– Healthy Monday 2012 tips now available –

Newswise — Nearly 45 percent of Americans will make one or more New Year’s resolutions this year. Health-related promises such as losing weight, exercising and quitting smoking tend to top the list, but how many will actually succeed? Unfortunately, studies show that many of us will fall off after the first week and nearly half will break their resolutions within the year. If you’re one of those individuals, there is a simple strategy that could increase your odds for success: Make Monday the day to recommit to your resolution, evaluate progress and set your goals for the coming week.

“We think of Monday as the January of the week,” says Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit initiative in association with Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse Universities. “It’s a call to action built into every calendar, giving you 52 chances for success.”

Evidence suggests that Monday may indeed be the most effective day to reach people with health messages. A nationwide survey conducted by FGI Research for The Monday Campaigns found that most of us see Monday as the day for a fresh start: it’s when we’re most likely to quit smoking, start a diet or begin an exercise regimen.

Monday Campaigns’ public health researcher Morgan Johnson also noticed a “Monday surge” in behaviors such as calling tobacco quit lines and searching for health-related information on the Internet. Johnson concludes “people are clearly open to engaging in healthy behaviors on Monday, so it makes a good nudge day to help people stay on track.” Starting each week with a reminder may offer an added boost for healthy behavior. A literature review conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that weekly messaging can help change behaviors like diet and physical activity. In addition, the FGI survey indicates that 74% of people thought a Monday start would help them follow through on their health intentions for the week.

With New Year’s on its way, The Monday Campaigns is offering 52 Healthy Monday tips from leading public health experts. Individuals can sign up for the tips via e-mail, or get support from the Healthy Monday communities on Facebook and Twitter. “We hope people take advantage of the program by checking in each week, sharing their progress and inviting their friends, family and co-workers to join in,” Lerner says. “Together we can have a better 2012 by making Monday the day all health breaks loose!” 52 Free Healthy Monday Tips (see January example below)

Note to Editor:Health & lifestyle media representatives can receive a PDF or website widget of the 52 Healthy Monday Tips upon request. Share the tips with your readers each Monday, or use them as the basis for weekly editorial content. Twitter-sized tips are also available to share on social media. Engage consumers online by inviting them to offer their own tips or share stories about their progress. See contact information for your request. Consumers can access the Healthy Monday Tips by following the campaign on Twitter @healthymonday and liking their page on Facebook www.facebook.com/HealthyMonday. Healthy Monday January 2nd TipA Bite in the Right DirectionIncorporating new habits into your daily life takes work, so aim for progress, not perfection! Start with small changes that you can easily fit into your daily routine and go a little further each week. Swapping a breakfast Danish for whole grain cereal, having water instead of soft drinks with meals, picking veggies as a side dish or trying fruit for dessert are all doable actions that will lead to long term results. Look at your usual eating habits and commit to one “swap out” this week. Make sure your new habit is something that you can integrate seamlessly into your routine. Use your New Year’s momentum to consider other situations where you could easily make a change.Twitter Version:

A Bite in the Right Direction: Start this Monday w a simple diet swap. Look at your routine this week & see where you can fit more.

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Healthy Monday Two Literature Reviews by Jillian Fry, MPH and Roni Neff, PhD, MS, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (Fall 2010)