Make the most of your workout!
Rather than make resolutions you may never keep, start January off thinking of new ways to do things. After all, they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome – right? So here are 12 tips I can offer for your 2012. Try just one or two and see what a difference they make in your health!
1. Drink more water – I’m sure this is not news to you, but water is the best thing you can add to your diet! Water detoxifies the body, helps your body absorb nutrients, and helps your metabolism – just to name a few benefits. How much? Divide your body weight by 2 to find the # of ounces you should drink per day (eg. a 150 lb person should drink 75 oz/day)
2. Track your daily calories – Studies show that those who write down and monitor their caloric intake lose and maintain weight better than those who don’t. Use a free site like Fatsecret.com
3. Plan your meals weekly – Pick one day a week to sit down and map out your weekly (healthy) meal plan. Then make a list and shop for everything at once. Having all your ingredients at home, ready to go will help you stay on track with healthy eating – you’re much less likely to eat out if you’ve got all that food at home going to waste.
4. Plan your workouts weekly – Similar to #3, choose one day a week to map out when you will workout and what you will do. If you use a scheduler at work (such as Microsoft Outlook), make appointments for your workouts. If you have a specific plan, you will be far more likely to stick to it.
5. Eat more veggies – Commit to eating at least 5 veggies (or more!) each day. Veggies will not only fill you up for very little calories, but also provide your body with the nutrients it craves.
6. Eat fruit for breakfast and snacks – Fruit is good. Don’t believe all the hype that fruit contains sugar so it’s bad – it’s NOT! Fruit, like veggies, provides you with the vitamins your body needs for health and longevity. The only difference with veggies is that fruit is a simple carb – so it’s higher in calories per volume and will not sustain you for as long as veggies. So work fruit in at specific times like breakfast and snacks.
7. Try something new – If you’ve always wanted to try Step, or Zumba, or Body Pump – now’s the time! Give yourself something new and fun to look forward to in the new year.
8. Make yourself a “Star Chart” – remember these in school? If you’ve never done one, try it. Set up a grid with a few goals (like the 7 above!) or even just 1 goal such as your size, fat % or weight. Set Milestones approximately 2-4 weeks apart and rewards (not food related!) such as a pedicure, new pair of shoes/clothing, massage, etc… Track your progress and reward as you go.
9. Read at least one book on health or fitness – knowledge is power, so arm yourself with some new information. My favorites include: The Abs Diet for Women any of The Eat Clean Diet and The New Rules of Lifting for Women.
10. Know your body fat %, and where it should be – There is a lot of evidence that suggests body fat % is a far more accurate predictor of health than weight. You’ve heard the term “skinny fat” – someone who is small but with a high % of body fat. Body fat is unhealthy – so know what yours is and where it should be. You can measure your body fat on your own (see here) but it’s a lot of math. My advice is to make an appointment with your doctor, personal trainer, or a nutritionist to help.
11. Be average – do 30 minutes of activity daily, 5 times/week. Believe it or not, that is the going recommendation from the CDC and other expert organizations like it. That is, 150 minutes of activity for EVERY adult – which is best done evenly over 5 days (30 min/day). Want to be better than average? GREAT! Do more and you will.
12. Find your motivation – I’ve written about this before but it bears a repeat. What do you like to do? What inspires you? If you hate the gym – don’t go! Find a sport, or other activity you like to do and do it. Don’t like anything? How about walking around your neighborhood to some tunes you love. Whatever it is, find it and DO IT!! Your body will thank you.
Okay that’s a long list. Let me repeat find just 2 or 3 (or more) things here that resonate with you and you will be healthier this year than last. You ready? Do it!