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Wellness tips for the new year

a young woman in a purple long sleeve stretching in preparation for her workout

Wellness tips for 2018 from our experts

With bone-chilling temperatures and limited daylight hours, it can be difficult to feel your best. But, it’s a new year, full of new possibilities for enhancing your health and well-being.

Winter can be challenging both mentally and physically. Some of us may feel like hibernating! Days are darker, colder and shorter, and we may be exposed to winter ailments, like the cold and flu. The key to staying healthy and happy throughout the 2018 winter season is to be proactive about your health. To help you supercharge your 2018 wellness, we’ve asked for some health tips from a few experts at the Katz Institute for Women’s Health.

Nutrition

“The holidays often result in weight gain for many people due to overconsumption of food and drinks at parties and get-togethers. With the new year here, it’s important to make healthy food choices and get back on track. Start your day by eating a healthful breakfast rich in fiber and protein. Avoid skipping meals, which over time can slow down your metabolism and lead to overeating later in the day.

When making new year’s resolutions, make them specific, measurable and write them down to stay accountable. For example, promising to eat better in the new year is not specific and will likely end in disappointment. Instead, make a goal to eat a serving of vegetables every night at dinner or substitute diet soda with water or seltzer at lunch. At the end of the week, look back at your resolutions and continue to build upon your successes. If you are not able to achieve them, think about what you can do differently so that you can."

  • Marissa Licata, MS, RD, CDN, Registered Dietitian, Katz Institute for Women’s Health

Fitness

“A new year is here and exercise and movement should become even more of a priority. Engaging in an exercise program that can be done in your house is a great way to stay active when it’s too cold to go outside. And, it doesn’t have to involve buying expensive equipment. Push-ups, squats and planks are all good examples of simple movements that can be done anywhere. Also, taking the stairs instead of an elevator and walking over sitting are great ways to stay healthy this winter.”

  • Spencer Scalzitti, MS, EP-C, Exercise Physiologist, Center for Wellness and Integrative Medicine

Sleep

“A great way to help ensure consistently better sleep is to try, as much as possible, to go to sleep at the same time each night, ideally within an hour of when you first start to feel tired. You’ll soon find that you won’t need your alarm clock in the morning, but will wake well-rested, refreshed, energized and ready to start your day. Establishing sleep habits is one New Year’s resolution that is right for everyone!”

  • Penny Stern, MD, MPH, Director of Preventive Medicine, Northwell Health

Winter blues

“One way to beat the winter blues is to stay active. It’s easy to be drawn inside and to stay in bed during the winter months with the cold and darkness. However, avoidance of activities that provide enjoyment and a sense of mastery actually strengthens feelings of sadness. Try activities which may include exercise, volunteering or spending time with friends. You can also try to learn something new, like cooking a new recipe or trying a crossword puzzle to give you a sense of accomplishment. And, the good habits you inaugurate at the new year will last throughout the months ahead.”

  • Bella Grossman, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Katz Institute for Women’s Health

Stress

“Winter can be a tough time of year for many of us. Although the snow is beautiful, the holidays and physical strains of cold weather can lead to additional stress. So, it’s important to focus on self-care during the winter months. Give yourself the gift of relaxation, even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day. Find a quiet spot, turn off the electronics and just breathe – become aware of the inhale and exhale, acknowledge any thoughts without judgment, and refocus on the inhale and exhale.

Don’t have 10 minutes? Try a two-minute stress buster. Focus on your heart area, imagine breathing through your heart, feel the feeling of love or appreciation for a close friend, relative, pet or special place. Do this two to three times a day. What’s especially wonderful about these stress-relieving techniques is that you can fit them into your daily schedule and continue to do them throughout the year.”

  • Debbie McElligott, DNP, Nurse Practitioner and Integrative Health and Wellness Coach, Center for Wellness and Integrative Medicine

Find out more about how to optimize your health and well-being throughout the year to come and for a lifetime. At Katz Institute for Women’s Health, we’re here to answer your questions. Call the Katz Institute for Women’s Health Resource Center at (855) 850-5494 to speak to a women’s health specialist.

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