To start the New Year everybody seems to get on this healthy kick. Whether it’s based on a New Year’s resolution or simply from the need to detox from all the food and drinks that the holidays offered. The word out of everybody’s mouth is…”Let’s start off the year on the right foot!”
Gyms tend to fill up, diet programs find new members. When February comes along, the voices seems quieter and the motivation has already disappeared for many.
Are you feeling a little frustrated and tired of taking steps back instead of forward?
Here are 5 tips to help you on your health journey:
Sounds simple, right? Walking is a totally accessible exercise that does wonders for your overall health. The trick is that you have to do it often, like every day. Walking is one of the most effective low-impact way to change your body composition.
You have to create a routine. Find a time that works for you. I love to walk as soon as my kids get on the bus in the morning. Maybe that is not doable for you but you need to find a time that works. Maybe you have to wait until the kids are in bed if your partner is home. If going outside is not possible, you may want to invest in a treadmill.
Making good food decisions in the morning is really important. Do you skip breakfast? Stop at the drive thru? or are you still stuck on the North American standard breakfast? If you said yes to any of these questions, it’s time to focus on the most important meal of the day! Not eating breakfast is not an option. If you are not hungry in the morning, eat at least something small. You need something in your belly to kick start your metabolism. Personally, I love smoothies. They are easy and you can take them if you are in a rush. Eggs are a good option as is oatmeal.
Taking a few moments to slow down and focus on the present will help you reduce your stress level. High stress means high cortisol levels and that is the hormone that leads you to make bad food choices. When cortisol levels are high, your body craves fatty food which leads to extra weight around your waistline. Meditation can take many forms. It’s about finding what works for you. I love to be outdoors. It helps me to take a few minutes to breath fresh air, feel the wind and the sun on my skin. That connection to the elements helps me calm down and feel more relaxed. I invite you to experiment and see what works for you. I am hosting a mindfulness challenge this coming March, perhaps you want to take this opportunity to learn and create your own practice.
4- STRENGTH TRAINING
Adding some strength training, even 5 minutes a day can help you lose the extra few pounds that are driving you nuts. For me, a home workout is the easiest way to make it work in my life. Getting out at night is often challenging for my family life . The home routine works for my life. You don’t need a full home gym, I suggest you get a few basic things like dumbbells and elastics bands. You really don’t need much to obtain the results that you are after. A combo of squats, planks, bicep curls, tricep exercises and lunges can help you reach your goals as long as you get it in regularly. (5-10 mins a day is fantastic!)
Are you drinking enough water? You should aim for approximately 8 cups per day.
Start your day with a large cup with some fresh lemon juice. That gives your liver a good start. From there, use a bottle and set your targets so you know how much to drink. Water is essential to keep your organs healthy and it helps you flush the toxins from your body. Water also helps to reduce food cravings. Let go of juice and pop and focus on water! You can always infuse your water with citrus, berries or herbs if you are looking for more flavour.
I invite you to pick at least 1 of these tips this week. When you select one, write it down or tell someone close to you that you are making a commitment. Don’t worry about changing everything at the same time. Start with 1 step, it is the best way to build habits that last. Focus on the mindset that this is a lifestyle change and not a short term diet. Decide that this is the last time you are “starting” this. You can totally rock this out and make 2017 the start of a healthy life.