When we write out our New Year’s resolutions or goals for the year, we often come up with a list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts.” We set our expectations high while failing to set ourselves up with a bulletproof plan to succeed in these big goals. We are a generation that loves to put limits on ourselves, establish rules around eating, and dive into the newest diet craze. What if instead of saying “I won’t” or “I don’t” this year, you set yourself up for success by focusing on what you are doing and not where you’re coming up short? What if instead of counting how many times you missed the mark on your health journey, you focused on what you could add to your life every day and watched the good grow?
Here are my top picks for watching the good grow in 2015:
1) Balance your body for better workouts by adding greens.
One of the best ways to improve health and fitness is to start with the gut. By adding green shakes to your morning routine, you help to make your body alkaline and support healthy hormone production in your body. By drinking greens first thing in the morning, you also reduce cravings throughout the day due to your fiber intake and the hormone balance the greens create. When our bodies are more balanced, we are able to push harder in our workouts, keep a clear head when sugar is calling our name, and give our body the nutrition it needs to repair itself post-workout. Start off with about 6 ounces of greens a day and try to work up to 16 ounces. Drink them 20 minutes before your morning coffee. You can also add another serving of greens post-workout if your body is feeling a bit depleted or run down. You can make your greens at home or buy them in a powder form. My favorite is Genuine Health’s Fermented Greens. It’s packed full of nutrition and is super easy to make. Go with the acai berry flavor! If you want to make them at home, here is my favorite morning greens shake.
- 8 oz. water
- ½ lemon
- ½ apple
- ½ pear or banana
- Handful of spinach
- Handful of Romaine
- ½ cup cucumber
- ¼ stalk celery
- And a bit of parsley (Parsley is great for detoxing the body, so be careful with how much you put in to start)
2) Stop Stressing Over Time! Add time.
One of the most common questions I get asked when clients are signing up for a program at Dailyroutinefitness.com is how much time the workouts will take.
“I have kids, a job, a husband, etc., etc., etc.” This year, instead of stressing over the amount of time you have for that workout, start thinking less is more. If you’re looking to get in shape and are pressed for time, hang up your marathon running shoes and set your timer for 20 minutes. A HIIT (High-Intensity-Interval-Training) burns 20% more calories and fat than your standard slower-pace 60-minute workouts. In a HIIT workout, you are pushing yourself as hard as you can with short breaks. If you’re looking to build some serious quads this winter, you may need to stay on the squat rack a bit longer than 20 minutes. But if you’re looking to burn the fat, increase lean muscle, and jump start the metabolism, HIIT is the way to go.
3) Add Your Rest Days.
One of the most common mistakes we make when getting started on a new fitness program is skipping our rest days. We tend to go as hard as we can until we get burned out and end up sitting on the couch for days afterwards, eating all the snacks we’ve been avoiding. When we take our rest days, we allow the body to heal, hormones to balance, and lean muscle to rebuild itself. When we put stress on our muscles, we cause them to break down; when we rest, we allow the muscle to rebuild itself, causing a layering effect of lean muscle, which in turn burns off unwanted fat. Set up your workout schedule to allow 1-2 days of rest for those muscles. You can also incorporate active rest here with a relaxing hike, a swim in the lake, or chasing after your kids.
4) Add fun to your fitness.
Often we get caught up in the excitement of our friends’ new health journeys or the newest fitness craze. We find ourselves dying in hot yoga, training for a marathon, or wanting to throw up in boot camp, the whole time thinking “Why the heck am I doing this??!!” Does discomfort often come along with change? Yes, most times it does, but when it comes to fitness, I highly recommend striving for a love-hate relationship. Find something that challenges you but also makes you want to come back for more. Check out local studios that offer a large variety of classes, and try them all! You may find that you were once a dancer but you now love that insane boot camp or that the runner in you needs a little more Zen time on your yoga mat this year. Add more variety and experiences, and find what will keep you coming back for more.
This year, instead of thinking about changing your whole life, just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. This year, just let your pile of good things grow.