Take steps to keep you and your loved ones active and healthy in the New Year.

The holiday season is coming to a close, and for many of us that can mean “recovering” from all of the rich foods that accompany this time of year and starting to think about our goals for the year ahead. Follow these tips to get your New Year off to a healthy start.

1. Stay active.

Being active is your secret weapon in the New Year. It can help make up for eating more than usual and has many other health benefits. Walking is a great way to be active. Try these tips to incorporate more walking into your activities:

  • Skip the search for a close-up parking spot. Park farther away and walk to your destination.
  • Make a few extra laps around the mall. Walk the length of the mall before going into any stores. The mall is also a good place to walk to avoid bad weather.
  • Start your work day by taking the stairs. Remember to stretch your legs and take short physical activity breaks throughout the day.

2. Eat healthy.

Healthy eating is all about balance. You can enjoy your favorite foods even if they are high in calories, saturated fat, or added sugars. The key is eating them only once in a while or in small portions and balancing them out with healthier foods.

  • If you are traveling in the New Year, take healthy snacks along, like fruit and nuts. That way, you can avoid the temptation of convenience foods high in fat, sugar, and salt.
  • If your favorite home recipes call for fried fish or chicken with breading, try healthier baked or grilled variations. Maybe try a recipe that uses dried beans in place of higher-fat meats.
  • Resolve to make new habits. This year, while at parties and other gatherings, fill your plate with fruits and veggies first, and pick small portions of just your favorites of the other items.

3. Plan activities that don’t involve eating.

In addition to enjoying a meal with friends and family around the table, take the party outside!

  • Try a seasonal activity with your family. Go ice skating or jump start your bucket list for the year. Visit that museum, botanical garden, or exhibit you’ve been wanting to see.
  • Make a “walk and talk” date with a friend or family member. Skip the Frappuccino and explore a part of your town or city that may be new to you.

As you wrap up the holiday season and think about the year ahead, consider what new healthy traditions you can start. The possibilities are endless. What will you do in the New Year?

Share your healthy New Year activities with us on Twitter via @CDCObesity.

Thanks CDC for this helpful information.