How Will Your Health Change in 2005?

How Will Your Health Change in 2005?
by Dr. Jason Plotsky

Every year statistics reveal that by February 1st, millions of Canadians have fallen back into the same habits they set out to eliminate one month earlier with their New Year’s resolutions.

It is important to look at how we can make our health and wellness goals for 2005 realistic and optimistic in order to take our health to a new level. While there are many aspects of health and wellness, I will focus on three: physical, nutritional and emotional.

When setting physical goals such as fitness or weight loss it is imperative to be specific and realistic. For example, it is unrealistic for a working mother with four children to say she is going to work out six days a week for one hour if she hasn’t already been exercising. We have to take reasonable steps to improve our chances of reaching our goals.

We should also use specifics about the duration and frequency of our new goals. If a person is unhappy with their weight, it is not enough to say, “I want to lose weight in 2005.” That statement needs to be quantified with more details of how that process is going to happen, how much weight and by what deadline.

Positive daily affirmations such as, “I am getting stronger and leaner every day” can be used to engage the mind in order to have the body act as if it has already happened.

Specific goals such as, “I will lose 10 pounds by the end of March by increasing my cardiovascular workouts to 4x/week and by doing resistance training 2x/week.” Writing these goals down and reading them every day will increase the chances of achieving them.

To ensure realistic fitness goals, find an activity (or even better, a combination of activities) that suits you. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Sign up for a series of classes like Yoga, Pilates, spinning, or swimming so you have expert help and to ensure you are doing things correctly.

It’s also important to create a plan that can be incorporated at different times of the year. Do you have an activity to do when it’s -20C outside? Are there any pieces of inexpensive equipment that you can purchase that are multipurpose i.e. a stability ball and a few dumbbells for resistance training?

Try to keep this portion of your goals simple. If you are looking for a simple strategy try this. Commit to exercising 175-200 minutes each week. This is something you can track and you get to make the rules. If you love being outside you can walk, run or bike for 30 minutes, 3x/week. You can start a new class like yoga that might be one hour 2x/week and you are done!

If you like the gym, a combination of 30 minutes of resistance training and 30 minutes of cardio 3x/week will meet your quota. It’s an easy formula, give it a try.

Keeping it simple is important when it comes to setting nutritional goals. Again, you will have to pick goals that are realistic and fit where you are right now. If this is your first time reading a health and wellness publication and your first attempt at eating better, you have to be reasonable and realistic.

Start with the big things: decrease and then eliminate processed foods that contain trans fats. Also, decrease the amount of white “stuff” in your diet (white flour, white sugar and salt).

If you are doing this already, great! Are you taking an omega-3 supplement? Do you have a high quality multivitamin and/or a greens/antioxidant supplement? Are you drinking enough clean water? Have you replaced your coffee with green tea? Are you eating 5-10 fruits and vegetables and trying to buy organic when possible? Did you know most “greens” supplements contain up to six servings of fruits and vegetables and come in different flavors?

If you are already doing these things, you may need to look at something more specific and personalized to further suit your needs. A visit to a naturopath or nutritional consultant may be a wise investment for 2005. There is a lot of information out there, so start with the basics mentioned above and seek professional advice when you have questions.

I saved emotional and mental wellness for last because it can be easily summarized in a paragraph . . . yeah right! There are a few things we can do to ensure we are managing the stressors in our lives correctly.

One exercise that may be useful is making a tolerations list. This is where you take the first 10 things that come to your mind that you are tolerating in your life (i.e. cleaning your car, getting rid of old clothes, etc.) and write them on a piece of paper. Now start at the top and remove these things one by one. When you are finished, start a new list. There are so many small things that we let occupy valuable and precious space in our minds, which over time can create added stress.

What would you love to have more of in your life? You attract into your life what you focus on. So maybe we need to shift our focus from what we don’t want or like in our lives, to what we love and would love more of.

It is easy over the holiday season to be grateful for loving friends and families, but what about the other 11 months of the year? It may prove valuable to say “thanks” for all that we already have in our lives and may be taking for granted. Spend five minutes each day on being grateful and see how that changes what you attract into your life.

Life is busy. It would be much easier to neglect our health, wait for it to fall to pieces and hope that someone or something can put everything back together. Too many people are already doing this and we are finding out that this health philosophy DOES NOT WORK!

We only have one body and it is wise to take very good care of it. In fact, we must think of time and money spent on our bodies as an INVESTMENT that will provide great returns in the future. Don’t be afraid to invest money on yourself, you’re worth it!

Add a chiropractor, naturopath and massage therapist to your health team. Most of these services are covered under extended health plans. We can’t afford NOT to invest money on our health.

You get to choose how proactive you will be in 2005. Set simple goals, write them down and see how good it feels when you accomplish them.

From the doctors, therapist and staff at Nova Spinal Care Inc., we wish you a happy, healthy and abundant 2005!

Dr. Jason Plotsky is co-founder of Nova Spinal Care Inc. The doctors at Nova Spinal Care utilize a gentle and precise procedure called NUCCA. This procedure focuses on correcting body imbalance and promoting optimal function of the spine and nervous system. To find out if NUCCA can help you, call (902) 444-6682 and book a consultation with one of the doctors. You can also find out more details about the clinic at