With the new year ringing in many of us are planning a healthier lifestyle in 2018. Eating healthier and exercise are among the top resolutions that everyone would like to achieve. Good news, you can do this with these simple tips!
Here are some ideas to keep in mind, and helpful tips to not let yourself get discouraged with these common healthy resolution breakers.
#1 I don’t have time/childcare/energy to workout.
Research shows that people who work out in the morning are more likely to stick to their routines because its easier to find uninterrupted time then. Imagine having a magical hour of quiet and calm where you can do your exercise, make your coffee and relax. If you’re a stay at home Mamma, I hear you, it’s hard to think of excercise when your sleep deprived. If your baby is sleeping (or semi) through the night, try waking up 1 hour before they do. To begin to shift to an earlier Am activity, slowly move your wake up time in small increments. Start with a 20 minute shift in your normal wake time. If you exercise for only 10 minutes at first, that’s great, it’s the routine that counts for now! When the new earlier schedule feels comfortable, set the clock back 20 minutes more. You can also go to bed a little earlier to keep your sleeping hours in tact. I have found some great videos on You Tube that are perfect for short Am workouts (Tara Stiles has a great wake up yoga routine). You may want to just do 30 minutes of Yoga or head out for a jog around the block. Trust me even 10 minutes a day will show results if done consistently. And finally giving yourself something to look forward to at the end of your workout (it’s coffee) can be a powerful motivator!
#2 Too tired or hungry after work to work out.
If you’re not a morning person, the next best time to workout is right after work. The trick is don’t go home first. Bring your workout bag to work and go directly to the gym. Try to think of it as part of your work day and non-negociable. If you can hit the gym for 20-30 minutes only make it count with a cardio workout. The solution to giving yourself enough energy to hit the gym after work is to have a protein snack before you workout. A portion of seeds, nuts, cheese or humus and whole wheat crackers balances protein, fiber and carbs (Sugary snacks, including fruit, can make some people feel more hungry instead of less) Drink lots of water with your snack, since its possible to confuse hunger with thirst.
Tip: Gain more ‘workout time’ by planning freezer meals or slow cooker dinners on work out days.
#3 Intimidated by the Gym
Buy some new workout clothes that you feel great it. Clip back your hair and put on some music and go for it. If the equipment is intimidating to you, ask a trainer for an introductory session. Many gyms offer this for free with a workout plan that’s tailored to what results your working towards achieving. Working out once with a trainer is a great way to learn how to use new machines and try fitness aids such as a stability ball that you may have overlooked.
#4 Discouraged by not seeing results.
Feeling like a hamster on a wheel? You may need to change your routine. To mix things up, alternate visits to the gym with a new class or activity that keeps you motivated and using different muscle groups. During an aerobic workout, you should feel like your pushing yourself at a level 7 on a scale of 1-10. Most experts say it takes typically 4-6 weeks to start to see results, though it is possible to tone up more quickly. The key is to increase both the intensity and frequency of your workouts. If you jog, try adding 15 minutes to your usual route and vary your pace. Swimming and aqua aerobics are amazing workouts, I always find that being in the water gives the quickest results!
Tip: Try writing a Post- it note to yourself and stick it on your bathroom mirror. List all the benefits of a healthier lifestyle: More energy,better sleep, healthy skin, more calm, more alert etc.
#5 I don’t have time to prepare healthier foods.
If you can start incorporating new healthy recipes a few times a week you will get the hang of making these new recipes in larger portions and then freezing them. I am all for freezer meals and pre-prepping! If you can adopt a rule of ‘cook once eat 3 times’ your life will be a lot easier! I love easy nights where I can pull something delicious out of the freezer and simply reheat it. Say yes in 2018 to less cooking and less cleaning! There are many great tutorials on Pinterest on how to prepare healthy Slow cooker and freezer meals.
Tip: If you have a few friends who are also planning a healthier 2018, try meal swapping with each other. This is a great way to motivate each other to continue healthy eating (It works best between 4-6 friends) You’ll have more variety to choose from and less cooking!
#6 Smoothies and soup take too long to prepare
Smoothies are so easy to prepare if you pre-cut all the fruit and veggies once a week and store in ziplock bags in the freezer. In the AM just shake some into your Vitamix (A must have for sticking to a healthy diet!) with a little yogurt or almond milk add ice and your drinking a smoothie in less than 1 minute. You can also cook hot soups, dips and frozen deserts in a Vitamix in under 4 minutes. Fresh, fast and delicious and frozen soups make a wonderful and healthy lunch.
Good luck in 2018, Your healthiest year yet!