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STOP! Do Not Enter 2010 Until ...

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Making your New Year's resolutions? Why not try keeping them before the new year gets started?

woman dancing in the kitchen

JJ Virgin: The buzzer is about to ring on the year 2009. As the days wind around toward a new decade, it might seem like a good time to relax and coast into 2010. I'd like to ask moms to actually rev it up a little bit and start five, easy-to-implement healthy habits before the end of the year. (Okay, you figured me out. I want you to start now because then it will be easy to carry these tips into the new year! I'm tricky like that when I try to make you healthier!) I promise that the following lifestyle changers are fun and they work towards making your entire family healthier, which is the best decade kick off of all.

Why don't you try....
*A pedometer. Wear one while you run around the house and your town. The great thing about wearing a pedometer is that you will naturally want to move more as you challenge yourself to get in more steps every single day. I know moms who never wore one and used to drive around the parking lot five times to find the best spot at Target. Now that they have the pedometer, they can't park far enough away in order to get in more steps. This is a great way to have your kids get in some extra steps everyday, too. Suddenly, you might find yourself walking them to the school instead of jumping in the car. It's a win-win situation. EXTRA PERK: You're also getting Vitamin D from walking if there is sunshine.

*Become a produce aisle princess. As a mom, your kingdom is the produce aisle of your local market. The idea is that you will add one new veggie each week into the family meals. You can do this in a covert way as you add zucchini to a certain dish or make it a fun game for the kids to help you pick something that looks fun to eat. Experiment and find ways to add eggplant, green and red peppers and even kale or brussel sprouts to the mix. Don't focus on how the new veggie might become a battle with the kids. Just ask them to try it ... but you must try it, too. You have to lead the way. EXTRA PERK: Veggies are a great way to save on your grocery bill because most are very economical.

*Get your zzzzs -- no matter what. It's tough for many moms to get quality sleep, but the first step is to be conscious that this is your quest. Your body needs to rejuvenate and repair -- and this is only done when you go through all the sleep cycles -- when you get seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night. From an early age, work towards not having your kids join you in bed or burst into your room unless it's an emergency. Explain to them how sleep is so important and that's the way everyone stays healthy. Set an alarm clock an hour before mommy needs to go to bed (and after junior is tucked in) to remind you as the parent to put down the laundry and stop straightening up. It's wind down time with a nice bath, a cup of hot tea or a boring book. Avoid stimulating activities like TV or phone calls or the Internet. EXTRA PERK: Your skin will look younger and brighter from all this quality sleep.

*Moms Just Want to Have Fun. As an important way to de-stress, you must incorporate fun into your life. Make an effort to find five to ten minutes a day to just blow off steam and do something to let it all go. I don't care if you have to write the time you will do this on a calendar and then check it off. Make sure you just do it! Dance around the living room. Sing along to Madonna in your loudest voice. Pretend that you're Lady Gaga and lip sync to her video. Go in the yard and chase the dog until both of you are breathless. Those few minutes of stress relief will take you a long way. EXTRA PERK: Your husband will see your sexy Fergie self -- and who knows what might happen!




next: Why I Ring in the New Year Three Hours Early
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