10 Tips to Stay Healthy

Exercising portion control helps a person live a healthier lifestyle.
The Health and Wellness Center at Langley Air Force Base, Va., offers portion control plates to assist in healthier eating practices. (Senior Airman Brittany Paerschke-O'Brien/U.S. Air Force photo)

Special events can make following your health and fitness plan harder than the day to day. But with a little extra planning and some commitment to yourself, you can stick to your plan. Here are 10 promises you can make yourself so you feel better at the end of the day.

1. I will make dates to see my friends and family and do something that doesn't involve eating and drinking. I will walk through the park, ice-skate, cross country ski, walk the mall, take a yoga or cardio class, or run on a treadmill right next to my friend.

2. I will think of food as a fuel, not as a gift, which means passing on food that is high in fat and sugar, and taking half the portion everyone else heaps onto their plate.

3. If I have to be at a restaurant, I will identify the three healthiest things on the menu and pick between those.

4. I will follow the food pyramid daily, and I will take a daily multivitamin.

5. I will not eat any bad food that is lying around the office. I will bring healthy snacks to my desk that are sweet and/or salty, like whole wheat crackers, almonds, grapes or chocolate soy milk.

6. I will drink no more than two alcoholic beverages at parties and events (if necessary, cut extra drinks with spritzers), and I will have a snack before these events so I don't attack the buffet line.

7. I will drive less and walk more. I will take the stairs when possible and never go a day without some exercise.

8. I will invest in a gym membership if I don't have one already, and I will use it. If I don't have the money right now, I will buy an inexpensive workout DVD.

9. I will weigh myself every day so that I remember my goals and can feel good about the choices I made yesterday.

10. I will reward myself when I stick to these resolutions with something free or inexpensive that makes me happy and inspires me to look and feel good. I will get a new fitness video, a manicure, a new skirt or take the afternoon off to go on that hike.

Also, remember what is done is done; don't beat yourself up for what you did yesterday if you slipped. Always look ahead. Live a healthy and active lifestyle day by day.

Nikki Fitness is a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, writer and publicist living in New York City. She started as a cheerleader at Syracuse University but became certified in fitness before her beach wedding so that she could get back in shape.

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