Well it was the season to be jolly and it was full of the seasonal spirit (or spirits for some people).

At the beginning of the New Year we make our resolutions. For some it will be to stop smoking, go to the gym, lose weight and eat healthily. The sad thing is that by February it has all fallen through and we slip back into old habits.

My 2009 resolution is to get healthy. So far, so good: exercise and eating good food. Santa was kind enough to leave a bike under the tree for me so that’s part of my exercise covered.

Doing small things can be helpful and it is also important to be realistic. Rather than going on a full-on diet, make little changes. Something seemingly insignificant like cutting out soft drinks can make a big difference with very little effort.

There are so many diets out there and they are all different. The one thing each has in common with the next is eating good foods regularly. Remember the food triangle from school? Lots of fruits and vegetables, working your way up to less and less complex sweets and carbohydrates.

By eating regularly -” a good breakfast when you wake up (it may be hard at first, but you can train yourself to do it), something for lunch and a good dinner -” you will give your body the fuel it needs to run efficiently and cut down cravings.

I am very lazy when it comes to exercise; if I could drive from my bedroom to the bathroom I would. But I’m making an effort to get fit by taking small steps like going for regular short walks, slowly building to longer, more sustained periods of exercise. It’s ok to be a little puffed, but don’t over do it because you won’t keep it up.

I’m no dietician or fitness instructor, but most of what I have said is commonsense. If you would like to speak to a health professional you can always make an appointment. A good website to start off with is www.healthyactive.gov.au

I’ll keep you posted about how I’m going. If I make it to June I’ll be happy.

If you want any information about groups, services, organisations or community events taking place in western Sydney, you can contact Matt Vaughan at ACON on 9206 2064 or mvaughan@acon.org.au.

Matt Vaughan is the Community Development and Liaison Officer for the ACON Western Sydney Community Development Team.

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