Six realistic resolutions that you will be able to fulfill in 2022


They call it Blue Monday. It is commemorated on the third Monday of the new year and, in 2022, it will be celebrated on January 17. That is the date on which, according to omen specialists without a scientific basis who succeed on social networks with hashtags that become trending topics, all those good intentions that we made with the rush of the 12 chimes and that, three weeks later, we ended up discarding as unattainable or, let's be honest, because of our own ineffectiveness.

"The need to make a clean slate leads us, on too many occasions, to set ourselves overly ambitious goals that, when we cannot achieve them, generate great frustration. For this reason, it is essential to carry out a good initial approach based on the achievement of few short-term objectives -the impatience to see quick results is one of the main causes of abandonment-; that they have an important value for us -not for those outside-; that they are realistic and that motivate us so much that, even the very path towards its achievement, far from assuming an extreme effort or sacrifice, brings us great well-being," says María García Salinas, a psychologist at BluaU de Sanitas.

So, instead of considering losing the five kilos that we gained at Christmas (plus the other so many more with which we already lived) with the Adele diet; get the six pack of The Rock (if possible, without leaving the chair, or leaving the beer and frying pan); to become those insatiable sexual beasts that appear in (Hollywood) movies; emulate Kilian Jornet, running over the most impossible ridges without twisting an ankle; sleep like a baby (of those who sleep) to look as fresh as Elsa Pataky; or caress that imposted eternal happiness to which we are all supposed to aspire, better to put our feet on the ground and mark small milestones that will make us feel better in our day to day.

Forget about 'miracle diets'

"You don't play with food." This lifelong phrase contains an immense truth: there is no dietary shortcut that ends in good port. "The first thing we should do to start 2022 would be to recover from Christmas excesses and lose those extra kilos that we have gained, resuming a healthy eating routine -in which we should radically eliminate alcohol and sweets, at least for a season- and physical exercise.To these two basic pillars we should add a third: awareness that this is a long-distance race in which "miracle diets" or long fasts are not worth it, shortcuts that will only make us get rid of a few kilos that we regained as quickly as we lost, undermining our health along the way", stresses endocrinologist María Amaro.

Lina Robles, a nutritionist at the Sanitas La Zarzuela University Hospital, shares his opinion. "Once the Christmas holidays are over, it is important to resume our normal routine. We must recover healthy lifestyle habits, keeping our diet in order and avoiding fats, sweets and alcohol, which is what is most often abused on these dates."

To make things easier for us, Amaro advises us to plan "a balanced menu with three main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and a healthy mid-morning snack to help us control hunger. Fruits and vegetables -if they are raw, better-they will be our best allies to purify ourselves after Christmas waste. It is essential to use the healthiest cooking techniques possible. When choosing proteins, it is better to opt for fish, instead of meat, and eggs, a very complete food for its contribution in vitamins and minerals.

Hydration is, at this time, more important than ever to help our kidneys to do their job after the binge of food these days. "You have to try to drink a lot of water and, since you don't feel like it so much in winter, it's best to have a glass bottle in front of you and that's how we remember to do it. Also, drinking a glass of water when we feel like eating something will help us It can be very useful to know if what we have is a real need to eat or we simply do it out of anxiety or boredom. We can also resort to infusions of green, white, rooibos tea, etc".

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away", goes the saying and María Amaro confirms it: "It is one of the healthiest fruits that helps us keep cholesterol levels low and reduces the risk of suffering heart disease. In addition to its great antioxidant power (it is rich in quercetin and flavonoids), it is a natural vitamin cocktail that, due to its high fiber content, will come in handy at this time of year."

Eat well for a strong immune system. That is the proposal of Carlos E. Rodríguez Jiménez, specialist in Immunoalimentation at the Beata María Ana Hospital in Madrid. In this there is no more secret than applying common sense. According to this wise doctor, the orchard, the sea and the farm are the three 'fishing grounds' from which we must obtain the food that will help us build a strong defensive system. Source of vitamins and minerals, "there is a very old guideline that recommends eating five servings of vegetables a day (three fruits and two vegetable dishes)". Nutritious and delicious, legumes are essential. "I prefer lentils and chickpeas, which are rich in nucleic acids."

Six realistic resolutions that you can achieve in 2022

Rodríguez Jiménez, who defines himself as a "defender of Atlantic food", explains that "73% of the world population has omega-3 levels below what is recommended. For this reason, it is essential increase your intake through two main routes: vegetable (linseed oil, walnuts, etc.) and animal (fish -especially blue ones-, crustaceans and molluscs)".

From the farm, he bets on "the consumption of poultry meat and eggs, of which eight or 10 a week can be taken without problem". A source of probiotics, he also points out that "yoghurts are also natural medicine."

Move more

"We must understand how important it is to move. In fact, if we take the top 10 causes of death worldwide, seven of them could be prevented through physical exercise. Movement is health", asserts Pedro Jiménez, BluaU's personal trainer.

But let's be sensible. Going from the couch to running a marathon is a laudable dream but quite difficult to materialize. So, in order not to become the generators of our own frustrations, it is better to set ourselves achievable challenges and, from there, aspire to more. "The recommendations indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO) are the following: we must dedicate between 150-300 weekly minutes to the practice of cardiovascular physical activity at a moderate intensity, or 75-150 weekly minutes of cardiovascular physical activity at a high intensity. The minimum duration of these sessions is recommended to be 10 minutes".

Regarding strength work, "we must do at least two sessions a week that involve the large muscle groups." These guidelines are general, therefore, as Jiménez reminds us, they must be adapted to the characteristics of each person, following the principles of progression and individualization. For this, the best option will always be to have the advice of the appropriate professional, which in this case is a graduate or graduate in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences".

In case there are still some clueless people out there, Martín Giacchetta, founder of Boutique Gym Madrid, reminds us, once again, that "getting in shape has to stop being a goal to become a reality". Now more than ever, our body needs to have an immune system and sport, together with food, is one of the best bulwarks to achieve it".

Giacchetta emphasizes the importance of moving in our daily lives: "It is essential to lead an active lifestyle. I recommend that we begin to consider our usual environment as a gym. Walk as much as we can, forget about elevators or always talk on the phone while walking. A park bench, a chair at home or a simple bottle of water can help us get in shape".

To aspire to an honors degree in our physical condition, he advises us to "go to a personal trainer who will design a plan tailored to our conditions and objectives." Beyond being active and strong, it also emphasizes the importance of taking care of our mobility. "Let's try to go back to being kids, as much as possible, to get a full range of motion back."

Stop suffering unnecessarily

In times as complex as the ones we are living in, Isabel Serrano-Rosa, director and psychologist of EnPositivoSí, gives us very simple advice but one that we should frame and hang in our living room . "We should propose to stop suffering uselessly due to situations that we cannot avoid. We live in anguish due to an excess of self-demand that gives us a feeling of never being up to the task, which makes us suffer a lot."

In a society so dependent on image, "we are obsessed with pretending that we are perfect in all facets, which does not allow us to relax at any time." The obsession with achieving that happiness that they sell us on social networks pushes us to think that "the rest always have a better life than us, that they are doing better than us."

Author of the book Respirando alegría, Serrano-Rosa advises us to use our breath as a tool to identify our emotions and heal ourselves: "We can introduce, before going to bed, as a habitual practice in our lives, complete breathing, the one that goes from the abdomen towards the chest and then descends again as if it were a kind of wave.Also to name those emotions that we feel in different parts of the body: joy, normally, is felt in the lower abdomen; fear, in the stomach: sadness or fear, in the chest; and in the shoulders and throat, anger or rejection, to give a few examples".

Also that we stop: "We must generate a routine to stop. Every morning, when we wake up, we should spend five or 10 minutes simply thinking and being with ourselves to reconnect. And, before leaving home, write on a sheet three things: something that made us happy the day before, a fear we faced, and something to be thankful for.

Be 'kind'

Neither insatiable beasts nor perfect lovers. The sexologist Ana Sierra proposes "small, concrete, flexible and achievable objectives so as not to feed our frustration".

For this, nothing better than, as Isabel Serrano-Rosa says, stopping: "Stopping and discerning between the internal, my sensations or concepts, and the external, objective reality. That is, what I want versus what is expected of me. Do I need to look more inside than outside or vice versa?"

The author of Happy for life: Your happiness where you have never looked for it invites us to sharpen our 'sense of love': "We must dive into our self-esteem, self-care, self-knowledge, assertiveness and kindness". Sierra gives us homework as a couple for the coming year. "Communication and caresses is a magical combo that can activate us more than a movie or an erotic reading. It's much simpler than it seems. It's about wondering, talking and listening. And caressing yourself; with your hands but also with the eyes, the actions, the smiles and the words".

And he encourages us to put the 1-1-1-1 rule into practice: "It's about scheduling: one caress, at least, a day (of whatever kind); one day a week, one hour to make a plan together (without other people and without TV, it is not worth watching series to be able to look at each other and laugh), one weekend together at least a month and one week together a year. All this, of course, would have to be made more flexible if there are kids".

Sleep more and better

Sleep more and better is another resolution that we cannot keep postponing. The lack of restful sleep that helps our body recover from day-to-day wear and tear, as well as fatigue and tiredness, is related to endocrine changes that favor glucose intolerance, weight gain, and high blood pressure.

How much should we sleep to be well? "Needs vary depending on age in such a way that, for example, a newborn requires many more hours throughout the day than an adult. In general, the duration considered healthy decreases as age advances, in such a way that 7-9 hours is recommended in young adults and average ages of life, and 7-8 hours in the elderly", explains Cristina Fernández García, head of Neurology at the Sanitas La Moraleja University Hospital.

Arriving with a sleep deficit at the weekend and then trying to make up for it on Saturday and Sunday is not the remedy. "This can be a temporary patch for our body, but by no means the final solution. Sleep specialists always tell our patients that it is better to sleep half an hour more each day than to extend three or four hours more on weekends than, In addition, it could be an alarm sign that suggests a sleep problem when you are sleeping 7-8 hours every week," advises Álex Ferre, a clinical neurophysiologist at AdSalutem specializing in Sleep Medicine.

Our body, he continues, has "a biological clock, which Sleep Medicine calls circadian rhythm, and this is configured from the routine and daily habits of our rest. If every day we get up and go to bed at the same hour, our body will be prepared so that our hours of rest have the highest possible quality. But if we do not respect this regularity, our internal clock will not be well configured and will not be able to carry out its function".

What else can we do to improve our quality of sleep? Dr. Fernández García gives us the guidelines: "To achieve an adequate and quality duration, it is important to follow the so-called sleep hygiene guidelines. Basically, it is recommended to maintain regular schedules; not sleep during the day or, at most, about 30 minutes; have a light dinner about two hours before going to bed; avoid the use of electronic devices in bed and also activities that require mental activity; do not ingest exciting substances during the day or alcohol at night and try not to take medications that can cause insomnia. Physical exercise is very healthy and recommended, but it should be avoided in the late afternoon and at night. It is essential to maintain an adequate environment in the room, avoiding noise and with an adequate temperature. It may also be advisable to a ritual before going to bed with relaxing activities such as listening to calm music, a warm shower or bath, etc."

Enjoy the outdoors more

"Human beings are created to live and enjoy the benefits of nature. They need exposure to the open air and sun to have a healthy and happy life. Our state Our mood improves during the spring and summer seasons, since the days are longer, with more daylight hours and we have more hours to dedicate to carrying out outdoor activities, exercising, or simply going for a walk", recounts Cristina Villegas Fernández, head of the Dermatology service at the Sanitas La Moraleja University Hospital (Madrid).

Daily exposure to sunlight is necessary so that "our skin can carry out the synthesis of vitamin D, essential for the proper functioning of our body." Dr. Villegas Fernández explains that "in a country like Spain, with a large number of sunny days, and taking into account that the half-life of vitamin D is 12-22 days, 10-15 minutes of sun would suffice." daily to maintain an adequate synthesis of this vitamin". The ideal, he continues, is "to expose yourself in the early hours of the morning (before 11 a.m.)".

What happens if we don't? "Depending on the degree of vitamin D insufficiency, the patient may observe that they feel more tired, with a feeling of weakness and drowsiness. In addition, it is linked to the development of different chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis; muscle weakness (with greater risk of falls); various cognitive disorders and dementia (particularly Alzheimer's disease); Seasonal Affective Disorder; alterations of the immune system; cardiovascular diseases and even some types of cancer".

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