Getting a head start on your new year’s resolutions might just be the biggest gift you give to yourself this holiday season. For many people, resolutions tend to be about health, from starting an exercise routine to losing weight. These local experts are ready to help you reach your wellness goals with these five ways to kick of the new year right.
1. Join a Group Class
Working out in a group setting can keep you motivated (not only because members can encourage each other, but they can hold each other accountable for coming to classes). Core Pilates in Greenwich, CT, offers group classes (bundle rates available) on the specialized reformer and tower equipment with a ratio of five students to one instructor. “The sessions offer a challenging total body workout focusing on the development of core strength and the elongation of your muscles,” says co-owner Kristen LeClair. And at the Rye, NY, location, devotees can try their detoxing infrared sauna to unwind (and warm up!) this winter.
2. Put a Skin Check on your Calendar
An annual check-up with a general physician or gynecologist is great, but don’t forget to book one with a dermatologist, too, because with early detection outcomes dramatically improve and treatment is easier and less invasive. “A dermatologist can identify concerning lesions early so they can be treated without any cutting,” says Elizabeth Gaines-Cardone, dermatologist at Connecticut Dermatology Group, which has locations in Stamford, Greenwich, Milford, and Norwalk. “Dermatologist are also great resources for general skin health and can make recommendations about soaps, moisturizers and sunscreens that are best for each skin type.” Tanning beds have been on dermatologists’ no-go list for a long while. But if you’re keeping your tan going through winter by fake baking, consider Zen Bronze in Westport and Riverside, CT, where pigment comes from organic ingredients. Their unique Express Airbrush Glow treatment allows clients to shower in as little as an hour hour after getting a spray tan.
3. Mix Up Your Workouts
Cross-training not only challenges your body in new ways, keeping you healthier and trimmer, but it can also prevent injury (which in turn helps you avoid having to miss workouts and lose ground on progress). Pilates is a great low-impact example. “Pilates is both a self-sustained exercise system as well as a great adjunct to other exercise approaches, such as running, personal training or yoga,” says Tara Gibson, Pilates Partner with Elite Health Services in Old Greenwich and Westport, which has private sessions and monthly group mat class memberships. Another built-in way to cross-train is doing a boot camp, which utilizes different muscle groups while combining core and stability exercise with cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Peak Physique, in Greenwich, CT, has a popular one that can be customized to each person’s needs (prices vary) and has nutritionists and massage therapists on staff to help you achieve overall health. “We increase a person’s functionality so they are able to do outside activities without the fear of injury,” says Dominic Novak, owner of Peak Physique.
4. Get Screened for Oral Cancer
This test takes moments to do at your dental checkup, but could be life-saving. Approximately 45,750 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2015, according to The Oral Cancer Foundation. “Early detection has minimally invasive treatment options and can be screened with use of the Velscope and HPV testing. If detected early, oral cancer has a survival rate above 80%,” says Dr. David Zadik of Greenwich Dental Group (dentalinformation.com) in Greenwich, CT.
5. Get Help With Weight Loss
Accountability is half the battle in weight loss. Programs like the new medically supervised one at Versailles Medical Spa of Darien, CT, can help you develop a plan and then stay on it (the hard part). The program entails a medical pre-assessment, one-on-one consultation, blood work and EKG, before experts develop a regimen of meal plans, appetite suppressants (if appropriate), vitamins, probiotics and weekly check-ins. “Not only do we provide the medical tools necessary for weight loss, we also provide the weekly coaching and encouragement one simply doesn’t have when dieting on their own,” says Versailles Medical Spa owner Marie Saade.