New Year's Eve is always filled with fleeting good intentions for the year ahead, but the secret to successful health resolutions this New Year is to be realistic and honest about your goals.
The AMA is urging people to be honest with themselves when setting their health goals for 2009 and to plan achievable health outcomes they can stick to.
AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, said the reason many people let their health resolutions slide off after New Year's Eve is they aren't realistic about what they need or what they can achieve.
"Daily stresses and demands on time make it difficult to stick to New Year's resolutions," Dr Capolingua said.
"Start by being honest with yourself. When you only have yourself to answer to it's less easy to make excuses or to estimate your health and fitness as better than it might be.
"Be specific and realistic when setting your health goals. Aim to walk for half an hour five times a week, or to eat two more pieces of fruit each day.
"Many of us aim too high and too hard with our health goals and this makes it easy to give up on them.
"There are small changes we can all easily make to our lifestyles that will have a big impact on our overall health."
Dr Capolingua recommended some simple goals that can help improve overall health and fitness:
- include some form of physical activity into your daily routine,
- try to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods, and
- be careful of your salt and fat intake.
Most importantly, Dr Capolingua reminded Australians of all ages to check with their GP or health professional before starting on new exercise programs or changes in diet.
"It's important to speak with your doctor if you're planning a new health routine in 2009.
"Your GP can offer you advice on diet, exercise and lifestyle, as well as refer you to other health practitioners or services.
"Doctors can also help you monitor any changes in your health and make sure your new year's health resolutions are right for you."