Does it really matter if it’s a new year? … I know, we all have a little more motivation after the Holidays to start anew on our goals – especially when it comes to our health and fitness.
“Now that the Holidays are over, it will be easier to stay focused and eat right and get fit”. How many times have we said that to ourselves? …. 😉
Truth is, it doesn’t really matter what time of year it is. We can start at anytime, but if you are like many people, setting goals – especially overly ambitious ones that are almost impossible to achieve does nothing but de-motivate us after a short period of time.
So let’s be realistic about what we want to achieve – starting now.
How out of shape are you? When was the last time you were active on a regular basis? Can you walk around your neighborhood or the shopping mall at a fairly quick pace and not get out of breath? … So much of your next step is dependent on your answers to these basic questions.
If it’s been a while since you “moved”, then simply start walking every day. it doesn’t matter whether it’s morning, lunch or evening. Just start walking to slowly build up your cardio and breathing. At the same time, if you are like most people, eat smaller portions. When you go out to eat, only eat half of your meal and bring home the other half for dinner or lunch the next day. Not only will it save you money, but your calorie intake will decrease. Also, don’t drink sodas. Drink unsweet tea or lemon water. Consider finishing off your “half meal” with a cup of coffee if you want to feel more “full”.
Have you every got tired of the same workout all the time? Change it up. Start by walking, but add in bicycle rides, or even better yet, join a local gym and attend 3 times a week. There will be enough equipment to work out with that you don’t have to do the same thing every single day.
Start with slow cardio workouts, then add strength building workouts, but don’t over extend yourself and get injured. There is no rush. Remember the old saying, “Inch by inch, it’s a cinch”.
If you miss a workout time, don’t sweat it. Just pick it back up on the next day, or simply go for a walk. The big secret is to keep moving.
A quick note about diet. Reduce or nearly eliminate the excess sugar in our American diet. Also, drastically reduce the number of processed foods you eat each day. I am not saying you can’t have a bit of chocolate, but only eat half a candy bar, and leave the other for tomorrow. Of course, it’s better if you don’t eat it at all, or switch to 80% dark chocolate as a substitute, but the main idea is to stop eating all the sugary snacks. An example is: If you are used to having a bowl of ice cream each night, then use a small bowl instead of the big bowl.
One last thing about your diet. Eat more protein – mainly from meats, and don’t cut out all the meat fat. It’s the lack of natural fats in our diet that increases our desires to eat more sugars to make up for what our bodies are craving.
- Start slowly – walk, and focus of cardio and breathing.
- Start eating smaller portions, and when you do eat out, only eat half.
- Slowly add in strength building.
- Don’t do the same thing day after day. Mix up what you do. Joining a local gym can help with this.
- Cut out or greatly reduce most unnecessary sugars – sodas, snacks, etc..
- Eat more animal based protein with natural fats.
- Don’t punish yourself mentally if you stop for a week, or two, or three. Simply get up the next morning and get moving again.
Becoming more fit and healthy isn’t really all that difficult. But you do have to stay with it, and faltering for a few days, or even weeks, doesn’t negate or mean you are a failure. We all have things in our lives we don’t get done.
Wake up and get going again.
Photo by Anastasia Hisel on Unsplash