Navy Medicine’s Resolution Roundup

New Year’s resolutions come in different shapes and sizes but they all share one common theme: they are ways we intend to improve ourselves throughout the New Year. As the month of January comes to an end, we realize that keeping our resolutions may be harder than initially expected. As a partner in your health, Navy Medicine is dedicated to helping you live a healthy lifestyle throughout 2016 and beyond. We also want to help you maintain your resolutions and reach your goals. In what we are calling our “resolution roundup” we have compiled some helpful tips to help you #LiveHealthy and keep your resolutions in 2016.

Photo by Sgt. Edward Garibay
Photo by Sgt. Edward Garibay

Resolution 1: Lose weight

Losing weight is one of the most popular resolutions each year and for good reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control, people who are overweight have an increased risk for many serious health conditions including: type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, gallbladder disease high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. There are many health risks involved with being overweight so it is important to take control of your weight, immediately and Navy Medicine is here to help. The Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center’s ShipShape Program assists participants with making healthy behavior changes in order to lose weight by equipping them with the skills and resources necessary to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle. Once you’ve decided to live a healthier lifestyle, the Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling System (NOFFS) offers a variety of fitness, aquatic and intramural sports programs to enhance the readiness, retention and your quality of life. Here are a few simple weight loss tips to help you get in shape throughout the year:

• Take the stairs instead of the elevator
• Walk to your co-worker’s desk instead of sending an email
• Try to engage in 30 minutes of activity each day
• Park in the furthest spot from the entrance when you are running errands

(Released by ENS David Lloyd)
Photo by Seaman Kevin T. Murray Jr.

Resolution 2: Eat better

Another popular resolution is developing healthy eating habits. An important aspect of maintaining a healthy weight is maintaining a healthy diet. Good nutrition is critical to leading a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, your diet can help you achieve your weight loss goals. How you eat and what you eat are essential to daily performance. Becoming a better you begins with having sustainable energy. Make the commitment to smart nutrition decisions and fueling your body optimally. Simply put, if you want to be healthy, eat healthy. Navy dietitians are there to help you make the right decisions and help you achieve your healthy eating goals. The Navy Fitness and Fueling Series is designed to provide the tools to make choices that will result in the energy you need to perform your mission. With the right tools you can make the right choices to improve yourself through improving your nutrition. Here are a few ways you can eat healthy this year:

• Avoid oversized portions
• Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast
• Drink water instead of soda or sugary drinks

Photo from Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center -
Photo from Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center

Resolution 3: Sleep Better

A lack of sleep is a major problem when it comes to having the energy required to perform your mission. Fatigue and sleepiness can affect mission readiness, hurting work performance and productivity. Not only can a lack of sleep affect performance but it is also linked to multiple health risks. According to the Centers for Disease Control, insufficient sleep is linked to the development of a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Make sure you set aside the time to get the proper amount of sleep. Here are a few ways for you to sleep better:

• Keep a regular sleep schedule
• Create a restful environment
• Avoid caffeine six hours before bed

Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class James Stenberg
Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class James Stenberg

Resolution 4: Quit Tobacco

According to the World Health Organization, curbing tobacco use is a public health priority, and Navy Medicine recognizes that using tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable death globally. We are committed to reducing the number of those who use tobacco within the ranks. If you want to quit, we want to help. The Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center’s tobacco free living webpage has a wealth of information and tips to help you quit today. Here are five tips from to help you quit:

• Remember why you want to quit. Post a picture of someone special as a reminder and remember that they’re pulling for you
• Set a quit date. To make sure you stay motivated, make it soon
• Find support in friends and family, online, in a cessation group, or with your doctor—for when things get tough
• Stick with it. Withdrawal symptoms and cravings will pass if you can resist the urge to use tobacco. Remind yourself why you want to quit and the benefits you’ll get from doing so
• Prepare for challenges. Practice what you’ll say when someone offers you a cigarette or dip. No sweat, right? You face much bigger challenges every day

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Burke
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Burke

Resolution 5: Be Happy

Living a happy, healthy life in 2016 can be hard to tackle alone. Navy Medicine is dedicated to the mental health and well-being of Sailors, Marines and their families, and we are here to help. With various mental health, behavioral health and stress management programs, Navy Medicine is focused on helping you remain healthy and happy throughout the year. Don’t let stress slow you down; here are a few tips to manage your stress this year:

• Take a break: give yourself permission to step away so you can handle the stress
• Stay active: exercise benefits your mind as well as your body
• Smile and laugh: our emotions are interconnected with our facial expressions
• Be social: sharing your feelings with another person helps relieve stress
• Meditate: practicing mindfulness helps release emotions causing stress