Over the last few weeks, I have many posts on social media regarding the “Resolutioner-s” and the influx of people in the gyms. I confess, I am one of the people that got annoyed when the gym went from empty on December 31st to packed on January 1st. On New Years Day when I walked in the gym to do some cardio, I cursed under my breath as I waited for a piece of equipment. I didn’t even care which one–I just wanted to use something.
Yesterday I was watching Kelly and Michael as I did intervals on the AMT trainer and Jeff Garlin, the guy who plays the father in The Goldbergs was on the show. Kelly mentioned how he lost weight and asked for some tips since they try to promote health in January and February on the show. His first statement: why only January and February?
I almost did a fist pump.
Why does health have to start as a New Years Resolution? Why can’t someone start today, tomorrow, on a random Wednesday in May? Why is it so all or nothing? People go to the gym for 10 days in a row, eat healthy then “indulge” in a brownie one night after dinner and say it’s ruined. The next day they go back to their old habits.
Health isn’t so cut and dry. It doesn’t mean you can’t have treats, or that you have to go to the gym every.single.day. It’s a lifestyle that changes as you do and needs to be integrated into your life instead of controlling it.
1. Plan to Eat
I was always the person that said no to food prep but lately, I’ve realized how much it truly does help. Roast up some vegetables, cook up some proteins and keep plenty of the foods you need to succeed in the house. Lately I’ve been cooking some butternut squash, sweet potatoes and chicken and keeping it on hand. I also always have plain Greek yogurt, peanut butter, rice cakes and oatmeal. I usually have a few Quest bars on hand to throw in my bag. Don’t keep food in your house that you don’t want to eat. Plain and simple. Whether this is chips or candy bars, don’t buy them the next time you hit the store. Also, if you know you’re going to be out for a while, either pack something to eat or have something before you leave. It will keep you from grabbing convenience snacks when you’re starving.
2. Plan to Exercise
Exercise is a part of my lifestyle everyday. The same way I plan on going to work or school, I plan to go to the gym at a certain time each day. Knowing what time I am going to the gym each morning makes it a happy part of my day. I also change it up so that it doesn’t become a chore. Set exercise into your schedule just as you would anything else. Whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour, every minute counts. If you can’t get to the gym or do a real workout a few times a week, take a brisk walk, do some squats or jumping jacks to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing.
I am a person that never wants to take a day off from the gym. Sometimes I forget that I’ve worked out without a day off for 2 weeks in a row. This might seem like a good thing but it could actually hinder progress. Your muscles recover the most when you take a rest day, as does your mind. Taking a day off doesn’t mean you have to sit around all day. Take a walk with the dogs or do some stretching to allow your body to reset. If you feel sick, take a day off and don’t stress about it. It can be easy to feel guilty when you can’t work out but that feeling isn’t good. Taking one day off when you don’t feel well is better than spending a week out of commission when you get too run down.
4. Be a Little Flexible
This is something I personally struggle with the most. Being healthy doesn’t mean perfection. Your body won’t crumble if you miss a workout, eat something that you might not normally eat or every treadmill is full and you usually only run. Health isn’t just about your body, it’s about your mind too. Being rigid only creates a disconnect between your brain and the rest of you which in turn, makes you unhealthy. Health is a balance. You can reach and obtain your goals without ruining your life.
5. Change It Up (+Research)
Doing the same thing every day can get a little boring, no matter what it is. Look for fun recipes or play around and create your own. Try a class at the gym or look for some new routines to try. Do intervals one day and weight machines another day. Eat broccoli one day and cauliflower the next. Experiment with different methods and beliefs. Read websites, blogs, books. Set goals and try to reach them on your own. Monotony is the number one way to prevent you from making a lifestyle change and new habits. Spend time learning, get interested, incorporate new things, make the family join you. HAVE FUN.