“The attraction of New Year is this: the year changes and in that change we believe that we can change with it. It is far more difficult however to change yourself than turn the calendar to a new page. We are creatures of faith, like it or not.” ― R. Joseph Hoffmann
Many people are a little too exuberant when it comes to health and fitness goals for the new year. Although it’s helpful to be excited and motivated when setting weight loss goals, running your first marathon, or going after those six-pack abs; it’s important to put some thought into how to achieve those goals. If you’re not careful, you can end up with an injury that will put you on the sidelines for weeks or even months.
So go ahead and set those goals for the new year, but follow these tips to help you along your health and fitness journey.
Hire or consult a fitness professional if you are new to exercise or have existing medical issues. You can’t put a price on your health. Therefore, think of hiring a personal trainer as an investment in your health. A fitness professional can design an appropriate workout for your fitness level. Additionally, they can show you proper form, weight selection, and execution of the exercises in your program. This will provide you with a good base knowledge so that you can continue on your own and gradually build strength and stamina.
Make sure to include a warm-up and cooldown. It’s easy to pull a muscle if you neglect warming up when exercising. Muscles need to be prepared for work and the warm-up should be tailored to your workout. For instance, If you are running, it would be appropriate to walk on a treadmill and then perform some active stretching to prepare you for the run. If you are doing a weight workout, it’s important to warm up all the major muscle groups before lifting weights. Bodyweight exercises such as squats and pushups are great exercises to prepare the body for weight training.
Allow a recovery day. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much exercise. Overtraining occurs from a lack of recovery time and can result in injuries and hinder progress. Recovery is vital for repairing and building muscle. Therefore, make sure to schedule a rest day each week. Also, practice body awareness and if you are unusually sore or tired, consider adding additional recovery time before resuming your workouts
Make sure to hydrate before, during, and after exercise. Per orthoatlanta.com “As your body loses water during physical activity, your muscles can become tense. This interferes with your athletic performance and can make you more likely to injure yourself.” Make a point to drink at least 20 ounces of water before your workout. Also, take breaks to hydrate during the workout, and fuel your body with a good protein and carb source post-workout. Great fuel options are bananas, nuts, apples, and shakes.
Change is never easy but it pays to be patient and take it one step at a time. Set small goals and stay consistent with your program. Before you know it, you’ll reach those goals and be ready to move to the next level.
Celebrate the little things! Find happiness within you rather than the attainment of material things such as aspirations for more money, a better job, the perfect body, etc. Learn to cherish a walk on the beach, meditation, a great cup of coffee, an amazing workout, great food, or time spent with family and friends. Choose to find happiness each day in the little things 🙂
“Remind yourself daily that there is no way to happiness; rather, happiness is the way. You may have a long list of goals that you believe will provide you with contentment when they’re achieved, yet if you examine your state of happiness in this moment, you’ll notice that the fulfillment of some previous ambitions didn’t create an enduring sense of joy. Desires can produce anxiety, stress, and competitiveness, and you need to recognize those that do. Bring happiness to every encounter in life, instead of expecting external events to produce joy. By staying in harmony on the path of the Tao, all the contentment you could ever dream of will begin to flow into your life—the right people, the means to finance where you’re headed, and the necessary factors will come together. “Stop pushing yourself,” Lao-tzu would say, “and feel gratitude and awe for what is. Your life is controlled by something far bigger and more significant than the petty details of your lofty aspirations.”
― Wayne W. Dyer,
“The natural desire of the human mind is to become special – to become special in the ways of the world, to have many degrees, to have much political power, to have money, wealth – to be special.
The mind is always ready to go on some ego trip. And if you are fed up with the world, then again the ego starts finding new ways and new means to enhance itself – it becomes spiritual. You become a great mahatma, a great sage, a great scholar, a man of knowledge, a man of renunciation; again you are special.”
Unless the desire to be special disappears, you will never be special. Unless you relax into your ordinariness, you will never relax.
“Enjoy making decisions. You must know that in any moment a decision you make can change the course of your life forever: the very next person you stand behind in line or sit next to on an airplane, the very next phone call you make or receive, the very next movie you see or book you read or page you turn could be the one single thing that causes the floodgates to open, and all of the things that you’ve been waiting for to fall into place. If you really want your life to be passionate, you need to live with this attitude of expectancy.”
― Anthony Robbins
“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
― Lao Tzu
Breakfast can be tough if you are short on time. I love to grab bars in the morning but it’s difficult to find any healthy options. These are delicious and a great bar to take with you on the run. Pair with greek yogurt or a couple of boiled eggs to add protein and have a healthier convenience meal on your way to work or at the gym.
Check this out! Ingredients you can read:
Compare this to other bars on the market that claim to be healthy:
And I love these Zone Bars, but check it out:
Although I love the Peppermint Bark bars for the holidays, I’m going to stick with the Cinnamon Raisin Lara Bars. Definitely a healthier choice. Make sure to take time to check ingredients when shopping even if you are short on time 🙂
“You cannot manifest thin from thoughts of I hate being fat. You cannot manifest purity from I despise being an addict. You cannot manifest health from I abhor being sick. In each of the above assertions of what you dislike, you are giving of your thoughts to creating more and more of the same. Since you become what you think about all day long, once again, the solutions involve a different level of energy to any of these and similar circumstances.” ― Wayne W. Dyer,
“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.” ― Edward AbbeyKe
This quote really spoke to me this morning. I absolutely love the message. Life isn’t about climbing the corporate ladder or working for things to satisfy our ego and impress others. Life passes by so quickly. The fleeting satisfaction of those things you think you need will be gone in a moment with something else to replace them. Sure you work to support yourself and your family, but remember the ultimate goal of life is to live in the moment and celebrate what really matters. The gift of a healthy mind and body, our loved ones, and this beautiful world we are blessed to wake up to each day.
“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.” ― Todd Stocker
Do you jump out of bed in the morning with plenty of time for a workout and healthy breakfast? Or do you hit the snooze button, skip breakfast, and have a major panic attack trying to get to work on time?