If you are a time-strapped professional, don't attempt drastic changes in your routine in the coming year. Just be strategic, and pick the right goals.
1. BE SOCIAL WITHOUT SMOKING
A lot of people smoke more when conversation rolls and drinks flow than when alone.
But even that one cigarette hurts, research suggests. Occasional smokers are not used to the effects, and the unaccustomed stiffness of arteries damages the system much more.
2. CRACK THE NUTS
Who doesn't get those sudden irresistible food cravings? If you do, here's a piece of advice: snack on nuts whenever hungry. They are not just handy; the fibre and protein satisfy hunger and boost energy. Don't worry about the high fat content. They pack in good fats, especially the mono-unsaturated variety that actually decreases the level of "bad" LDL cholesterol. Nuts are also rich in potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, vitamin E, selenium, copper, calcium and thiamine.
3. Go for a mid-sized serving of paneer, rather than milk, a week for stronger bones.
4. Try hanging your head below body level for 15 minutes a day to keep greying at bay.
5. Keep a bottle of water at your desk to cut down on tea and coffee.
6. Pop in vitamins (B2, B3, B5, B6, C) to lose weight. Have a word with your doctor first.
7. STOP LATE NIGHT EATING
Do you burn the midnight candle and end up raiding the fridge? Listen up: it's a habit worse than you imagine, say researchers. Why? Simply because eating at the wrong time makes your body store more calories, as you do not need any extra calories to fuel you up at that time. Even if you are munching on veggies, the result will be the same.
8. GO FOR QI GONG
The ancient Chinese healing technique is the new kid on the block. If you love to sweat it out, Qi Gong will give you enough activity to burn 200 calories per hour. If you prefer well-being (Qi, or chee, means internal energy), the slow breathing and postures will help you destress. Check out martial arts schools teaching Tai Chi (they are quite similar). From weight loss, muscle building and toning to fatigue, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart ailments, asthma, neuropathies, diabetes or cancer-it's simply good for you. Worth a try?
9. Take a break in between work. Convince your boss how it helps the bottomline.
10. Breakfast with three food groups-cereals, milk and fruits-for a healthy start.