Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 31st 2013 Contents B6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, December 31, 2013
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Thursday 2nd January, 2014.
We look forward to serving you
"Lose weight" is one of the top
New Year s resolutions every year.
You ve probably made it once or
twice yourself, and we commend
you for accomplishing such an ambi-
Oh, you didn t?
Don t worry, the majority of your
fellow resolutioners didn t either.
"Do you know the meaning of res-
olution ?" asked Dr Caroline Ced-
erquist, medical director for bistroMD
and the Cederquist Medical Wellness
Center. "It s solution, meaning you
are solving a problem, with the prefix
re, which usually means again. ...
We strive to solve a problem again
and again and again.
"They tend to become empty
promises to ourselves."
The good news is that losing weight
isn t the only path to well-being in
2014. If there s one thing we ve
learned at CNN Health, it s that a lot
of factors affect your health, from
where you live to how much TV you
"Good health happens when the
physical, emotional and social or envi-
ronmental parts of our lives are in
balance," said Dr. Amy Crawford-
Faucher, a family physician at the
University of Pittsburgh Medical Cen-
tre. "When people resolve to lose
weight, they are actually saying, I
want to feel and look better. "
So this year, we challenge you to
make a new kind of New Year s res-
olution. We asked a few of our favorite
experts for recommendations, and
their answers may surprise you.
Pick one, or several, from the list
below. Then make a deal with yourself:
This year, "lose weight" isn t going
to be your main goal, just a nice side
benefit to being happy and healthy.
Get some fresh air
Simply being in nature can have a
big effect on an overloaded mind, says
Jennifer Beaton, vice president for fit-
ness with the Bay Club Company in
When the body s sympathetic nerv-
ous system mobilises our fight-or-
flight response, it can t tell the dif-
ference between stress caused by a
bear attack and stress caused by a
meeting with the boss.
In other words, it s always on.
"Though we might not feel it directly,
our bodies do," Beaton said.
Find a place in nature that speaks
to you, whether it s a spot in your
backyard or a bench at a local park.
Visit there regularly, even if it s only
for a short time.
Then make an effort to get some
fresh air every day. Park your car a
little farther from the door in parking
lots, take a quick walk around your
office building at lunch, or wake up
15 minutes earlier and jog around your
neighborhood, suggests Dr Rebecca
Cipriano, co-founder of Healthy
You ll be surprised by how much
you missed the great outdoors.
Step away from the screen
As shiny as that new device you
got for Christmas is, once in a while,
you need to put it down.
Research shows children who spend
too much time in front of screens---
computers, TV, video games---are at
a greater risk for obesity, have a harder
time falling and staying asleep, don t
focus well and experience more anx-
iety and depression. Who s to say
adults are any different?
"My nine-year-old daughter loves
when I paint with her, so I make sure
to turn off the cell phone and step
away from all things work, and just
enjoy the moment," Cipriano said.
"Turn the TV off, leave the tablet out
of your bedroom, and pick up a good
If you want a major life overhaul
without much effort, getting more
shut-eye is the way to go. Sleeping
helps you burn fat, decreases stress,
improves your immune system and
boosts your mood and mental clarity,
says Jae Berman, a registered dietician
and personal trainer with the Bay
"Slowly change your routine to add
15 minutes a night until you get to
eight hours," she said.
Instead of subtracting soda, sugar
or fat from your diet, make a reso-
lution to add something, suggests
Crawford-Faucher. Add a serving of
vegetables to every meal. Add protein
to your snacks. Add two glasses of
water to your daily routine. You ll
find over time that these additions
will leave no room for unhealthy
The same resolution can be used
for other areas of your life, too. Add
15 minutes of meditation to your bed-
time routine or 15 minutes of classical
music to your commute to help you
destress. Add some organisation time
to your daily schedule. Add a book
on financial planning to your reading
Get the point? Good, add this one
to your New Year s resolutions.
If there s one word that sums up
health advice in 2013, it s mindfulness:
a "state of active, open attention on
the present," according to Psychology
"We teach our guests to be mindful
around their eating," said registered
dietician Kimberly Gomer of the Pri-
tikin Longevity Center + Spa. "What
does this mean? It means not eating
in front of the TV, while on the com-
puter, checking e-mails on the phone
or iPad, eating while driving in the
car. ... The list goes on and on."
Research shows that people who
practice mindfulness weigh less, stress
less and smile more. And those who
try to multitask do it badly. So make
an effort to be present this year.
Take time to breathe
When was the last time you inhaled
deeply, feeling your ribcage lift and
your chest expand?
Most people take only shallow
breaths throughout the day. This lim-
its the oxygen circulating
throughout the body, leading to
increased anxiety and higher
blood pressure, according to Har-
vard s Family Health Guide.
"When a thought comes to
your mind, acknowledge it and
let it go," Berman recommended.
"Count your breaths until you
get to ten breaths and then start
back at one."
Try something new
Try a yoga class or a spin class.
If you don t enjoy that, try Pilates
or Zumba. Go ice skating, snow
tubing or skiing, says Deborah
Levy, a health and nutrition con-
sultant for Carrington Company.
Want to eat better? Take a
healthy cooking class.
If you enjoy something, you re
more likely to do it again. And
meeting people who share your
passion will help incorporate
those healthy habits into your
"The goal is to rediscover your-
self," Levy said. "Find those
things that bring a smile to your
face and good health to your
body, and your New Year s res-
olution will become a way of life."
No one is perfect. But what if
every day, you made a pact with
yourself to be a little bit better?
Today at lunch, instead of
chips, you could buy an apple.
Instead of watching TV to relax
after work, you could do 15 min-
utes of yoga. Today, you ll take
the kids to the park instead of
handing them a video game con-
troller. Not all at once but one
thing every day.
"How can you truly treat your-
self and your loved ones better?
That should be the start of your
New Year s resolution," said Paula
Procida, a personal trainer at
CLAY Health Club + Spa. "The
good habits will follow."
Choose a theme
If we were giving prizes for the
most innovative New Year s res-
olution, trainer Shay Kostabi
would take home the gold.
Every year, Kostabi picks a
theme as her New Year s resolu-
tion. In 2011, it was "authenticity."
In 2012, it was "clarity." Next year,
her theme will be "Maitri," a San-
skrit word that means gentle, lov-
ing kindness toward oneself.
"Choosing just one word that
describes how you want to feel
instead of what you think you
should do or accomplish in the
New Year is really powerful,"
Kostabi said. "Once you ve chosen
your theme or your one word,
say it out loud, write it down and
make sure you really connect to
it on a personal level."
"Throughout the year, your
theme will guide you in aligning
actions, behavior, goal-setting
and even how to make the best
use of your free time." (cnn.com)
Make a new kind of New Year's resolution
Experts say being in nature can have a big effect on an overloaded mind.
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