Hey guys! How are you feeling now that the holidays are over? Do your skinny jeans still fit? I hope so!
I’m sure you’re starting to put your New Year’s health resolutions into place, but before you do, take a minute to consider these points:
Set sustainable goals: New Year’s resolutions always start out with good intentions, but typically go downhill after a few months. By then, spring is approaching…and then summer…and before you know it, you’re freaking out a week before vacation trying to get into bikini-body shape. Don’t let yourself get on that destructive (and exhausting!) cycle. Do it right from the beginning. Be realistic, figure out a sustainable plan and set small goals. Once you achieve them and feel confident that your new healthy habits are starting to “stick,” then think about what you want to work on next. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to do everything at once!
Make an exercise plan you’ll stick to: On that note, it’s important to devise a workout routine that you’ll not only enjoy, but keep up with in the long-term. I know that it’s an easy pattern to fall into, but here’s nothing worse than adopting an “all or nothing” mindset when it comes to exercise. You know the drill: Going from hitting the gym five times a week for a month to eventually not being able to find the time to lace up your sneakers.
If you’ve had trouble in the past sticking to a consistent workout routine, then first think about the types of exercise you like, or at the very least, don’t totally dread. (Yes, walking counts!) At the beginning of each week, pick two or three days that you will workout and stick to the plan. If something unforeseeable interrupts your scheduled workout, modify accordingly by doing a shorter workout at home or exercising on a different day. Don’t let a minor hiccup throw you off course! Once you get on a roll, add one day of exercise to each week.
If you’re already an avid exerciser, then think about how you will kick it up a notch. Throw in interval training to your treadmill runs or try a boot camp class at your gym. I get a lot of workout ideas from SarahFit.com and the Nike Training Club app. Lately I’ve also been enjoying the Jillian Michaels Buns & Thighs DVD at home— burn, baby, burn! Trust me, plyometrics and circuit training is the way forward — quick and effective — who doesn’t want that?
Eating: Please, friends, do not adopt bird-like eating habits or try a new fad diet this month. It won’t last. Plus, do you really want to feel like a failure for not being able to maintain unrealistic goals? After all, you already know how important it is to have a positive attitude when making eating changes.
Bounce back from last year’s holiday food fest (sugar cookies, peppermint bark, gingerbread — oh my!) by easing into healthier eating habits. Don’t try to change everything at once. Pick one thing to work on—emotional eating, consuming more veggies, snacking smarter, making time for breakfast—and focus on it until it becomes easier. (It will!) Prioritize your goals based on the ones that are most important to you, write a list, and then slowly work through them. Accept that it won’t be easy, brush yourself off when you take a step back and pat yourself on the back when you succeed. Follow these steps and you’ll get there!
Oh, and set yourself up for success by clearing out leftovers, cookies, chips and other tempting treats lurking in your kitchen. Don’t torture yourself by trying to resist them.You had your fill over the holidays, and you’ll have plenty of chances to indulge again, but now is the time to start fresh!
Cheers to health and happiness in 2013, readers! What are your health and fitness goals? How do you plan to reach them?
– ELLEN COLLIS
Ellen Collis is a blogger at Wannabe Health Nut and Health Coach in NYC, who graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free health consultation to discuss how she can assist you with your nutrition and lifestyle goals. She would love nothing more than to help you have more energy, feel fabulous in your own skin and live a healthy life that doesn’t require giving up your favorite foods.