Hands-up who is preparing to make a resolution to get fit?
Put them down, that’s enough exercise for today.
Now that Christmas has passed some of you are already planning your New Years Resolution. The New Year brings a renewed determination that this is the year to get fit and lose weight.
Unfortunately, New Year resolutions are notorious for not being carried through. They generally last just a few weeks, a month at most.
So how do you make the fitness bug stick for more than a week?
Let’s start by focusing on the importance of making healthy food choices and developing good physical activity habits. Every day for the month of January, try one simple get-healthier tip that you can incorporate into your everyday life. Let’s see how we feel at the end of the month.
Cheers to being healthy!
Cut Portions Down to Size
Read the serving size on labels (multiple servings are often included in one package) and learn what a proper portion looks like. A serving of meat, chicken or fish should be the size of a deck of cards.
Have a Healthy Breakfast
Research shows that people who shed the most pounds eat this a.m. meal religiously. Aim to have some lean protein (1 1/2 oz cheese, 2 slices turkey, 2 pieces turkey bacon), a little “good” fat (1 Tbsp olive or canola oil), and good carbs (whole grains like oatmeal). Try an egg white omelet stuffed with veggies and 1 1/2 oz lowfat cheese, or 1 cup lowfat yogurt with 1/3 cup granola.
Stop Eating After Dinner
After the kids are tucked away and the house is quiet, we’re tempted to reward ourselves with food. Instead of undoing your diet, reward yourself another way. Pick up the phone and have a chat with a friend, play Scrabble with your husband, or take a long, soothing bath.
Curb Afternoon Cravings
Late afternoon from about 3 p.m. until 5 is when you’re most likely to need an energy pickup. You’ll end up grabbing whatever’s easiest, so be prepared. Save half your lunch and have it now (half a turkey wrap, a small portion of grilled chicken on greens). That way, you won’t be ravenous by dinnertime.
Count your calories. For one day only, keep track of your calories so you can see if you’re over or under eating. Make necessary adjustments if needed.
Go for an evening walk to clear your mind. Take a friend, your spouse, your child or go alone. Whichever you choose, by getting outside you’re increasing your heart rate and releasing endorphins.
Eat fish for dinner. Seafood contains omega-3 fatty acids that help those who suffer from dry eyes and help reduce inflammation.
Spend less time being distracted. Let’s spend less time on social media. Instead, get outside and run around with your kids or have family game night and get out your boardgames!
Drink more water. Water helps keep you full and flushes out your system. Aim for 10 8-ounce glasses per day. If you exercise or drink caffeine (a diuretic), aim for 12 glasses.
Cut out emotional eating. If you’re stressed, bored or sad, do something, anything, other than snack. Go for a walk, call a friend, clean your house or indulge in your favorite TV show, just don’t eat!
Go to bed earlier. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night. You’ll feel more rested and be more energized, which leads to a much more productive day.
Laugh! Laughing boosts your immunity and is good for the soul. Surround yourself with friends that make you laugh or pop in a comedy in the DVD player.
Wash your hands more often. Washing your hands or using hand sanitizer helps prevent you from getting sick. Wash for at least 12 seconds.
Have a glass of green tea, it fights cancer and heart disease while also burning fat.
Make a smoothie. Add some spinach leaves for an extra boost and to improve eyesight. Smoothies are filling, low in fat and packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
Eat low-fat yogurt for breakfast. It’s low in calories, high in protein and helps burn fat. One of my favourites is greek yogurt with sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of stevia.
Do something for yourself. Treat yourself to a facial, manicure or pedicure. You deserve to spoil yourself every now and then.
If you’re a newbie to exercise, start with 10 to 15 minutes on a stationary bike two to three times this week. If you’re already active, do cardio three days a week, 30 minutes a day.
Strengthen Your Core
A strong core is central to just about everything: good posture, preventing back pain, flat abs. Planks:A super-simple, do-anywhere move that zips up your abs. Get into a full pushup position with your palms on the floor beneath your shoulders. Hold here for 30 seconds, with your abs contracted and your arms and legs extended and your head aligned with your spine. Do 3 sets of 30 second planks twice a week. As you build strength, hold this position longer, up to one minute.
Take a bath with lavender, so relax in the tub with a few drops of lavender oil. It reduces stress and will help you sleep better.
Add avocado to your favorite salad for lunch. Avocadoes are rich in vitamin E and monounsaturated fat, which both give you healthy, glowing skin.
Forgive someone. Forgiveness is the act of freeing yourself. If there’s a grudge you’ve been holding onto, let it go.
Cheat day! Eat your favorite food or dessert today. We all deserve a treat in the form of food every now and then.
Set a fitness goal and stick to it. Make the goal attainable, such as going for a walk on your break at work every day for a week or doing push-ups and crunches during the commercials of your favorite TV show.
Have a handful of your favorite nut, (10-15 nuts). Nuts contain the good fats, which help keep your waistline slim and promote alertness.
Think only positive thoughts by focusing on the good in life. Those who think positively have stronger immune systems, handle stress better, are less likely to experience depression and live longer lives.
Add cinnamon to your coffee this morning. Cinnamon controls insulin spikes, which helps reduce your appetite.
Get a massage. It reduces back pain, releases built-up tension and helps with anxiety and stress.
Cook with garlic. When making dinner, throw in some garlic to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, strengthen your immune system and detoxify your body.
Don’t drink any calories today. Opt for water, black coffee or green tea instead of juice, milk or lattes. There’s up too 400 calories in a speciality coffee.
Do something kind for someone else. Doing things for others actually decreases our own stress levels and improves our health. Buy lunch for a co-worker, pay for the person’s drink behind you in the Starbucks drive-through or simply make your husband’s favorite dinner. Random, simple acts of kindness go a long way.