Everyone starts the year with the best intentions to eat better and exercise more. All of our local gyms are PACKED because we are committed to making 2015 the year we finally master our health.
Unfortunately, in about a month or two, the gyms will be less crowded and people will have already burned out on their commitment. In fact, 80 percent of those who make New Year’s resolutions have failed by January 20. It is nothing to be ashamed of because we have all been there. BUT let’s do something different this year – let’s aim for results that last more than a month.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
TIP 1: SET A LASTING GOAL
One of the biggest problems with New Year’s Resolutions is that they are not sustainable. If you say you want to quit eating sugar, this will probably last a month if you’re lucky. And, on that day you ultimately break down and eat sugar, you will give up entirely on your goal. Becoming healthy is about making positive changes for life. It is not about setting up temporary goals or a strict regime and it is not about punishing yourself. So, this year, choose to develop a healthy lifestyle for life. Set yourself up for success and don’t punish yourself if you make a mistake along the way.
TIP 2: MAKE IT DO-ABLE
Living a healthy life is all about balance. Setting up a strict exercise regimen for the year is not the way to get healthy. Just because you do two hours of intense cardio a day does not cancel out the effects of eating junk food all day or that splurge on sugary or alcoholic drinks. Instead, work on a making sure you have a healthy balance of exercise and eating right. Get some sort of physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day and make sure you incorporate some healthy foods daily. You’ll get a lot further by taking small, consistent steps every day than you will taking big strides haphazardly.
TIP 3: SKIP THE DIET
Whatever you do this year, do not go on a “diet”. They don’t work! Forcing yourself to eat certain things and punishing yourself for eating others puts your body into a stressed state. When this happens we don’t feed our bodies properly AND we are more likely to store fat. Instead of eliminating foods, try ADDING better foods into your daily diet. Try adding more vegetables and healthy grains. Believe it or not, when you do this your body will naturally start to crave these healthier foods and will stop craving sugar and junk foods.
TIP 4: FOCUS ON STRESS MANAGEMENT
Most of us focus our efforts on diet and nutrition, but one of the biggest influences on our health is stress. All our positive exercise and nutrition efforts go down the drain when we keep our bodies in a stressed state. When we are in a stress response mode, our bodies are unable to properly digest and assimilate nutrients. So, don’t just focus on food and exercise. Make sure you prevent as much stress from entering your life as possible. When you do end up in stress (which is okay, it will happen) give yourself time to do whatever helps you de-stress – whether it be yoga, a walk, a trip to the beach, spending time with loved ones, etc.
If you make these four areas your focus this year, not only will you set yourself up for a healthy 2015, but also for an entire lifetime of constantly improving health.
Tyler Smith is a Personal Trainer, Holistic Health Coach and Eating Psychology Coach. She can be reached at www.tylerkwellness.com or email@example.com.
PHOTO CREDIT: BazaarBizarreSF