New Year’s Resolution: Health and Fitness

At some point in our lives we've had a New Year’s Resolution along the lines of “I resolve to eat healthier” or “I resolve to lose weight” or even “I resolve to exercise more” in order to start the New Year on a healthy note. Our own personal health is something that we have to watch. Common ways to take an active role in our health and fitness is to watch what we eat through dieting and maintaining physical activity through exercise.

Note: The material discussed in this blog post should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your physician or dietician. The examples provided and sources listed below are designed to introduce you to different types of diets and exercise methods that your health care provider might recommend. Everyone is different and requires different types of diets or exercise methods to achieve the best results. Before attempting any of the diets mentioned in library materials or in any post on the website, consult your doctor to find out which diets or other methods of weight loss and fitness would best fit your health needs.

There are a number of diets that are designed to cut back on the types of food that may be contributing to weight gain. One common strategy is to simply eat less as overeating is a common cause of weight gain, leading to other health problems. Of course, one must be sure to eat enough to stay healthy. The balance involves eating enough to support your nutrition without consuming too much food, despite our cravings. Other common strategies involve cutting back on certain types of food. Notably sugar buster diets try to cut back on sugar intake. Other diets like Atkins, Paleo, and Ketogenic (Keto) diets focus on cutting down carbohydrates. Some diets also instruct to cut down on certain types of meat without going full vegetarian. However, many diets come with risks since they encourage a lower consumption of certain types of food and minerals that your body is designed to process. Likewise, some diets focus on increasing the amount of certain fats, proteins, and other dietary substances, which consuming too much of can also lead to health risks. Talk to a doctor before attempting any diet.

The other side of the fitness or weight loss equation is exercise. One view of exercise is to go straight to the fitness center for the cardio exercise equipment, such as treadmills or elliptical machines. While these are valid methods of exercise, sometimes starting on these methods may not work for everyone. Even starting off slow by taking walks is an excellent way to begin exercise. Stretching exercises, like yoga, are another way to begin with exercise. While the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends types of physical activities for various age groups, opens a new window to fit the average fitness needs for most people, check with your doctor to see what exercise methods might best fit your group or if you need to modify your workout needs.

However, many times, despite our optimism and motivation in the early stages, we end up falling back into old habits when it comes to food or exercise, resulting in gaining back much of the lost weight and ending up back where we started. One key for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, through dieting and exercise, is discipline. The temptation to give in to cravings for food not in the diets or the craving to eat more is strong. Maintaining the discipline to not consume those foods is the key to success. Discipline also applies to keeping up with regular exercise. It is easy to come up with excuses not to exercise, such as poor weather conditions stopping outside workouts or soreness from pushing the body too hard and too fast in a previous exercise session. When such things occur, another exercise method can fulfill the routine exercise quota without causing harm.

The St. Tammany Parish Library currently hosts regular sessions of Chair Yoga and Floor Yoga through Zoom. To register for any of these events, sign up through the events calendar, opens a new window or speak with a librarian.

Listed here are several sources highlighting the benefits of dieting and exercise, approaches to diets and exercise, and tips for maintaining the discipline to hold onto these practices. Remember to consult your doctor before attempting any diets or exercise programs mentioned in any of these sources.

Health and Fitness: Dieting and Exercise

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Check out these sources for more information about different types of trending diets and strategies for exercise.











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