The beginning of the year always starts off with so much ambition and motivation to be healthy. Unfortunately, after entering the second quarter it seems like everything begins to slack and the promises you made yourself on New Year’s Eve are out the door. If you know this to be true, do not fret! The year is not over yet and you still have plenty of time to get back on track this summer! Here are a few ways to help you make your fitness goals a permanent behavior.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but with the hustle and bustle of daily living, it can be hard to muster up the energy to go to the gym after a hard day's work. That’s why it’s important that you look for creative ways to exercise and make it a point to always change up your routine so exercise becomes more of a habit for you and less of a chore! A way to get a quick bout of exercise in when you are at work is to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Climbing stairs gets your blood circulating, increases your heart rate and burns calories. On your lunch break, briskly walk up and down a flight of stairs for 30 minutes for a quick, effective mid-day workout. Even just a 10 minute walk after work or on your lunch break will not only help you clear your mind and help you focus, with time, you'll notice small changes in your body.
Keep in mind that boredom is the number one killer of all fitness and health-related goals. If you found that at the beginning of the year you couldn’t stay committed to your routine, then it’s time to look at your options! Keep your routine interesting by signing up for new classes and methods of exercise or hire a personal trainer to help hold you accountable. Taking a weekly spin class or signing up to run a 5k with a group of friends will undoubtedly keep you on your toes and help you smash your goals! You should also try to incorporate a mind-body practice into your regimen such as yoga or meditation. These two practices will reduce stress, enable you to think clearly to make better decisions, and increase your self-awareness.
Eat a Healthy Diet
It’s been said that the results are made in the kitchen, not in the gym, and it’s true! What you eat directly affects your body’s functionality and the way it looks. If weightloss is your goal or you just want to increase your health in general, then there are certain foods and beverages that you need to limit or steer clear of completely. If you’ve fallen off the healthy eating wagon or you never had healthy dietary habits, now is the time to start fresh. Cut back on refined sugars, overly processed foods, caffeine and alcohol. Drinking alcohol occasionally in moderation is fine, but if you find yourself drinking often because you are stressed or unhappy, make an effort to incorporate healthy alternatives into your lifestyle such as massage, yoga, walking, and meditation to avoid the risk of forming addictive behaviors. Your diet should be rich in green, leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, lean proteins like salmon and tuna, nuts, beans and legumes (depending on what diet plan you follow and your allergies).
Remember the Benefits
The benefits of a healthy lifestyle stretch far beyond physical appearance. Working out regularly and receiving regular massage and bodywork reduces stress and depression because of the positive endorphins that it releases. Also when you make the choice to fuel your body with good food and exercise, you become more confident in yourself and what you’re capable of. Creating healthy habits also rubs off on others around you! You will find that your children or spouse will begin to follow your lead and start to make healthier choices as well!
Don’t let a misstep in your New Year’s resolution deter you from making the lifestyle changes that you want. The year is still young and you have plenty of time to make this your healthiest, most active year yet! So whether you’ve taken a week, a month, or even a couple of months off from healthy eating, exercise, and self-care, now’s the time to get back to a good routine.