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Monthly News Round-Up

Happy New Year! We have been busy rolling out our 31-Day New Year, New Habits Challenge over the last few weeks. It’s going so well that we have decided to continue to offer it throughout the year. Stay tuned for more about that in a few weeks. For now, let’s catch up some of the latest health-related news articles and blog posts we’ve seen around the internet lately.

The New York Times reported that the New Dietary Guidelines Urge Less Sugar for All and Less Protein for Boys and Men. The guidelines, which are issued by the U.S. Agriculture and Health and Human Services Departments, are updated every five years. They affect many initiatives such as school lunch programs and national food assistance programs. The most recent guidelines made news for recommending that all individuals limit added sugars (any sugar that doesn’t occur naturally in the food) to 10% of daily calories.

Did you make any resolutions for 2016? If any of your resolutions involved establishing a new habit or practice, you might want to check out Lion’s Roar’s timely advice about How to Establish a Daily Practice Of Almost Anything, in Six Steps. Two things mentioned that really work for me: establishing a cue for the new habit (a specific time to complete the task or a particular sequence--always taking my multivitamin with breakfast, for example) and tracking my progress on a calendar. When I was trying to quit refined sugar, I added a simple mark on my calendar for each day that I successfully avoided the temptation. Looking back at all the days I stuck to my resolution motivated me to keep going.

Speaking of New Year’s resolutions, Apple Insider published a list of the top iPhone Fitness Apps to Help You Keep That New Year's Resolution. Perhaps a little technology is what you need to jumpstart your fitness routine? If so, one of the listed apps might be just the ticket. Of course, we also recommend our free iPad App and YouTube Channel!

For some resolution inspiration, you might want to read Erin Brodwin’s piece from Business Insider. In her article, I Actually Upheld a New Year's Resolution for All 12 Months of 2015 Thanks to a Barebones Fitness App, Brodwin shares her success.

Looking for a little scientific research to help you keep your resolutions? Another great article from Business Insider shares 3 Science-backed Ways to Keep your New Year's Resolutions. The most important thing? Be realistic. Breaking a large goal into several smaller steps helps keep your resolution attainable and prevents you from getting discouraged.

In his post 6 Ways to Create an Awesome 2016, Leo Babauta recommends monthly challenges with weekly focuses, like our New Year, New Habits Challenge. One of the motivational techniques he shares (having someone else benefit if you successfully complete a goal) reminds me of one of Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies, Obligers. Dividing all of us into four categories (Upholders, Questioners, Rebels, and Obligers) based on how we respond to internal and external expectations, Rubin suggests that our natural tendency affects how we adopt and sustain new habits. She created a quiz to determine your primary tendency. Take the quiz here.  

I’m always looking for small ways to incorporate more fitness into my daily life. The CHEAT'S Guide to Getting Fit: From Singing in the Shower to Stretching While on the Phone has 12 simple ways to get fit throughout the day. I was pleased to see that one of the tips is to intersperse yoga poses into your daily routine. Victoria Woodhall, yoga teacher and author says, “If you need to gather your thoughts before a meeting or key phone call, a balancing yoga posture demands total focus and is a way to cut through the mind chatter and rumination that can come when we’re anxious. Dancer’s pose also stretches the thighs, which can tighten the more time we spend sitting, and includes a backbend which in yoga is energising, leaving you feeling bright, calm and strong.” Find detailed instructional videos on Dancer and many more poses on YbN’s iPad App and Youtube Channel.

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