New Year’s resolutions

Tips on losing weight, quitting smoking, saving money, and more

As we say hello to 2009, said Adam Crisp in, “the lingering effects of last year—belly fat, cigarette addiction, heaps of debt—linger on for some people.” It’s no surprise that “slimming down, stopping smoking and reducing debt almost always top the list of annual New Year's resolutions.”

“Healthy weight loss occurs slowly and steadily,” said LaDell Emmons in the McAlester News-Capital, so “aim to lose 1/2 to 2 pounds per week.” To lose about 1 pound a week, “you must burn 3,500 calories more than your body needs or about 500 calories per day.” Also, try “adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet.” But keep in mind that “a healthy diet combined with physical activity is still the foundation to long-term weight loss success.”

January is a great time to join a gym, said Heather Newman in the Detroit Free Press. About one million people join health clubs nationwide during the first month of the year—“50% more than during any other month of the year”—and “that membership boom means most clubs offer some of their best specials and promotions this time of year,” so take advantage.

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“If you plan to kick the smoking habit this New Year,” said The Washington Post, “discuss over-the-counter and prescription medications” with your doctor or pharmacist. You may also “consider joining a stop-smoking program or support group,” and also remember to “maintain a balanced diet, drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep.” For more tips on how to quit smoking, visit the American Lung Association’s website.

“One thing we can all do to better our circumstances” is to save more money, said Jill Boynton in The Boston Globe. “Set up a direct deposit from your paycheck to a savings account, or an automatic transfer from checking to savings.” You can “start out small—$10 or $50 per week”—and once you’ve “adjusted your spending to accommodate this change you can increase the amount.” Hopefully, 2009 will bring you “joy and happiness—and peace of mind knowing you're building your financial resources.”

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