Local wellness pros share their tips on how to live a healthier 2020.
By Carmen Nesbitt
As we all know, a new year is the perfect time to dust off those resolutions and start fresh. And when it comes to a new decade, that’s 10 times as true. According to Statista, which tracks market and consumer data, half of all New Year’s resolutions for 2020 cite hopes for a healthier lifestyle, like eating better, losing weight and improving mental health.
Does your personal goal involve living your best life? SEEN asked local health experts to share tips that’ll help you get to where you want to go.
1. Stick to those #BodyGoals
“Set a goal to commit to and repeat,” says Chrissy Greenwood, lead personal trainer at Fit by Chrissy G. in Detroit. “During the month of January, fitness centers are crowded with people eager to use the New Year as a starting point for their newest pursuit. We sign up for memberships, purchase new sneakers, research the latest health trend, and decide January 1st is going to give us the boost we need to transform our bodies. What many people fail to do is find a way to push themselves past the hype of January and press through the February fitness blues.”
Motivating yourself by setting goals is the only way to keep going, she says. Think hitting a target running time (7-minute mile, anyone?), being able to lift a certain weight or even “gaining a feeling of empowerment when shooting basketball” with your kids. Establishing a “why” – i.e., a particular motivation — will remind you of the reasons to press on, says Greenwood.
2. Balance your plate (and mind)
Gail Posner, owner of Healthy Ways Nutrition Counseling in West Bloomfield, has been a coaching metro Detroiters on eating right for nearly 20 years. Her No. 1 tip: “Eat balanced meals — protein, healthy fat and complex carbohydrates.” As for a runner-up, Posner points to mindful eating. “Eat when you’re hungry,” she says. “Not for other emotions like anger, joy or being tired or lonely.”
3. Take baby steps when it comes to mental health
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were your thinking and behavioral patterns. Licensed counselor Mallory Schwartz, owner of Schwartz Therapy + Wellness in Bingham Farms, says, “We can always start again, and a small step every day can be more meaningful than a large leap, depending on how you look at it.”
4. Stay active to fend off chronic pain
Chronic pain can alter your life in unimaginable ways: It can stop you from working, spending time with your children or performing everyday tasks like grocery shopping. Preventing chronic pain requires you to, as the saying goes, “use it or lose it,” which is why Dr. Steve Kallabat, of Nu Life Medical in Beverly Hills, recommends exercise and weight loss. “The two really go hand-in-hand,” he says. “Exercise not only strengthens the muscles around your joint, but also lubricates it, making it easier to keep going and lose weight. Losing just a few pounds can make a sizeable difference in your level of pain.”
5. Be vigilant about veins
Most of us don’t think about veins until they make an unwelcome appearance on our legs. However, vein health is a huge part of self-care, says Dr. Diego Hernandez, a vascular surgeon at Bloomfield Vein & Vascular in Bloomfield Township. “The health of your vessels is an important component of taking appropriate care of yourself,” he says. “Staying active is one of the essential elements to promote vascular wellbeing. Exercise, including walking, can have profound effects on the function of your blood vessels.” If you already suffer from a vascular condition, consult a board-certified vascular specialist to help you navigate treatment options.
6. Listen to your ears
Wireless earbuds are all the rage, but use them for too long at too high a volume and they can lead to permanent hearing loss, according to Cleveland Clinic. If you notice signs of hearing loss, get your hearing checked right away, says Hillary Wright, a hearing instrument specialist at Oakland Hearing Aid Center, which has locations in Royal Oak an Farmington Hills.