Good morning and Happy Monday! This is the first Monday of 2013. Are you ready? I am! It means my birthday is in just a few short days! What did you do this weekend? I spent my weekend cleaning and organizing – just what I had planned.
Today starts Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp Round 4. WOOHOO!!! This round she came up with a fitness test and progress table we can use. The fitness test was 5 different exercises that we completed for time or for reps in a particular time. Then we will test ourselves again halfway through and at the end. She also provided us a great progress table where we can track our weight, body fat, measurements, etc. on a weekly basis (if we want). I will be doing a weekly wrap to keep you posted on my progress. Today is a full body circuit with cardio intervals. I will be doing this at home this evening utilizing the elliptical.
I am excited to bring you a guest post about resolutions. I know we are all still thinking about them. Did you make realistic health and fitness goals?
Be Real About Resolutions: Foolproof Health & Fitness
Many of us go forward into the New Year making resolutions that this is the year we’ll finally get fit/eat less bad food/quit alcohol or cigarettes and generally look after ourselves more.
However, what sometimes happens is that even with the very best of intentions a few weeks in, we’ve fallen by the wayside or given up, mostly because the goals we’ve set ourselves are too much, too soon and quite simply unattainable.
This year, if you’ve made a resolution to look after yourself more, then start out right and you’re less likely to feel as though you can achieve anything. Here are a few ideas to help you set realistic health and fitness goals that can make the difference.
Maybe you’re completely new to the idea of exercising, but have noticed that over the last twelve months the pounds have really crept on, or that because of your job or lifestyle you’re increasingly sedentary.
Don’t set impossible goals: It’s so important not to say “I’m now going to start going to the gym every day!” because possibly, after two or three days, the novelty will have worn off, you may find it too hard, or you may even be trying so much that you put your body under a lot of unnecessary strain that can lead to injury.
Motivation: Very often the problem isn’t the motivation or the will to give it a try; it’s the actual goal itself, which may have been too hard in the first place. After being sedentary for some time, going to the gym and suddenly pounding the weights can be daunting. It’s important to start small and work your way up.
Start slowly: Instead of going to the gym, to up your fitness in the short term, plan to do twenty to thirty minutes walking three to four times a week. It requires no special clothing or expensive equipment. It’s something that can be done from work, from the home or anywhere in the neighbourhood and is an excellent way to quickly build up your stamina so that if you felt like it, you could tackle something a bit more challenging down the line, such as running, maybe using a treadmill or even trying cycling or swimming. Starting this way means you’re less likely to quit a few days in.
Again, with dieting, the focus should be on being realistic about what you want to achieve. A safe and recommended weight loss for anyone is one to two pounds per week. This ensures that firstly, the pounds and stones don’t fall off too quickly and that secondly, because it’s come off slowly and steadily, it’s less likely to be put back on, quickly, or at all.
Many New Year Diet Plans are unsuccessful because people feel so deprived. The first notion people have is to immediately ban anything they deem to be bad and start to live on salads, steamed vegetables, fish and chicken. The word “diet” makes people instantly feel hungry and want to head for the first fast food joint they see.
Avoid negatively toned phrases: Instead of using a phrase like “Over the next month, I’m going to lose a stone in weight”, say to yourself “Over the next month, I’m going to try to eat smaller portions at every meal and work a twenty minute walk into my routine three or four times a week. This is so I will feel fitter and look healthier”.
Don’t say “I’m never eating chocolate/chips/cheese/fast food again!” instead, say “I will enjoy all treats in moderation, I’ll savour a small amount and not beat myself up over it”.
Use a diary: Keep a daily diary of your food and the type of activity you’re doing to accompany it. Be completely honest about everything you eat. Doing this will encourage you to see how much you really are consuming and where any extra calories lie hidden that can be cut out. Very often, it isn’t always the main meals we eat that are a problem, it’s the snacks or the little extras we nibble during the day that can add up and simply cutting those out is enough to help us lose weight.
Quitting the bad stuff (but properly)
You may have also decided that in order to feel and look healthier this is the year you are going to stop smoking or drinking (or both). This is very commendable and is an excellent step towards becoming fitter. It’s important, with anything like this to work out a careful and workable plan that involves using good sensible quitting aids like nicotine patches and electronic cigarettes, or you might want to buy Chantix or another stop smoking drug to help you. Working out a regime like this means you’re more likely to stick to it because you have the right medical support. Take it one cigarette at a time and cut down gradually. The same goes for drinking; if you’ve been used to drinking large amounts of alcohol and then suddenly stop it can cause problems with irritability and tension. Tapering off slowly can really help stop cravings.
Remember: Quitting anything is tough and sometimes setbacks occur. The phrase “two steps forward, one step back” is hard to hear but is sometimes what happens when we try and stop drinking or smoking. It’s important to remember that these things happen and you can move on from them if they occur.
As with any of the above the message is the same; slow and steady wins the race and is better for both mind and body in the short and long term. Health and fitness choices should be made to suit you and your individual needs for now and for the future. Make a workable plan that you feel you can stick to and 2013 could be the year that you really make a difference to how you look and feel.
Author: Lily Grey is a freelance health writer working for a leading licensed care provider in the US. She strongly believes in helping people embrace healthy diets and exercise as prevention is way better than any cure.
How are your 2013 resolutions and/or goals going? Do you have your plan?
Enjoy your day!