A Healthier 2012: Tips on Setting Healthy Goals

By: Melaina Gasbarrino

Now that 2012 is closely upon us, first things first, Happy New Year! With a New Year comes new hopes, new dreams and of course a new you. This year is all about a healthy you. The thing is, whenever we hear the dreaded words "healthy you" most automatically think of eating celery and carrots and working out 24/7 to keep our figures intact. Hopefully you will now squash all those strange alternative diets and embrace the goodness of food and a healthy lifestyle that fits you.

To embrace a full-on healthy lifestyle you need to appreciate the finer things in life. And of course the finer things in life are the plethora of vegetables, fruits and grains that surround this glorious earth. Now I'm not saying that you have to 'go vegan' to be healthy, you just need to focus on eating healthy. This means adding vegetables to your plate, and having a salad with every meal. Just as you hated eating vegetables as a kid, it's time to go back to the drawing board to see just how you are going to devour all those crunchy vegetables that will yield to a healthier you. Try out new recipes and scour the ends of your grocery store to pick out just what vegetables tickle your fancy. And when you find those few vegetables you love, stick to them, you'll be happy you did.

Now onto something we all hate to hear. Eating healthy is of course one way to set up a healthier 2012 you, but the one dreaded thing we all never find time to do is exercise. Don't you just love in the movies how everyone is so skinny and they all nowadays partake in yoga or Zumba to showcase their perfect bodies on screen. Well not to worry, we can all look like Jennifer Aniston or Owen Wilson in no time at all. As we all know the rich and famous have trainers and cooks that cater to their every need, but there is no need for us to feel like we'll never look like our favorite stars. All we have to remember is to get moving at least 30 minutes per day. Whether it be walking to work, joining a hiking club, or partaking in hot yoga, no matter what it is, you need to get up and get out there.

If you're like of us out there it certainly is a hard feat to wake up before work to exercise, shower, send the kids off to school and then you yourself head off to work. Thus think of exercising as taking the kids to the park and shooting some hoops. Did you know that if you shoot hoops for 30 minutes you'll loose 120 calories or more, that's just as many calories as running 3km, and of course this option is way more fun.

So a healthier you really can be yours today. All you have to do is find peace in your life and a healthier you is just around the corner. Just remember, don't crack and hop on the cabbage soup diet, you need a little more spunk in life that eating cabbage all your life.

What are your healthy 2012 goals?

Photos: atache

Melaina is from a small town in Ontario, Canada and as an avid environmentalist with a passion for focusing on healthy living. Having traveled the world and written about it every step of the way, she one day hopes to develop unique environmental educational programs for kids. 

For more tips from Melaina, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)