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Happy New Year! Local Help to Make Your Resolution Stick

We all have grand plans for 2012. Utilize local resources to reach your goal and stick with it.

Happy New Year! Local Help to Make Your Resolution Stick

Last year we what their New Year’s Resolutions were for 2011. We hope you succeeded in keeping them, but know that is not always easy to do. This year we compiled a list of the most common resolutions, tips from local experts and places you can go to for support while you strive to reach your 2012 goals. Read our list below.

1.    Lose Weight:

    The biggest obstacle to long-term weight loss is sticking with it. Gyms get overcrowded for several weeks in the beginning of the year, but soon enough the “resolutioners” lose their resolve and the gym rats lay claim to their land once again. You don’t have to let this happen to you. Don’t resolve to just lose weight, resolve to stay healthy and fit year-round.

    "A goal of losing weight is good, but a goal of a commitment to fitness and a healthy you is better" said a and personal trainer at New York Sports Club Croton-on-Hudson. "It will keep you on track so the pounds don't come back. Many have started and many have stopped. Remember there is no finish line.” 

    This area has no lack of fitness centers. New York Sports Club in Croton offers your traditional gym with plenty of fun classes like Zumba, bootcamp and pilates to chose from. You can also sign up for personal training sessions with a friend or by yourself.

     Planet Fitness in Peekskill provides a cheap way to work out on your own, with a  monthly fee of only about $10. The offers a wide range of services, from advanced yoga classes to personal training and even free weight loss classes. is a fitness and wellness studio dedicated to orthopedic post-rehab and specialty training, including weight loss. Visit their open house on Jan. 7, 2012 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Check our directory to learn more and make a decision that is right for you.

    If the gym is not your thing then step outside and look around you. We live at the gateway to the Hudson Highlands. Bear Mountain alone offers dozens of different options for fitness. Start with a simple one-mile walk around the lake and work your way up to using the recently installed stone stairway that leads almost to the top of the mountain.

    Soon enough you will be ready to hike the full mountain. From there, you can explore the many other peaks around us like Anthony’s Nose, , Dunderberg Mountain, Storm King, and the list goes on to the Catskills. Start with an easier hike like in Yorktown and pick a big one – like the Shawangunk Ridge in New Paltz – for your final goal. 

    The other side to losing weight is nutrition and healthy eating. You can learn more about nutrition by visiting the Hudson Valley Hospital Center's Wellness Club, meeting with a member of the Raw Life Food Co-op, setting up an appointment with a nutritionist and reading our , written by an HVHC nurse, or our nutritionist blog.

    2. Quit Smoking: The Hudson Valley Hospital Center offers tobacco cessation programs to reinforce the message that quitting is possible. Starting Jan. 6 Sara Oppenheim will host a four-week smoking cessation workshop every Thursday at the Dempsey House next to the hospital. The group will work towards reaching that final goal with planning and interactive techniques. Read more about the program

      Also, for more information on quitting visit hvhc.org or http://www.nysmokefree.com.

      3.    Spend more time with family: Let Patch help with this. Every Thursday we post a Weekend Planner that is geared towards family activities. We scour the events calendars of organizations and places in the area and across the region to find the most interesting and fun events for you to enjoy with your family. Also, you can always check out events calendar to see what is going on.

      4.    Stay Calm/Stay Sane:

        Maybe you are already calm, most of the time, but then someone cuts you off, your child rolls his eyes at you, or you are late for work, and your peace of mind has been rattled. If your New Year’s Resolution is to gain control over your "sanity," there are a few things you can try.

        "The easiest, the best and certainly the least expensive thing to do to remain calm and relaxed is simple deep breathing," said Dr. Joanne Jackson, a Croton-on-Hudson psychologist. "Just breathe through your nose, hold it for a second and then just let it fall out of your mouth and do that several times a day. Counting to ten also really works."

        In addition to practicing breathing, yoga can help you achieve a manage your stress. Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means “yoke or union,” and is believed that this describes the union between the mind and the body. 

        While it is not fully known if yoga influences health, there is growing evidence to suggest that yoga works to enhance stress-coping mechanisms and mind-body awareness, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The NCCAM says there is research that suggests yoga can improve mood and sense of well-being, reduce heart rate and blood pressure, increase lung capacity, improve muscle relaxation and body composition, help with anxiety, depression and insomnia, and improve overall fitness, strength and flexibility, positively affect levels of certain brain or blood chemicals.

        "The mind is as hard to master as the wind. If we try to outthink it, or to figure it out, we will forever be like a dog chasing its tail," said Brigid Murray, a yoga instructor who holds classes in Peekskill and Cortlandt, quoting from "Meditations from the Mat."

        Brigid explains that when you practice yoga you become aware of your thoughts. "You can see them in your mind but not chase them. The practice of noticing your thoughts, but detaching from them is a great way to keep worries and stress in perspective."

        The fitness centers mentioned above – Energy Movement Center and New York Sports Club - offer great yoga classes and welcome all levels. Click for EMC’s schedule and here for NYSC’s schedule. Also, check our directory for other local places that offer yoga. If you have questions about getting started contact Brigid by emailing her at brigidmurray@optonline.net.

        To read even more about the health benefits of yoga, read blog here on Patch.

        If you just don't see yourself in downward dog, regular exercise has been proven to control stress levels and curb depression as well (see number one on this list for other exercise options).

        5. Find a job: While the country has still not recovered from the economic recession, the unemployment rate was at 8.6 percent in November, down from 9.4 percent in January of 2011, and the lowest it has been all year.

          Some of that decrease can be attributed to seasonal work, which means the rate could increase again in early 2012 and the competition could get tougher.

          It is important to be prepared and do things right and our Workplace: Wild and Wonderful columnist has great tips on finding a job in this economy.

          “Get professional help updating or writing your resume and cover letter,” said Stamatelos. “These two documents are the first impression you will present to a potential employer. There are services available for little or no cost.”

          Stamatelos offers a free class at the New Rochelle Public Library every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

          You can also find help preparing for a job at Peekskill’s Employment Center at 201 James St.

          Read Lisa’s columns here for more advice on job seeking and to get your mind in the right place. Don’t forget to read her column on what when looking for a job (ie. don’t wear a vial of blood around your neck to an interview, unless it’s one with a vampire).

          6.    Give Back to Society: You can make a small commitment, like volunteering once a month at the , or make an even bigger, long-term commitment like volunteering for your local fire department or ambulance corps.

            “My suggestion for this new year is that we all choose carefully, the ways and forms in which we feel compelled to contribute to the community. In that way, we can give back in a more purposeful, focused way, be effective and even involve ourselves in needed roles of leadership and organizing,” said Bishop Michael Champion, President of the Peekskill Area Pastors Association.

            "The old adage, 'charity begins at home' still is meaningful today. We don't have to look far for opportunities to make a difference. All we need to do is listen, and take advantage of those situations that present themselves in our everyday lives. Our own consciences will guide us as to where we fit in, in giving back to our community.

            One guiding principle however, must be this: Does the work I am involved with further the advancement of humanity and issues that promote a better experience of life for persons? That will help us a lot in how we choose our giving-time."

            We are in a great location to offer help to a wide range of people who could use it like veterans at the Montrose VA Hospital, the sick at the Hudson Valley Hospital Center, the homeless at Jan Peek. Or you can give back to your organizations, like your congregation or your local schools.

            To view a more detailed list of great ways to volunteer click .

            Whatever your New Year’s resolution is for 2012, we wish you the best in achieving your goals.

            Happy New Year from Peekskill-Cortlandt Patch!

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