A new year brings with it a sense of renewed hope and optimism for the future. It represents a chance to wipe the slate clean and start over. For a lot of us, that means eating well and staying fit – two rather admirable goals that are easy to establish yet hard to follow through on.
Like us, if you have made previous New Year's resolutions relating to health and fitness and failed to stick with them, don't beat yourself up. Some of the most successful people in the world are also some of the biggest failures in history. They succeed because, after each and every failure, they pick themselves up and try again. As a wise person once said, “I haven’t failed; I’ve just found 10,000 ways not to do it.”
Don't Diet in 2019
Here’s a radical thought. Don’t go on a faddish diet. Instead, consider making small changes that can last.
Eating well does not have to be about dieting and severely restricting how many calories go into our bodies. It is about changing our eating habits so that we are swapping healthy foods for those that are not as nutritious. Eating healthy foods should be a lifestyle change, not a temporary plan.
Consider swapping processed carbs for whole grains, and eating more fruit and vegetables. Scientific studies have shown that the best superfood out there is dietary fiber.
There are a lot of great online resources describing how to eat well. Stick with reputable websites that avoid talking about the latest fad diet or miracle supplement. Focus on those sites that offer sound nutritional advice based on proven science. Here are some that we enjoy:
Exercise in the Coming Year
The other part of the stay fit equation is exercising. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to stay fit without getting regular exercise. That's why doctors remind us of the need for 30-40 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week.
Unfortunately, so many of us have a habit of equating exercise with misery. One person may decide she has to get up in the morning and run before work while another has to put in 30 minutes on the stationary bike before bed. For some those are amazing workouts, while for others, they might feel less than fun.
Guess what? It's okay to take up some sort of physical activity you actually enjoy. You can have fun and be fit at the same time. For example, did you know that ballroom dancing requires quite a bit of physical exertion? If you can find a partner willing to take a few classes per week and then practice at home in between, you can dance your way to better fitness this year.
Or you might decide to try picking up a new skill like tennis or weight-lifting this year. Incorporate something new into your routine and see the tone and cardiac fitness build up!
Set Goals and Being an Encouragement
We want to share two things that have really made a difference to some of us here. The first is to set goals. The second is to encourage others. Setting goals gives us something to shoot for and accomplish. Encouraging others motivates us to stick to our own goals and, in return, invites others to encourage us.
With that said, bring on the new year!