ROBBINSVILLE, NJ – It’s that time of year again, the time for New Year’s resolutions. Goals are set to eat healthier and go to the gym, and January is spent passionately trying to achieve these goals. But as the year goes by and the excitement fades, the gym is suddenly less crowded and resolutions disappear.

This year, don’t let your resolutions fade. Set positive intentions for your health and take time to realize what you can do to achieve your goals. Although failure is always possible, your resolutions don’t have to restart yearly. Don’t push your intentions off until 2018. Throughout 2017, you can try and try again until you reach them.

According to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, more than 78 million adults are obese in the United States. Obesity can put you at a higher risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more.

This year, why not make your health a priority? Even losing a few pounds can provide you with cardiovascular benefits. Every little step you make is a step in the right direction and a step towards a healthier lifestyle. The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association offers these first steps toward your weight loss journey:

  1. Set realistic goals – Assess where you are today and set yourself up for success with short term goals that are actually achievable.
  2. Understand how much and why you eat – A food diary or tracking app can help you understand your food habits.
  3. Manage portion sizes – It’s easy to overeat when you are served too much food.  Smaller portions can help prevent eating too much.
  4. Make smart substitutions to reduce sodium, saturated fat and added sugar – You don’t have to give up your favorite flavors, but smart substitutions can also cut your calories.
  5. Balance what you eat with physical activity – The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity five days a week.

Do you know someone who has set a healthy lifestyle goal and went above and beyond to achieve it? The American Heart Association is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Lifestyle Change Award to celebrate individuals who have made a positive impact on their health. The Lifestyle Change Award honors someone who has made significant, positive changes in an effort to live longer and healthier lives. Nominations can be submitted by friends, co-workers or relatives. Finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges from the American Heart Association and fellow sponsors. A winner will be chosen from the nominations and recognized at a Heart Walk in New Jersey.  For more information or to submit a nomination, call the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association office at 609.208.0020 or visit www.heart.org/newjersey