As the year winds down and people begin thinking of resolutions for the New Year, many thoughts turn to the topics of fitness and health.
Whether it’s trying to work off the extra holiday pounds, or making some actual lifestyle changes, there are many ways to go about setting and keeping health and fitness goals in the New Year.
Small Dietary Changes
Making small changes in the diet can go a long way toward making changes that impact overall health.
Consider little things like giving up soda for green tea, limiting high calorie snacks, or choosing light salad dressings over their full calorie versions. Instead of making meals such as fried chicken, opt for skinless baked chicken dishes, which are still delicious. Adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet is always a good choice, along with drinking more water. Just these simple changes can make a big difference without making you feel like you’re depriving yourself.
Incorporate More Exercise Into Your Daily Routine
We all lead busy lives, which really can make it hard to find room for full workouts on a regular basis.
On days when schedules don’t permit activities such as heading to the gym or jogging outdoors for several miles, try working little bits of exercise in here and there throughout the day. This can be done by taking the stairs at work or the mall, parking the car farther down the parking lot to get some walking in, or by choosing to walk or bicycle when running errands instead of driving.
When Fitness And Health Are More Of A Priority Than Simply Making Small Changes
If you are more serious about improving your fitness and health in the New Year, for either medical related or personal reasons, consider joining a gym or getting a workout buddy.
If you have a spouse, significant other, or friend that is willing to get a gym membership with you, this can help to keep you motivated. Many gyms and fitness centers offer discount promotions and special offers at the beginning of the New Year, so take advantage of those if you’ve been meaning to join for some time now. If no friends or family are up for the challenge, consider finding a personal trainer to help you get into shape.
If a gym membership is too pricey or inconvenient, try to recruit a friend or family member who is also trying to improve their fitness to work out with you. You can take turns visiting each others’ homes, or choose a neutral location in which to exercise. Perhaps one day do an at home fitness workout video together, and the next time meet up at a local park for a long walk or job. The possibilities are endless, and the two of you can encourage and support each other each step of the way.
Keep a few pieces of exercise equipment at home so that you always have something to use for working out if you feel inclined to do so. An exercise mat, workout videos, exercise ball, set of hand held weights, and perhaps at least one piece of exercise equipment such as a treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical is also good to have.
This way, rain or shine, gym or no gym, you’ll always have just what you need to help you obtain your fitness and health goals.
Improving health and fitness through exercise and proper nutrition is not only important for heart health and keeping cholesterol levels under control, it helps to increase energy levels and overall health, keeping your body strong so that you do what matters most such as playing with your kids or grandkids, rock climbing, or whatever else you wish to pursue.
It can also increase the likelihood of being around for many more years, which is why making fitness and health a priority is a worthwhile investment.