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January 2, 2014
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Wellness expert suggests ways to create a healthier 2014

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— For those who are looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle, the time to start is now, says Suzanne Brisk, coordinator for Upstate Medical University’s Pathway to Wellness program.

“There never is a perfect time, perfect weather or perfect conditions to start something,” said Brisk. “Perfection or perfectionism often stops us from beginning something new. Start today, start now. Putting off all changes and expecting magic to happen on Jan. 1 is setting yourself up for disappointment,” she says.

Brisk encourages people to add simple measures to reach their goal of adopting a healthier lifestyle.

“Begin now by reading an article on health or by taking a tour of a gym you have been thinking of joining; maybe use a trial membership at a health club or look up healthy breakfast ideas,” she says.  “Drive your car around your neighborhood and measure distances to incorporate a walking routine. Doing any of these small steps helps you see that you are self participating in your “healthy living” resolution and increasing your chances at success. By Jan. 1 you will have a plan, you are prepared and the change or changes will not seem so foreign to you.”

Brisk says that another key to success is to link the new healthy habit to a current habit.

“Habits have been practiced so many times, you no longer think about them.  If you want to resolve to get better sleep, think about relaxing and let go of the days stressors (new habit) while you are brushing your teeth (current habit),” she says.

She also suggests that people make resolutions realistic, measurable and achievable. If you resolve to exercise for 10 minutes a day, each day in 2014 it is reasonable to expect you could, measurable with a check for done  and achievable.  “For example, today you can take the stairs for one flight, something that is small or achievable.  If you take the stairs as you enter your workplace you now have linked the new habit to your current daily habit of entering the workplace.  In two to three weeks, increase to two flights a day by adding another flight to your current habit of one flight as you enter the building. By doing this, you are now adding to your new habit in a small way.”

“As an added benefit,” she says, “those who add two flights of stairs daily to their current activity level would rid themselves of six pounds by the end of 2014.  It’s that small and that simple.”

Caption: From left, Donna Pope-Wagner, Matthew Richard, Katie Fauci, Georgia Regan and Darlene Coons joined Pathway to Wellness Coordinator Suzanne Brisk (front) for a Souper Monday Mile walk up Adams Street. The Souper Monday Mile Walk is an activity of Upstate’s Pathway to Wellness program.

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