Many people wait until the New Year to make their resolutions and hop on the treadmill. By then, you may have already gained several holiday pounds. If your resolution is to get healthy, you may find yourself among the more than 80% of resolution breakers. If loosening your belt for another consecutive year doesn?t sound like much fun, start getting healthy right now.
Check Food Portions
Even if you?re pretty sure you know how much you should be eating, it?s good to brush up on proper portion sizes. You can start by reading the raw numbers online. Keep a quick reference printout in your wallet or purse or grab an app like PhotoCalorie?. The app lets you reference and create photos of portion sizes, so you can estimate your portion sizes more accurately without a scale or measuring cups.
Get More Active
Whether you workout for an hour each day or you haven?t seen the inside of a gym in five years, your health will benefit from increasing your daily activity level. Americans spend several hours per day sitting. The more consecutive hours you spend on your tush, the worse the effects on your health become. It doesn?t replace regular exercise, but increased activity can burn calories, improve circulation, even lower your risk of death. Commit to taking the stairs at work every day. If you spend most of your work time sitting, remember to take a break every hour to move around. Set a reminder on your phone or laptop to let you know when it?s time to stand.
Pack Your Lunch
Skip ordering lunch at work and you?ll save money and calories. Tried this one before and couldn?t stick to it very long? Many of us have tried to pack lunch only to get bored with the same three sandwiches. Try sites like Yummly and Pinterest to find ideas for simple, healthy lunches. If you can?t possibly manage to brown bag it, check out the nutrition information for your favorite takeout dishes, then make yourself a list of healthier choices.
Stretch Every Morning
In the minutes after waking, perhaps when you usually shuffle to the coffee pot, work on adopting this habit. Spend just ten or 15 minutes of your morning stretching. It will help boost circulation, loosen muscles, increase range of motion, and give you a little boost of energy. Stretching in the morning, before you?ve been active, means you have to be careful not to injure yourself. Do not bounce. Don?t push yourself to pain. Check with your doctor to find safe stretches if you have previous injuries or health concerns. Otherwise, you?ll find many morning stretching and yoga routines available for free on YouTube.
Make it a Habit
When you?ve identified the healthy behaviors you want to adopt, make them part of your lifestyle with practice. Try using an app, such as Way of Life, to keep track of your practice and goals every day. Choose a trigger, an event you associate with the new behavior. Be accountable with a loved one or your friends and family on social media. Posting your brags and screw ups for the world to see will help you stay motivated to keep practicing your new, healthy habits.
Waiting until the new year to make changes keeps you unhealthy longer. Nobody wants that. Make those changes now and avoid the pressure of keeping a resolution. You?ll be able to focus on cementing your healthy habits into your daily routine. Good luck!