News | Published January 18, 2012 | Written by Susan Trainor, CRNP, Certified Diabetes Educator

What Are You Waiting For? Get Fit and Healthy in the New Year

The holidays are over now, and the resolutions you made while eating holiday cookies and meals now feel like a heavy weight on your shoulders, only adding to the pounds you packed on that are keeping you sitting in your chair - or headed to the couch after work.

It's tough when the promises you made to yourself in the frenzy of holiday feasting come due in the early gray days of the new year. The combined effects of the weather, the extra padding that accumulated around your hips and your guilt over those unmet resolutions are enough to keep you stuck in a rut.

I take care of patients who have diabetes, and the first few weeks of January are rough on most everyone I see. Having diabetes can be difficult to manage in general, but at this time of year, most of my patients are struggling with unusually strong feelings of guilt and are particularly down on themselves. Their weight is up, their blood sugar is up and their energy is low. Very few people that I see are where they want to be in terms of their weight or their health.

If you are also struggling to get fit and healthy, here are a couple of ideas to help you:

Set a goal. Establish a concrete goal. It's not enough to say, "I want to lose weight." You need to know where you're headed; if weight loss is your goal, you have to decide how much weight you want to lose. So, instead of saying, "I want to lose weight," say, "I want to lose five pounds by Valentine's Day," and find out what it personally takes for you to get there.

Keep it simple. Start by looking at your everyday life and think about what you can realistically fit into your daily schedule. Can you walk down the hall two more times during your shift? Can you take a spin around the outside aisle of the grocery store or Walmart before getting in the checkout line? Can you get up 10 minutes earlier and take a quick walk to the corner? The point is, the most important step in getting started is simply to move - it doesn't matter how much or how far you move.

Learn something new and healthy every day. Check out The website has a lot of information that often teaches me something new to pass on to my patients. The many tips and the great success stories people post act as inspiration - and motivation.

DO something new and healthy every day. Each effort you make is beneficial, even if it's just (what you think is) a small thing, such as a three-minute walk down the hall, a few more green beans on your plate or starting a fitness class.

Following these simple tips is a great way to help you get fit and healthy for the new year. So what are you waiting for? Set your first goal and get started.