It’s a new year and you’ve probably broken every resolution you made on New Year’s Eve. Don’t worry, you are in good company.
Statistics show that roughly a third of the population in the United States make resolutions for the new year.
Research also suggests that only 9% of Americans that make resolutions complete them, nearly 23% of people quit their resolution by the end of the first week and 43% quit by the end of January.
Most resolutions revolve around health and wellness followed by learning new hobbies or other self-improvement activities.
Emerging from the constraints of the recent pandemic many people wish to get out more and explore.
It’s not too late to get back on track and renew you in 2024.
You might have a goal to run your first marathon or climb Mt. Shasta. However, it’s important to take this kind of goal one step at a time, literally.
Walking is great exercise and extremely beneficial to overall health and wellness.
An article published March 2020 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that the more steps participants over age 40 took, the lower their mortality risk from all causes.
Taking into account factors such as the subjects’ health status, researchers discovered a 51% lower mortality risk for those who took 8,000 steps a day, compared with those who took 4,000. And the more the subjects walked, the greater the benefit. Increasing a stroll to 12,000 steps a day was linked to a 65 percent lower risk of death.
I have many friends who enjoy daily walks alone. They call it their “me time.” I prefer walking, and talking, with others.
The Walking Club at the Newhall Community Center meets weekly on Thursdays from 8:30 – to 9:30 a.m. for a weekly stroll around Old Town Newhall, weather permitting. Socialize with your neighbors and get energized for your day.
The walk starts at Newhall Community Center, 22421 Market St., strolling by Hart Park and Main Street and then walking to Old Town Newhall Library before returning to community center.
Participants will receive a tour of the Newhall Community Center and Old Town Newhall Branch during this guided walk. Learn more about both city facilities and the resources and classes available to you.
Wear comfortable shoes and clothes. No registration required. For information email fkafai@santa-
Self-care is the latest popular buzz word for the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness. There are many forms of self-care, both mental and physical.
One of the most beneficial practices of self-care is finding the right massage therapist and scheduling regular massage sessions.
Massage prompts the release of endorphins, the brain chemicals that produce feelings of wellbeing. Levels of stress hormones, such as adrenalin, cortisol and norepinephrine, are also reduced. In addition, massage encourages healthy blood flow and drainage of the lymphatic system which improves circulation, decreases muscle stiffness and joint inflammation, offers improved flexibility and results in better quality of sleep and strengthened immune response.
It may take visits to several therapists to find the right body worker for you.
Meditation is another self-care practice gaining in popularity. The benefits of meditation included reduced stress and anxiety, increased productivity and better breathing, all of which increases quality of life.
There are many types of meditation practices and numerous websites and phone apps that can guide you on your meditation journey.
If you are interested in making friends while being creative, consider joining the Sit and Stitch group at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library, 18601 Soledad Canyon Road 91351, on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 10 a.m. to noon.
Meet in the community room to work on any portable project while un-winding with other crafters, bring your own supplies and enjoy a morning of stitching.
Participants are also invited to create a blanket to donate to Project Linus. Project Linus’ mission is to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”
Explore other classes and book clubs available at the Santa Clarita Public Library branches in Canyon Country, Old Town Newhall and Valencia at www.santaclaritalibrary.com.
Giving back to your community or giving to others, offers tangible health benefits including improved self-esteem, a way to make new friends and increased feelings of self-worth.
A great way to connect to volunteer opportunities in the Santa Clarita Valley is to visit the city’s volunteer engagement website santaclarita
If you have a particular interest, like helping seniors, children or pets search out organizations like the SCV Senior Center, the Boys & Girls Club of SCV or the Castaic Animal Care Center for volunteer opportunities.
A New You
My favorite motivational say is: “Success is getting up one more time than you fall down.” It may take several tries before you are able to change old habits and see results in your quest to “renew you.”
In the words of Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”