked fitness benefit. When we exercise and eat right, we feel good. After you’ve participated in the day’s activity, write down a note for yourself about how you feel and over time, watch how your mood and general disposition improve.

By setting small, achievable goals, you can live a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. But like all great things, progress takes time.

The VEBA Resource Center offers Beginner Strength Training with Weights Classes featuring low-impact movements and light cardio training to build muscle and burn fat safely. This class allows for gentle progression and modifications. Check out our calendar to sign up for an upcoming class.