• By Lynne Mitchell
  • Posted Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Healthier America Begins Today!

For example, you may want to get more exercise. To begin, you need to be honest with yourself about what you are willing to do to achieve your goal. Your first thought may be to join a gym…but, if the cost of gym membership is too high, you hate to sweat, or there isn’t a gym close to your home or work - you may want to re-think your strategy.

Easy ways to be more active include using the stairs, walking during part of your lunch break or even marching in place during TV commercial breaks. Pick realistic goals that you know you can achieve and build on your successes.

In addition to planning, it is important to gain support from friends, co-workers and family. Let people close to you know your plans and ask for their help. Be clear with your support network about what is helpful and what is not. A co-worker may invite you to take a 10-minute walk at break with them – in your mind; this is clearly supportive of your goal. However, a loved one may think it is helpful to nag you how little you exercise – something you find not helpful. You will only get the support you need when you are specific with people about what helps you. Well-meaning loved ones may end up hurting you more than helping if you aren’t clear with them.

Now that you have made a plan and asked for support from loved ones - pick a date to get started. Be realistic and remember that you are not perfect and will have slip ups. If you go off your plan, accept it as a normal hiccup and get back on track. Be forgiving with yourself and use positive self-talk. It is very common to be forgiving of others and very hard on oneself. Believe in yourself and spend time visualizing your new lifestyle. People do it every day – and so can you!

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